Remember back in August when Joe Girardi benching Jorge Posada as the Yankees’ starting designated hitter was a big story?
Posada ended up starting just 12 of the Yankees’ final 45 games at DH (plus a couple starts at first base), but Girardi announced that he’ll turn back to Posada as the starting DH for the ALDS against the Tigers.
Girardi technically announced that Posada would be the DH versus right-handed pitchers, but the Tigers’ playoff rotation won’t feature any left-handers. All of which means Jesus Montero will begin his postseason career as a bench bat despite hitting .328 with a .996 OPS in his 18-game debut.
Posada was a mess against lefties this season, going 6-for-65 (.092) with zero homers, but he can still get the job done against righties, batting .269 with 14 homers and an .814 OPS in 316 plate appearances.
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.