Here’s a look at what’s happening around the Major on Saturday:
Dodgers ace Max Shazer received the last three outs in a thrilling Game 5 of the NL Division Series and is now ready to throw the first pitch for Los Angeles in the NL Championship Series.
Yes, with only full day off in between.
“He’s Scherzer Scherzer,” said teammate Cody Bellinger.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he aims to start Scherzer in Atlanta, even though the three-time Cy Young Award winner earned his first pro save in a 2-1 win in San Francisco on Thursday night.
“He’s going to go out and play catches and treats and if he says he’s good to go he’ll be our Game 1 starter,” Roberts said.
Roberts said his backup plan would be a bullpen game, with Tony Gonsolin using a pitcher.
Scherzer was 15-4 with 2.46 ERA for Washington and Los Angeles during the regular season. He has played 12 1/3 innings in three games in the playoffs, allowing two runs and six hits with 16 strikes.
Max Fried (14-7, 3.04 ERA) advanced as Atlanta’s Game 1 starter when Charlie Morton took short rest in the Braves’ 5-4 win over Milwaukee in the NL Division Series.
house on the street
Boston starter Nathan Iovaldi will have a homecoming of sorts when he starts Game 2 of the AL Championship Series against the host Astros.
Eovaldi grew up in the Houston suburb of Alvin, which is also the home of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, and frequently visited the growing up Astrodome and Minute Maid Park.
“It’s definitely one of my favorite ballparks to pitch,” Iovaldi said.
Eovaldi loved Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman’s Killer Bee as a child and enjoyed watching Roger Clemens and Andy Petit pitch for the Astros when he was in high school.
“Just to see people do what they do, and even though it was towards the end of their careers, it was awesome to see them go out there and perform,” he said.
Rookie Luis Garcia starts for the Astros.
Astros ace Lance McCullers Jr. is off the roster for the AL Championship Series against Boston due to a strain in his right arm.
“He just hasn’t been able to throw the ball,” said Houston manager Dusty Baker.
Baker said there was no structural damage, but the team isn’t sure if the Maculars will be available for the World Series if the Astros go ahead.
The McCullers took a shutout in the seventh inning of the AL Division Series opener against the White Sox. But the right-handed batsman left Game 4 after four innings because of what the team called arm stiffness.
Pitcher Jake Odorizzi, leaving the ALDS after a disappointing first season in Houston, was added in place of the McCullers.
After coming off their worst season since 2013 and trading off many of their biggest stars, the Cubs have hired Carter Hawkins as their new general manager.
Hawkins, 37, spent 14 seasons with Cleveland, including the last five as assistant general manager. He also oversaw the team’s player development department—while Chicago struggles to turn its pitching prospects into successful major leaguers, Cleveland has flourished.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jade Hoyer was looking for a GM as he had been promoted to the top position almost a year earlier, replacing Theo Epstein. Hoyer called off the search after being interrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cubs went 71-91 this year and traded Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in July.
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