ESPN analyst and former big leaguer Eduardo Perez passes along the sad news of Mitchell Page’s sudden passing.
Born Mitchell Otis Page, he played eight years in the majors — seven for the A’s and one for the Pirates, serving mostly as a designated hitter and outfielder. He retired after the 1984 season with a .266/.346/.429 career batting line, 560 career hits and 72 career home runs in 2,104 total at-bats.
Page served as a hitting coach for the Cardinals from 2002-2004 under manager Tony La Russa and had been operating as a roving minor league hitting instructor for the Nationals.
He went to the World Series with St. Louis in 2004 and played a small part in the development of modern baseball’s best hitter: Albert Pujols.
Doctors say Page died in his sleep Saturday night. He was 59 years old.
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.