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All hands on deck for World Series Game 7

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It all comes down to this. For the second straight year, the World Series will go the distance. The Dodgers and Astros will fight one last time on Wednesday night. To the victor goes the championship. The Astros are looking for their first ever championship. The Dodgers are looking for their first since 1988 and seventh overall (sixth since moving to Los Angeles).

Yu Darvish will start for the Dodgers and Lance McCullers will take the hill for the Astros, but all hands will be on deck for Game 7. The leashes will be short. Clayton Kershaw (who pitched 4 2/3 innings in Game 5) and Dallas Keuchel (3 2/3 innings in Game 5) will be available out of the bullpen, as will Game 4 starters Alex Wood and Charlie Morton. Game 6 starters Justin Verlander and Rich Hill could conceivably be used if necessary as well.

Darvish and McCullers last matched up in Game 3. Darvish couldn’t finish the second inning, ultimately on the hook for four runs in 1 2/3 innings. McCullers pitched into the sixth and ended up yielding three runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Astros went on to win 5-3.

Last year, in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the Cubs used starter Jon Lester out of the bullpen in relief of Kyle Hendricks. The Indians used Trevor Bauer to get the last two outs of the top of the 10th inning. That provides a bit of a preview as to how managers A.J. Hinch and Dave Roberts could utilize their pitchers.

Baseball Reference notes that tomorrow’s game will be the 43rd World Series Game 7. The home team has gone 20-22 in those games.

Grudge continues to fester between Braves, Marlins

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The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.

In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.

Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.

Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.