J.A. Happ will miss his next start with sore elbow

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that J.A. Happ will miss his next scheduled start with what the Phillies are calling “a very mild flexor pronator muscle strain.” In other words, he has a sore elbow.
Happ is slated to throw a bullpen session Thursday, so for now at least the Phillies think he’ll be able to avoid the disabled list. No word yet on who will replace him Saturday against the Diamondbacks, but Joe Blanton likely isn’t ready to come off the disabled list yet and the Phillies already have both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick in the rotation.
Despite eight walks in 10.1 innings Happ is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts. Coming into the season I was among many people to peg the Rookie of the Year runner-up as a good bet to fall back to earth because of underwhelming strikeout, walk, and ground-ball rates, so the elbow problems simply add to that skepticism. He went 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA as a 26-year-old rookie, but projects more as a mid-rotation starter long term.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.