Cardinals take a 2-0 lead in NLCS with 1-0 shutout of Dodgers

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Cardinals starter Michael Wacha turned in a gem, needing only one run of support to help pitch his team past the Dodgers. Wacha shut out the Dodgers over six and two-thirds innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out eight. Jon Jay contributed the game’s only run with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly to plate David Freese, who had reached on a double.

Relievers Kevin Siegrist, Randy Choate, and Carlos Martinez pitched in to get the game to Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth inning. Rosenthal struck out the side, blowing high-90’s fastballs past Yasiel Puig, Juan Uribe, and Andre Ethier to end the game.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was on point, making just the one mistake to Freese in the fifth inning. Overall, he allowed the one run on two hits and one walk while striking out five.

The NLCS now heads west to Los Angeles as the Dodgers will attempt to overcome a 0-2 deficit. Game 3 will resume on Monday. The Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright to the hill while the Dodgers have not announced a starter as of yet.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.