LEADING OFF: Blue Jays play at Royals in ALCS opener
A look at what’s happening around the major leagues today:
STARTING AT HOME
After starting the AL Championship Series at Baltimore last year and sweeping the Orioles, the Kansas City Royals start at home this year on Friday night. Edinson Volquez starts for the Royals and Marco Estrada for the Blue Jays, who are in the postseason for the first time since winning the 1993 World Series.
The Royals and Blue Jays already played a contentious set of games this season, including a matchup in Toronto marked by two bench-clearing incidents. Volquez’s inside pitching drew the ire of the Blue Jays, eventually leading to the first of those bench-clearing moments. And after the game, he called Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson ”a little baby” for complaining about his inside pitching. Asked whether he intends to pitch inside again Friday night, Volquez replied: ”Of course.”
ANOTHER RED EYE
The New York Mets had their second overnight cross-country flight in six days after winning 3-2 at the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to the NL Championship Series against the Cubs. While Chicago planned to work out at Citi Field on Friday, the Mets did not schedule a practice. New York’s Matt Harvey and Chicago’s Jon Lester were slated to talk ahead of their starts in the opener.
After another disappointing postseason, Don Mattingly could be in trouble with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite spending more than $780 million on payroll in the last three years, the Dodgers have not reached the World Series since winning the title in 1988.
POLICING THE STANDS
Major League Baseball will review security at Toronto’s Rogers Centre in an effort to prevent a repeat of the fan disturbance during Game 5 of the Blue Jays’ AL Division Series win over Texas. Spectators littered the field with debris during an 18-minute delay Wednesday. Toronto catcher Russell Martin hit Texas batter Shin-Soo Choo with his seemingly simple return throw to the pitcher, which resulted in a go-ahead run for the Rangers after several conferences and an umpire’s review. Toronto scored four runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to win 6-3. Toronto hosts the Royals for Games 3-5 of the ALCS starting Monday.