LEAIDNG OFF: No Seager in NLCS, but Puig a party for Dodgers
A look at what’s happening all around the majors Sunday:
The Dodgers will have to get through the Cubs without star shortstop Corey Seager in the NL Championship Series. Seager was left off the NLCS roster due to a back injury, a surprise omission announced hours before Saturday’s Game 1 victory at Dodger Stadium. Charlie Culberson, who had 15 plate appearances in the big leagues this season, replaced last season’s NL Rookie of the Year. Culberson had a sacrifice fly and a double in the 5-2 win.
“Obviously, it’s a big blow,” Game 2 starter Rich Hill said about Seager. “That guy’s fought with us the entire year. It’s just an unfortunate thing.”
Yasiel Puig has been on a roll this postseason, and he’s not holding back on celebrating it. Bat flips, fist pumps, tongue wags — he even took a curtain call Saturday, although Dodger Stadium didn’t seem to be demanding one.
Of course, Los Angeles’ energetic outfielder has had reason to rejoice. He got his third multihit effort in four games Saturday, and his curtain call came after his first career postseason homer, a tiebreaking solo shot in the sixth inning.
STARTING UP AGAIN
Cubs lefty Jon Lester starts Game 2 of the NLCS four days after an extended relief outing in the Division Series. Lester threw 55 pitches in a 5-0 Game 4 loss to Washington, giving up a run in 3 2/3 innings. Chicago also dropped his NLDS Game 2 start despite his one-run ball over six innings.
He’s not concerned about coming back from the bullpen on short rest.
“I don’t think it’s a problem,” Lester said. “This time of year you have to adjust and figure it out.”
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
As the ALCS shifts to the Big Apple, the Houston Astros plan to take batting practice at Yankee Stadium during an off day in the series. But the Bronx Bombers won’t work out and will instead take the day off in an attempt to refresh their big hitters. New York struck out 27 times while losing the first two games by identical 2-1 scores to Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are a combined 1 for 14 with eight strikeouts in the series. Game 3 is Monday night, with CC Sabathia scheduled to pitch against Charlie Morton and the Astros. New York has dropped seven straight ALCS games dating to 2010.
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