Chris Coghlan is back to being a hitting machine

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Chris Coghlan headshot.jpgChris Coghlan was 4-for-4 with two walks, two doubles, an RBI single and four runs scored in a 14-9 win over the Rays on Friday night.

Last year’s National League Rookie of the Year scuffled to a .227/.276/.292 triple-slash through April and May, but he is 20-for-38 (.526) through the first nine games this month. The 24-year-old outfielder has hit safely in each of his last 11 games dating back to last month, eight of which are multi-hit games. 

Marlins manager Freddy Gonzalez told Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune that he was never worried about Coghlan’s early season struggles.

“Look, you don’t worry about a kid like Chris Coghlan,” Marlins manager
Fredi Gonzalez said. “He just keeps working. He doesn’t change his
approach. By the end of the season, he’ll be hitting .300, probably
higher.”

Coghlan enters Saturday’s action at .278/.331/.381
overall. Oh, and remember that it took him 105 at-bats to collect his first extra-base hit this season? Well, he has eight of them in just 38 at-bats this month. Is it possible that Coghlan was motivated by the prospect of losing playing time with Mike Stanton’s arrival to the big leagues? Perhaps. Coincidence or not, the Marlins will gladly take it.

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.