Ryan Pressly
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Ryan Pressly exits game with right knee discomfort

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Astros reliever Ryan Pressly was lifted from Saturday’s ALCS game after executing just one pitch in the third inning. The righty was brought in during a tough moment — two outs, bases loaded with the go-ahead run on first — and managed to get the Astros out of the jam with an inning-ending, first-pitch groundout to Didi Gregorius.

The ball didn’t leave the infield; Pressly caught it as it bounced toward first base and was several feet away from the bag when he came up limping with what appeared to be a right leg injury. Between innings, he headed back to the clubhouse with a team trainer and was replaced by José Urquidy (Houston’s fourth pitcher of the night) at the top of the fourth inning.

For now, the Astros are classifying the injury as “knee discomfort,” a diagnosis that feels significantly more alarming given the surgery Pressly underwent on his right knee earlier this year. Losing him for any amount of time would be a definite blow to the team, especially at such a critical point in the playoffs. The veteran right-hander pitched to an All Star-worthy 2.32 ERA and 2.66 FIP during the regular season and has delivered mostly-solid results in five postseason outings so far.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.