The tide continues to change in the NL Central.
Playing with heavy hearts in the aftermath of shortstop Jean Segura losing his nine-month-old son, the Brewers were blown out 10-2 by the visiting Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Brewers rookie starter Jimmy Nelson was lit up for eight runs — six earned — over 4 1/3 innings and Adam Wainwright was his usual self on the other end, limiting Milwaukee to two runs on five hits in seven innings. Wainwright’s ERA is at 1.83.
St. Louis was six-and-half games back of the Brewers when July began. Now the two teams are tied with one game left before the All-Star break. The Reds and Pirates also continue to lurk.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
White Sox 6, Indians 2
Yankees 3, Orioles 0
Braves 11, Cubs 6
Diamondbacks 2, Giants 0
Cardinals 10, Brewers 2
Red Sox 2, Astros 3
Marlins 4, Mets 5
Twins 9, Rockies 3
Blue Jays 3, Rays 10
Tigers 5, Royals 1
Angels 5, Rangers 2
Pirates 6, Reds 5 (11 innings)
Nationals 5, Phillies 3 (10 innings)
Padres 0, Dodgers 1
Athletics 2, Mariners 6
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.