White Sox starter Jake Peavy was scratched from a start on Thursday after complaining of discomfort in his throwing arm. He was later revealed to have inflammation and fluid in his shoulder, but the White Sox decided to let him pitch on Saturday anyway. Recipe for disaster, right?
Peavy held the Nationals to three singles and struck out seven batters on Saturday afternoon to earn his first complete-game shutout victory since August of 2005, when he was a starter for the Padres. The right-hander has allowed only four earned runs in his last 23 innings on the mound and he has racked up 15 strikeouts in that span. After a rough start to the season, he’s now 6-5 with a rapidly-falling 5.07 ERA and a respectable 1.26 WHIP.
Of course, Peavy isn’t the only member of the White Sox getting things right these days. The club has won a season-high five straight games and trails the AL Central-leading Twins by 5.5 games. It’s getting sunny on Chicago’s south side.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.