LEADING OFF: Dodgers seek NLCS rally as series shifts to LA
A look at what’s happening around the majors Tuesday:
Trailing 2-0 in the NL Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the Atlanta Braves right where they want them. At their house.
The Braves’ last win at Dodger Stadium was June 9, 2018. They’ve lost nine straight in Los Angeles, getting swept in a three-game series in late August and were shut out twice in the 2018 NL Division Series.
Going back to the 2013 NLDS, the Braves have dropped 19 of their last 22 in LA.
The series resumes with Game 3 at Dodger Stadium. Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.86 ERA in the postseason) starts for the Braves. Walker Buehler (0-1, 3.38), a 16-game winner in the regular season, takes the mound for the Dodgers.
The Astros will likely ask their bullpen to cover Game 4 of their AL Championship Series in Boston. Ryne Stanek could be an option to open things — he has vast experience in the role from his time with Tampa Bay. He would be followed by the rest of a relief crew that had a 4.06 ERA in the regular season, which ranked seventh in the American League.
Luis García, who started Game 2 but threw just 33 pitches before leaving with right knee discomfort, could also be in play. Don’t count out an appearance from veteran starter Zack Greinke, either. The 37-year-old has been relegated to bullpen duty after a neck issue limited him down the start. Manager Dusty Baker has said he’s likely limited to 40 pitches.
Boston tenatively planned to start Nick Pivetta, as long as the right-hander was needed in relief during Monday’s Game 3.
The Giants plan to exercise Buster Posey’s $22 million club option for the 2022 season as long as the veteran catcher wants to keep playing after a stellar year.
Posey, whose contract includes a $3 million buyout, helped lead the Giants to a franchise-record 107 wins and their first NL West title since 2012 by playing regularly down the stretch this year as he demonstrated his health and durability during his 12th major league season. The 34-year-old Posey opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign to care for prematurely born adopted twin girls.
“He is in our estimation the best catcher in baseball this year,” Farhan Zaidi, Giants president of baseball operations, said Monday. “... Obviously want to have conversations with Buster and continue to have internal conversations about that but having him on this team next year is a high priority.”
Posey caught five of the final six regular-season games and 10 of the last 13 as San Francisco clinched the division on the final day. He batted .304 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, showing his surgically repaired right hip had finally regained full strength three years post-op.
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