Back when he threw in the mid-90s Roy Halladay got nothing but praise. Now that he’s struggling he’s hearing some criticism. He’s not terribly pleased with that. From Mike Narducci at Philly.com:
“Philly is not an easy place to do that, you guys are pretty tough,” he said to the assembled reporters. “You have to be pretty mentally strong to block that out and go out there with confidence every time and trust.”
But it did seem like his comments were a bit more than an acknowledgment of the Philly press’ toughness, as he went on to suggest that maybe he should be given some praise for doing as well as he’s done given how recent his surgery was and how similar injuries have ended other guys’ careers.
Not sure that’ll get him very far in the court of Philly public opinion. There, more than a lot of places, results matter and you don’t get a ton of attaboys merely for trying hard.
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.