Dan Haren to miss first start since 2005 due to back issue

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We mentioned the other day that Dan Haren was iffy to start Saturday against the Yankees after tweaking his back during a bullpen session. Now it’s official.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Haren was scratched from tomorrow’s start and is now tentatively scheduled to start Tuesday against the Rays. While Haren will only be pushed back a couple days, this will be the first time he has missed a start since the 2005 season. The Angels had an off-day yesterday, so Ervin Santana will take his place tomorrow on regular rest.

Haren is 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 12 starts and one relief appearance this season. The 30-year-old right-hander currently ranks seventh in the American League with 74 strikeouts over 86 1/3 innings.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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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.