Joe Smith took over for Ernesto Frieri as the Angels’ closer a couple weeks ago, but last night it was Frieri coming in to convert a save against the Yankees. So has manager Mike Scioscia changed his mind again on the closer role?
Nope, it turns out Smith was just puking in the bullpen at the time.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Smith went to warm up for the ninth-inning save opportunity per usual, but then “started feeling sick” and “disgorged his lunch.” So the Angels scrambled and had Frieri warm up again after he’d already done so in the eighth inning without actually coming into the game for starter Jered Weaver.
Frieri pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the save, striking out Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury in the process. Presumably, however, if Smith can keep his lunch down he’ll still get the next save chance that … well, comes up, for the Angels.
Professional athletes: They’re just like us! (If you throw up at your job, I guess.)
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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.