The National League Championship Series will get underway Saturday night with a rematch from 2020 between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers punched their ticket Thursday night with a 2-1 win over the Giants as Cody Bellinger came through with an RBI single in the ninth. Max Scherzer closed the door in the ninth in somewhat controversial fashion.
As a division winner, the Braves will have home field advantage over the Dodgers in the series with Game 1 and 2 at Truist Park Saturday and Sunday.
Max Fried will start Game 1 of the NLCS Saturday but the Braves are still mulling over their options for Games 2 and 3. Charlie Morton would be on full rest for Game 2 but the team could push him back to Game 3 to give him some extra time after starting Game 4 of the NLDS on short rest. In that scenario, Ian Anderson would start for Atlanta in Game 2.
The Arizona Fall League is underway and MLB Pipeline has one sleeper prospect for every organization. For the Braves, it is reliever Indigo Diaz who put up an eye-popping 47.4 K rate and a 1.20 ERA between High-A and Double-A.
In other AFL news, Drew Lugbauer was reportedly added to the Fall League roster.
In a somewhat surprising move, the St. Louis Cardinals fired manager Mike Shildt Thursday with president of baseball operations John Mozeliak citing “philosophical differences” between the manager and the front office.
“All I can say is where we felt the team was going, we were struggling to get on the same page,” Mozeliak said. “With him having one year remaining on his contract, we could have gone into 2022 having that over him, and we just decided that internally it would be best to separate now and take a fresh look as we head into a new season.”
The Athletic’s Katie Woo reports that the Cardinals plan to have their next manager in place by mid-November.
They Yankees haven’t confirmed whether manager Aaron Boone will return for 2022 but the team is already making changes to its coaching staff. Hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and third base coach Phil Nevin have all been informed that their contracts won’t be renewed for next season.
Reports indicate that Tony La Russa will return as manager of the White Sox in 2022 according to an ESPN report. Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu are two White Sox players that both lobbied for La Russa to return publicly.
Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. left Game 4 of the ALDS with tightness in his right forearm. He recently underwent an MRI and his status for the remainder of the postseason is uncertain.