But they turn to rookie ace Fernando Valenzuela in the first of potentially three games at Dodger Stadium. Valenzuela burst on the scene like no other this season, with five shutouts in his first eight starts, all eight lasting nine innings.
World Series Game 3 lineups
|P||Righetti (L)||P||Valenzuela (L)|
Valenzuela led the league in strikeouts (180), starts (25) and innings (192⅓), and the 20-year-old lefty finished just five shy of leading the NL in batters faced (758), too. He was second in wins (13) and seventh in ERA (2.48) in the strike-shortened season.
At home, Valenzuela was especially great, with a 1.57 ERA in 12 starts, with the Dodgers winning nine times. They hope for more of that in Game 3.
Reggie Jackson missed the first two games of this series after suffering an injury running the bases in the ALCS. He was medically cleared for Game 3, but isn’t starting with the left-handed Valenzuela on the mound. Jackson has tortured the Dodgers in three different World Series (1974, 1977, 1978), hitting .328 (22-for-67) with eight home runs and 21 RBI in 17 games.
Dave Righetti, who had a 2.05 ERA in 15 starts and is considered a favorite for AL Rookie of the Year, starts Game 3 for the Yankees. Righetti was asked if he was having fun on the off day at Dodger Stadium by Murray Chass of the New York Times:
It’s the best place in the world to be. It’s a beautiful stadium and a great tradition. I’m sure there will be a million kids watching on television tomorrow hoping to be in the position where Fernando and I are.
With New York starting a third consecutive left-hander, Steve Yeager starts again at catcher for the Dodgers, after rookie Mike Scioscia started nine of the 10 games in the NLDS and NLCS.
We’ll start watching Game 3 on YouTube at 4 p.m. PT.