The Pirates’ lineup got a little lighter Monday, with both Ryan Doumit and Steve Pearce joining Pedro Alvarez (quad) on the disabled list.
Doumit suffered a sprained left ankle when Carlos Pena slid into him at home plate in Sunday’s game aganist the Cubs.
Pearce, who had been getting most of the starts at third base with Alvarez on the shelf, left Saturday’s game with a sore calf.
When the Pirates chose not to replace Pearce before Sunday’s game, they were left with no real alternative but to bat Brandon Wood and Ronny Cedeno with the tying run on base in the ninth inning Sunday against Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. Of course, they ended up losing that one. The miracle of the game was that Wood actually hit a weak groundout instead of striking out.
With Doumit out, the Pirates will turn to Dusty Brown as the backup catcher. Chris Snyder will get more playing time behind the plate.
Pearce’s replacement on the roster is infielder Josh Harrison. A 5-foot-8 utilityman, he’ll make his major league debut after hitting .321/.361/.455 in 134 at-bats for Triple-A Indianapolis.
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.