After dropping Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals last night, the Giants are off to a quick start in Game 2.
Angel Pagan delivered a leadoff solo home run off Chris Carpenter in the bottom of the first inning to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. He also hit a leadoff homer in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Reds. He’s just the second player in MLB history to hit two leadoff homers in the same postseason, joining Jimmy Rollins in 2008.
Ryan Vogelsong ran into a little trouble in the top of the first, but managed to escape unscathed. The inning featured a brutal takeout slide by Matt Holliday, as he slid past the second base bag and barreled into second baseman Marco Scutaro in order to break up a potential double-play. It was a very scary-looking play and while second base umpire Greg Gibson didn’t make an issue of it, it appeared to be over the line. Fortunately for the Giants, Scutaro was OK and the Cardinals didn’t score.
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.