LEADING OFF: Garcia up for Cards, Syndergaard on the road
A look at what’s happening around the major leagues today:
SENIOR CIRCUIT DAY
Both AL Division Series get the day off, putting the NL alone on the national stage as the Cubs face the Cardinals at 5:37 p.m. EDT and the Mets get the Dodgers at 9:07 p.m. EDT.
BACK AT LAST
Jaime Garcia was a bright spot for the Cardinals as they struggled to finish out the regular season. Now he gets the chance to follow a gem by John Lackey, when St. Louis hosts the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLDS. Garcia returned from thoracic outlet surgery for an ailment that’s cost him time the past three seasons, and posted a 2.43 ERA over 20 starts. He’s yet to face the Cubs this year, though. Chicago got 66 homers from its rookies this season, tops in the majors, but it was homers by Cardinals rookies Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty that backed Lackey’s Game 1 effort.
THOR ON THE ROAD
Mets manager Terry Collins decided to start Noah Syndergaard on the road in Game 2, apparently giving little weight to Syndergaard’s road struggles during the regular season. The rookie posted a 2.46 ERA in 12 home starts and a 4.23 mark on the road, and follows after Jacob deGrom struck out 13 in a 3-1 Game 1 win. Zack Greinke has been outstanding everywhere he’s pitched this year and tries to even the series for the Dodgers after going 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA in the regular season.
THE KID’S ALL RIGHT
Carlos Correa is recovering after fouling pitches off his knee in each of the Astros’ first two ALDS games against Kansas City. He looked like he might leave Friday’s game after drilling a pitch off the back of his knee in the fifth, but remained and singled off Kelvin Herrera in the seventh. Ace Dallas Keuchel will start for Houston against Edinson Volquez on Sunday.
DAY OF REST
Adrian Beltre gets another needed off day as he tries to come back from a lower back strain that forced an early exit from Game 1 and held him out of the lineup in Game 2. Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Beltre was available before the second game, but didn’t use him in the 14-inning contest. For Toronto, both Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista played Friday after being banged up in the opener – Donaldson took a knee to the head while Bautista had a sore right hamstring.
While the Cubs and Cardinals and Mets and Dodgers play Game 2 of their respective NL Division Series, many major leaguers competing this postseason might do a little scoreboard watching – checking out their alma maters’ football teams. Who is the biggest Dawg when it comes to bragging rights? Led by former Arkansas lefty Dallas Keuchel, it is indeed the Southeastern Conference. The SEC had 22 players on the 10 teams that reached the postseason, STATS said. The Pac-12 was next with 12.