Carlos Beltran was finally starting to produce for the Giants, collecting eight hits in his last three games, so naturally he’s been scratched from today’s lineup with what Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News describes as “food poisoning/stomach ailment.”
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle called it “a gastric illness,” so I think it’s safe to say Beltran didn’t have a very good morning.
Cody Ross shifted from left field to right field in Beltran’s absence, with Brandon Belt making his 16th start in left field. Beltran has played well for San Francisco, hitting .318 with an .859 OPS that basically matches his career mark, but he’s now missed 13 of the 36 games since the Giants gave up top prospect Zack Wheeler to get him from the Mets.
So much for a Game 7 nail-biter. The Brewers and Dodgers were separated by just one run for the first five innings of Saturday’s NLCS finale, but a monster three-run shot from Yasiel Puig boosted the Dodgers to a four-run advantage in the top of the sixth.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Los Angeles. Brewers’ left-hander Josh Hader entered the game in the third inning and dominated the opposition for three scoreless innings, then was replaced on the mound by fellow lefty Xavier Cedeño. Cedeño promptly issued a leadoff single to Max Muncy to start the sixth and, just as promptly, was lifted for right-hander Jeremy Jeffress. After giving up another base hit to Justin Turner, it looked like Jeffress turned a corner. He induced a fly out from Manny Machado, then got Cody Bellinger to ground into a force out to shift the Dodgers’ runners to the corners with two outs.
That didn’t faze Puig, however. After appearing in 10 playoff games without a single home run, the outfielder blasted a 1-1 knuckle curve to center field to pad the Dodgers’ lead.
With three innings left to play, it’s still too soon to say whether or not the Dodgers just punched their ticket to the World Series. They lead the Brewers 5-1 in the seventh.