By The Associated Press
The latest on the League Championship Series. The Blue Jays and Royals play Game 2 in Kansas City with a first pitch set for 4:07 p.m. The Cubs and Mets play the opener of the NL best-of-seven at 8:07 p.m. Here’s a look at what’s happening (all times EDT):
Shadows are pretty severe in front of the mound at Kauffman Stadium in the first inning of Game 2 of the ALCS with the late afternoon start. It’s going to make for some tough at-bat for hitters against the Royals’ hard-throwing Yordano Ventura and Blue Jays’ David Price.
Ventura reached 99 mph in a perfect first.
Rookie Noah Syndergaard will start for the New York Mets in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.
Syndergaard threw 17 pitches in the seventh inning Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of the NL Division Series, the first relief appearance of his big league career, and warmed up four times before coming in.
New York manager Terry Collins waited until Saturday to announce his decision, wanting to make sure Syndergaard was not sore.
Collins said rookie left-hander Steven Matz, his Game 4 starter, will be available out of the bullpen this weekend.
Jacob deGrom, who won twice in the Division Series, is set to start Game 3.
Super-fan and Hall of Fame golfer Tom Watson, dressed in a Royals jacket, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Kansas City played Toronto in Game 2 of the ALCS.
It was a strike because, well, everything thrown by anyone in Royals gear these days seems to be a strike. They entered the game on a franchise-record 16-inning scoreless streak.
It began with a superb outing by Johnny Cueto in the winner-take-all Game 5 of their Divisional Series against Houston, and continued with a 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Edinson Volquez and three relievers combined on the three-hitter.
Mets slugger Lucas Duda is slumping, and now he is sitting. The left-handed swinging first baseman was held out of the starting lineup for Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against Cubs lefty Jon Lester.
Duda, prone to prolonged slumps and big surges this season when he hit 27 homers, went just 2 for 18 with 11 strikeouts in the Division Series against the Dodgers. He played all five games, including the four against left-handed starters.
Michael Cuddyer will make his 16th start at first base this year. He last was in the lineup for Game 1 of the Division Series and struggled defensively in left field. He was 0 for 4 in the series, with two plate appearances as a pinch hitter.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura will have the familiar figure of Salvador Perez behind home plate against the Blue Jays in Game 2 of the ALCS.
Perez was ill for part of the divisional round, then took a bat off the back of his glove hand in the ALCS opener. Royals trainer Nick Kenney checked on Perez during that game, but the affable catcher decided to remain in the rest of the way.
Still, there was some question whether Drew Butera might get the start Saturday.
“The toughest guy I ever saw was Jason Kendall and Sal is right there with him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of the longtime big league catcher. “It’s just amazing the beating that he can take and rebound every day, being in that lineup.”
Perez, a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, hit his third homer of the postseason in the Royals 5-0 win on Friday night.
Toronto manager John Gibbons said Edwin Encarnacion is back in Toronto’s lineup for Game 2 of the ALCS, determined to “deal with the pain.”
Batting fourth as the DH, Encarnacion was removed in the eighth inning of Kansas City’s 5-0 win on Friday night when his left middle finger swelled up again. Gibbons said Encarnacion underwent an MRI before deciding to play on Saturday.
“A normal game, he wouldn’t be in there,” Gibbons said. “But we need him, so he’s in there. He’ll battle through it.”