How did Kyle Hendricks manage to improve so much despite strikeout and walk totals that didn’t really change? By making changes to handle his one big weakness: left-handed hitters.
As the National League Championship Series shifts back to Chicago with the Cubs up, 3-2, four of the best pitchers in the league are set to start if the Dodgers manage to force a decisive Game 7.
How can the Cubs beat Clayton Kershaw? Easier said than done, but to start with, they’ll need to be far more aggressive than they were in Game 2 of the NLCS, when they watched entirely too many first pitch strikes fly by.
It took 4 hours, 16 minutes to play Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, and the time spent watching Jason Heyward bat must have seemed like a horror film for Cubs fans.
During Friday’s workout at Progressive Field, Indians manager Terry Francona said right-hander Danny Salazar is continuing to make progress in his throwing program. Not only has Salazar not been ruled out for the World Series roster, Francona did not dismiss the idea of having the righty make a start.
Early in his career, Ben Zobrist was what he calls the “designated yo-yo,” bouncing from the Majors to the Minors as he tried to win a spot on the Rays. If it weren’t for an offseason phone call from manager Joe Maddon telling him to show up at Spring Training with six different gloves, Zobrist might be sitting on the couch watching the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.
Trevor Bauer is confident that he will be able to pitch in the World Series without any issues. Even after the bloody right pinkie problem in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, when his ugly wound was revealed to the world, the Indians starter says he is available whenever his team needs him.
He gave his prediction for Game 6.
Clayton Kershaw’s new weapon is actually an old one. He was a sidearmer through his junior year of high school in Dallas before adopting the over-the-top motion that turned him into a first-round Draft pick and, eventually, a Cy Young Award winner. The coach who helped Kershaw make that transformation still records and watches all of Kershaw’s outings.
Javier Baez seemed to be a star in the making early on this postseason, helping the Cubs dispatch the Giants with multiple game-winning hits and several defensive gems. Now, he is playing like a star already made.