It’s one thing to talk about a deal, but it’s another thing altogether to make a deal. Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch is reporting this morning that, despite talking about it for over a week, the Cardinals dealing for Roy Oswalt is “unlikely.”
The reason: as it appeared last week, the Astros simply aren’t being realistic about what they can expect in return. Indeed, as of Friday it was being reported that Ed Wade wanted two top prospects, a third minor-league
player, and a young player who is “major-league ready.” In a world where Dan Haren brings back a middling prospect and a bunch of chaff, that simply isn’t happening.
Between Wade’s demands, the Cardinals’ hesitance, Oswalt’s no-trade clause and the fact that the Phillies have started to get their stuff together and thus may not be as desperate, it remains to be seen if anyone matches up with the Astros at this point.
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.