After rain washed away the third game of the American League Championship Series on Monday, the Royals and Orioles are set to resume their series today at Kauffman Stadium. Game 3 of the National League Championship Series will also take place tonight, as the Giants and Cardinals look to break the 1-1 series tie. Former Red Sox hurler John Lackey will toe the rubber for St. Louis, while fellow veteran right-hander Tim Hudson will start for the Giants. Through his 12 year MLB career, Lackey has built up a reputation of being a very good postseason pitcher, posting a 2.92 ERA in 20 career playoff games. So far this fall, Lackey has continued that trend by tossing 7 innings of one run ball against the Dodgers in his only NLDS start. However, since he spent all of his career in the American League up until this season, Lackey has only faced the Giants twice in his career. Unlike Lackey, Tim Hudson has plenty of experience against the Cardinals, as the 2014 season marks the 38-year old’s 10th season pitching in the National League. In 79 career innings against St. Louis, Hudson holds an ERA north of 5.00, and a WHIP of about one and a half. While Hudson’s playoff resume spans 7 seasons, Tuesday’s start will mark the first time that Hudson will pitch past the Divisional Series. In 11 career postseason games, Hudson holds a respectable 3.19 ERA, and averages about a hit per inning pitched.
- Just as unlikely players have helped propel their teams to victory this postseason, the opposite is also true. Usually reliable players like Adam Wainwright and Salvador Perez haven’t been the difference makers that they were during the regular season. Luckily for their respective clubs, the likes of John Lackey and Lorenzo Cain have enjoyed terrific immense playoff success thus far. (Biggest studs and duds of the 2014 MLB Postseason thus far)
- So far, Torey Lovullo has announced his candidacy just about every managerial opening he possibly could, but has yet to find a club willing to offer him the job. After losing out on the Houston Astros managerial position to A.J. Hinch last week, Lovullo can cross another Texas team off his wish list. According to a recent report, the Texas Rangers informed Lovullo that he is no longer a candidate for their vacant position at the helm. (Torey Lovullo no longer in running for Rangers job)
- It’s pretty remarkable that Mike Napoli won’t require any surgery on any of his baseball inflicted injuries this offseason. Instead, the 33-year old first baseman will go under the knife next month to correct his sleep apnea condition. After trying a handful of sleep apnea treatments, the veteran elected to undergo the facial surgery in hopes to end his career long ailment. (Mike Napoli to undergo facial surgery)
- If the strike zone seems wider to you than in years past, you’re not crazy, you’re actually right! According to a recent study, umpires have expanded the strike zone 8.9 percent since the start of the 2010 season. A wider strike zone has meant an increased amount of strike calls on pitches that would normally be balls. Furthermore, a wider zone directly correlates with the drop in offense and the increase in high strikeout pitching performances. (Study: MLB strike zone expanding rapidly)
- It wasn’t a question of if Kenta Maeda was going to be posted, it was when and for how much. But now Maeda’s current team, the Hiroshima Carp, are having second thoughts about allowing the right-hander to leave for the United States. Carp owner Hajime Matsuda cited Maeda’s importance to his team as a reason to hold onto the 26-year old. If eventually posted, the right-hander will more than likely have a few $100M contract offers waiting for him from multiple MLB clubs. (Hiroshima Carp, Kenta Maeda undecided on posting)
- Tweet of the day: Rusney keeps on hitting