Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom came close to setting a new personal record during the club’s 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball, marking his fifth quality start and fourth win of the season and tying a career-best 13 strikeouts as the D-backs struggled to get on base.
deGrom lost a potential no-hitter following a first-pitch single from Alex Avila in the top of the third, but he still managed to hold the D-backs scoreless through 5 1/3 frames. Jake Lamb provided Arizona with their first and only run of the evening, lashing an RBI double to score Steven Souza Jr. in the sixth. From there, the rest of the D-backs were limited to just one hit, as Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia each set down a scoreless inning to polish off the win.
It’s a reassuring look for the Mets’ starter, especially as he recently came off the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow. The 30-year-old righty appeared a little shaky in his last outing, too — he expended 45 pitches, three walks and two strikeouts in one inning of work — but seems to have regained both his composure and dominance since then. He currently holds a 1.75 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.6 SO/9 through 51 1/3 innings in 2018.
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.