– The Red Sox have decided to place Mike Lowell on the disabled
list to give him additional time to recover after having his hip
drained and receiving an injection Monday.
Lowell’s play had fallen off over the last month, and it might be for
the best that he rests through the All-Star break. The move would seem
to guarantee that Kevin Youkilis will be eligible at third base in
fantasy leagues again next year. Mark Kotsay and Jeff Bailey will
platoon at first base for now. If Lowell is still having problems after
the break, then the Red Sox could go with Jed Lowrie at third.
– Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom, who went on the DL last week with a sprained elbow ligament, says he’s ahead of schedule and he hopes to begin playing catch on Friday.
Lindstrom was put on a schedule for good reason: partially torn
ligaments don’t miraculously heal. He was told not to throw for four
weeks when he went down on June 24. If he tries to rush back, it will
only become more likely that he’ll end up requiring surgery.
– Jack Wilson, perhaps no longer as interested in an extension as he was during the offseason, made it clear that he wasn’t happy about the Pirates trading Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Nationals.
“The bottom line is, even if this trade does work out, it’s not
going to matter to 80 percent of the people in here,” Wilson said. “And
over the years, these trades haven’t worked. Show me the ones that have
Jason Christiansen to the Cardinals for Wilson is one that turned out OK.
The book heading into the series was that the Dodgers’ starters needed to come up big for them due to questions in the bullpen and that the Brewers’ bullpen was going to dominate Dodgers batters, so they had best do what they can to score off of Milwaukee’s starters. So, of course, the Dodgers starters turned in performances of three and four and a third innings and eight of their nine runs the Brewers have given up have come from their relievers. I dunno, man. It’s baseball. It lends itself to anticipatory analysis worse than any other sport.
All I do know for sure is that this series has been as close as it gets so far, with each game being decided by a run and the outcome being determined late. The first two games have given me a sense that the teams are just feeling each other out and that the next three, in Los Angeles, will provide a bit more coherence to all of this. Not that there isn’t something a bit fun about incoherence when it comes to a playoff series.
Your viewing guide:
NLCS Game 3
Brewers vs. Dodgers
Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
Time: 7:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin vs Walker Buehler
Jhoulys Chacin had an excellent NLDS start against the Colorado Rockies, turning in five scoreless innings. If he does something approaching that tonight the Brewers will be in pretty good shape given that Josh Hader — who pitched three shutdown innings in Game one — is available again tonight. To the extent Craig Counsell needs to dig more deeply into his reliever corps, however, things could get dicey. Corbin Burnes, Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel and Joakim Soria have combined to allow seven earned runs in four innings. Brandon Woodruff, who has been dominant thus far, throwing five scoreless innings, stands a good chance of being the opener for Game 4, so Counsell will likely try to keep him off the mound tonight. That puts a decent amount of pressure on Chacin to get the game to Hader with as few innings remaining as possible.
For Los Angeles, it’s Walker Buehler who, the grand slam he gave up to Ronald Acuña in the NLDS notwithstanding, was the Dodgers’ most dominant starter down the stretch. In keeping with the somewhat flipped script so far, however, the Los Angeles bullpen has been solid, allowing just two runs over their ten and two-thirds innings in Games 1 and 2. Not that Dave Roberts wouldn’t love to see Buehler go deep tonight too.