Let’s see Josh Hamilton match this one.
Already with two solo homers on the day, Joey Votto hit a walkoff grand slam off Henry Rodriguez to give the Reds a 9-6 win over the Nationals on Sunday.
It was just the second homer to a left-handed batter allowed by Rodriguez in 112 2/3 career innings. He entered the day with a 2.45 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings this season.
Votto, on the other hand, was suffering from a serious power outage this season. The 2010 NL MVP had homered just twice in 108 at-bats, though he did have 15 doubles. It was certainly only a matter of time before he started clearing some fences, but three in one day was rather unexpected. It was his second career three-homer game, as well as his second career grand slam and third career walkoff homer.
The comeback today prevented the Reds from being swept at home. They’re one game over .500 at 17-16 for the season.
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.