Brian McCann is gone, but the Braves Decorum Police are still on the beat.
In yesterday’s game David Carpenter threw a pitch at Rockies hitter Corey Dickerson. I invite Braves fans to try to argue it wasn’t intentional, but it so clearly was that you’re embarrassing yourself if you claim otherwise. Watch it here.
The reason for the plunking: Dickerson hit catcher Gerald Laird with a foul tip and then caught him with a backswing on a foul ball just before, knocking him out of the game. That really does suck — a guy can get seriously hurt like that and Laird was down in the dirt for a long time — but there was no motive for Dickerson to do that to Laird on purpose whatsoever. And it’s not like Dickerson has magical powers and could direct the foul tip at Laird. And Laird himself said after the game that he knew the whole sequence was unintentional.
But don’t tell that to Carpenter. He got ejected and Rockies manager Walt Weiss got ejected for a particularly over-the-top argument, after which he smashed a bat into the dugout wall. Then Rockies and Braves pitchers started throwing at each other, leading to more ejections.
But hey, at least Carpenter taught Dickerson a lesson. About what, I have no idea, but he sure taught him.
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.