The Nationals and Giants braved a slippery field on Saturday night and came out worse for wear after Bryce Harper sustained a knee injury while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning. Harper’s left foot slid on the first base bag, sending the right fielder sprawling and clutching his knee. He was unable to put weight on his left leg following the incident and had to be carried off the field by team trainers.
The Nationals have yet to announce a formal diagnosis, but it doesn’t look good for their star outfielder. Harper has been relatively healthy this season and missed just three days with mild groin soreness back in May. Should the knee injury necessitate a trip to the disabled list, it’ll be his first stint on the DL since undergoing thumb surgery in 2014.
Following the mishap, Brian Goodwin covered right field while Andrew Stevenson entered the game to take over in center field. The Nationals currently lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
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.