Last season the Mariners ranked dead last in baseball with 513 runs, which was 74 runs fewer than the 29th-ranked Pirates and a historically inept total.
They’ve been slightly better so far this year, ranking 24th in scoring, but their lineup for tonight’s game against the Royals might be more embarrassing than anything that happened last year because of this:
Adam Kennedy is starting at designated hitter and batting cleanup.
Yes, the same 35-year-old Adam Kennedy who batted .249 with a .327 slugging percentage in 135 games for the Nationals last season, has hit .266 with a .361 slugging percentage during the past five years, and has never cracked 15 homers or a .450 slugging percentage in his 13-season career.
He’s starting at DH. And batting cleanup. For an MLB team. In mid-April. Gonna be another long season in Seattle.
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.