Two Championship Series games set for Saturday

Two Championship Series games set for Saturday
October 12, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Series: Cardinals lead 1-0
 Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Gametime: 4:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees, wind 7 mph
Starting pitchers: LAD - Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) / STL - Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78)

After the third-longest game in National League Championship history, the Dodgers and Cardinals pick right back up to play Game 2 nearly 14 hours after Carlos Beltran's walkoff single. Now it's up to the Dodgers to get even in the series with presumed NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound.

Kershaw pitched twice in just four games in the team's NLDS matchup with Atlanta, and will pitch today for the third time in L.A.'s six postseason games. He's been dominant so far with just a run and six hits allowed through 13 innings. If you could pick one pitcher to help your team bounce back, this is the one.

Kershaw has, however, produced a mixed bag against the Cardinals this season through two starts. On May 26 he took the loss after giving up four runs through seven innings. He also earned a loss on Aug. 6 in St. Louis despite giving up two runs through six.

Greinke was fine in Game 1, but it's the little mistakes that prove deadly in the playoffs. Kershaw will need to keep Beltran in check, as the 36-year-old drove in all three runs last night.


Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Gametime: 8:00 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 55 degrees, wind 11 mph
Starting pitchers: DET - Anibal Sanchez (14-8, 2.57) / BOS - Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75)

The Red Sox haven't played since Tuesday, a break of three full days. Will that cool what has been the postseason's hottest offense? Boston enters today with an average of 6.5 runs per game.

They could cause trouble for the Tigers who saw today's starter Anibal Sanchez implode in his only playoff start so far. He got blasted by the A's on Oct. 7 in Detroit, allowing five runs through just 4 1/3 innings.

Sanchez hasn't faced the Red Sox yet this season, and as a National League pitcher for much of his career, hasn't seen most of their roster before. Only five different Red Sox players have faced Sanchez since he entered the league in 2006. Sanchez was actually signed by Boston as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2001 when he was just 17.

Of the Red Sox players who have faced him, only David Ortiz has enjoyed any sort of success. In three at-bats he has three extra-base hits off the right-hander, two of them home runs with four RBI to complement.

Meanwhile, Jon Lester is facing the Tigers for the third time this season. On June 21 he gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings in Detroit. And on Sept. 3 he allowed just one run in seven innings despite giving up eight hits.

Two matchups in particular vs. Lester are intriguing based on recent history. Torii Hunter is hitting .433 off the lefty through 30 career at-bats, and Miguel Cabrera is hitting .526 through 19 at-bats. Tigers players that have faced Lester in the past, in fact, are hitting a combined .378 off him.