Angels ace Garrett Richards is pitching with a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament that he chose to rehab with platelet-rich plasma rather than Tommy John surgery. That’s all well and good, but it also means that any time he even winces, people are gonna kinda freak out.
He winced a bit last night, experiencing biceps cramps during the fifth inning of the Angels’ victory over the Athletics. Mike Scioscia and the trainers took him out of the game, but everyone is feeling pretty OK about things. Richards:
“Nothing serious. My arm feels good. I felt good tonight, elbow feels fine, shoulder feels fine. It was just kind of a long inning and it just kind of stiffened up a little bit. There’s no red flags or anything, just something that flared up. … Everything kind of moves on as planned.”
Later the team announced he came out for precautionary reasons. Richards went through strength tests as well and was said to have come through it just fine. He’ll be examined by team doctors back in Southern California, again, as a precautionary measure. The Angels will decide if he makes his next start after that.
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.