SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Second baseman Freddy Sanchez said "anxious is an understatement" as he still seeks to rejoin his teammates on the field. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is getting alittle impatient, too.Its important now that the pace picks up here a bit, so wehave him ready, said Bochy, after Sanchez participated in portions ofWednesdays workout. Itd be nice to have him ready by the third week ofspring so we can get him some at-bats, whether hes DHing or playing a fewinnings here of there. Sanchezs rehab work from right shoulder surgery had taken adetour on Tuesday, after his lower back flared up during a short-hop drill aday earlier. He said his back was improved Wednesday and he actually took a step forward, throwing to first base after fielding ground balls.Its the first time the 2006 NL batting champion has thrown to bases since June 10, whenhe dislocated his shoulder while diving for a ball up the middle. A much biggertest will come when Sanchez takes full infield practice with his teammates,turning double plays and throwing across his body. Not sure about double plays and all those things, Sanchezsaid. I havent been on the field with a team, really, since the injury. Soitll take awhile to get my rhythm with the bat and defense. But theres plentyof time to get ready.Sanchez also must take time to become accustomed toshortstop Brandon Crawford; the middle-infield duo have started just 11 careergames together. Sanchez went down just two weeks after Crawfords suddenpromotion from Single-A San Jose. You always talk about defense up the middle, Bochy said. Itsthe old adage: Every good club is strong up the middle. Thats why we haveCrawford as our shortstop and we hope Freddy will be ready. But if not, wellhave some good options with (Mike) Fontenot, (Emmanuel) Burriss and (Ryan) Theriot.Well have a good defender there.We still have a month, so were hoping Freddy will be outthere, and in another week to 10 days, he can begin doing some work out therewith Crawford. Sanchez said anxious is an understatement to describe howmuch hes looking forward to being cleared for full activities especially turningdouble plays with Crawford.Itll be good to work with him, Fontenot, Theriot, Burriss,all those guys, to get our feeds down, Sanchez said. Theres not a shortstophe reminds me of, but hes just real smooth out there. He makes it look easy.Hes a great young player and he definitely picks it. Im excited to startturning some double plays.
World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.
Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.
The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.
Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.
Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.
Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.
Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.
Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.
Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.
Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.
They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.
“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”
The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.
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