The Blue Jays announced after Thursday’s loss to the Red Sox that outfielder Melky Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis. The club will recall infielder Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place on the active roster.
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a run scored Thursday and played the entire game in left field. He has been bothered by leg problems at various times this season, so it sounds like this could be a lingering injury. The 28-year-old is batting .278/.321/.362 with three home runs and 29 RBI through 78 games this season.
Kawasaki was demoted to Triple-A Buffalo earlier this week when Jose Reyes was activated from the disabled list, but his stint in the minors didn’t last long. The 32-year-old is hitting just .225 with a .662 OPS in 185 plate appearances this season, but he has quickly become a fan and clubhouse favorite. In fact, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons held a team meeting after Tuesday’s game to discuss Kawasaki’s demotion, which speaks to how well-liked he is among his teammates.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.