Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg had his scoreless innings streak end in unfortunate fashion in the top of the second inning on Sunday night against the Dodgers. With Yasiel Puig on third base and two outs, Logan Forsythe hit a fly ball to deep center field. Michael Taylor caught up to the ball but it glanced off of his glove, allowing Puig to score the game’s first run. He was not charged with an error. Strasburg still set the Nationals franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings.
The Nationals came back in the bottom of the sixth, taking a 3-1 lead on Ryan Zimmerman‘s three-run home run off of Ross Stripling. Strasburg, who lasted six innings and gave up just the one run, is in line for the win at the time of this writing.
Prior to Sunday, Strasburg last gave up a run in the bottom of the first inning against the Padres on August 19. Following that, he blanked the Padres in the next five innings, then shut out the Astros for six innings, tossed a complete game shut out against the Marlins, kept the Marlins scoreless in Miami for six frames, and hurled eight shutout innings against the Phillies. On the season, Strasburg is carrying a 2.60 ERA with a 190/44 K/BB ratio in 162 2/3 innings.
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.