Báez to Detroit, MLB teams race to finish biz before lockout
Javier Báez agreed to bring his high motor to the Motor City, while other teams around the majors raced to finish up business before Tuesday’s deadline to tender contracts and a likely roster freeze coming when baseball's collective bargaining agreement expires Wednesday.
Bang, bang! Pair of 1st-pitch HRs for 1st time in decades
Miami Marlins leadoff batter Miguel Rojas and New York Mets counterpart Jonathan Villar each homered on the first pitch they saw Thursday night, the first time that’s happened in a major league game since at least 1985, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Diamondbacks' Gallen has sore forearm, might miss opener
Gallen went 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA during the pandemic-shortened season, striking out 82 in 72 innings. SETBACK IN THE BULLPENBlue Jays right-hander Kirby Yates will miss several weeks because of a strained muscle in his forearm. He allowed one run and five hits, striking out five without a walk. Bryan Abreu, a top Astros pitching prospect who turns 24 next month, started and pitched three perfect innings, striking out four. Baltimore starter John Means allowed four hits and walked three over 3 2/3 innings, striking out three.
Seeing is believing: Bauer shuts eye, pitches shutout ball
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)What’s that piece of advice Little League coaches always tell their kids -- keep your eye on the ball, right? After giving up a single to San Diego leadoff man Jurickson Profar and then walking Tommy Pham, Bauer posted a shutout. Bauer wound up pitching three scoreless innings with the creative approach, striking out three while allowing two hits and a walk. Known for speaking his mind and going his own way, Bauer said he regularly shuts one eye during bullpen sessions and other workouts. Sandy Alcantara made his second start for Miami, striking out six in 2 1/3 innings.
LEADING OFF: Stanton's HR streak, Kershaw at home, Acuña hit
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)A look at what's happening around the majors on Wednesday:STANTON'S STREAKYankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton has homered in all four of the team's postseason games this year. The two-time NL home run champion is from the Los Angeles area and says “that SoCal air" is helping the ball fly. If the Dodgers advance to the NL Championship Series or World Series, fans will be allowed at those games. “At this point I think we’ve grown accustomed to it.”Alcantara insisted he didn’t intend to hit Acuña and that Miami’s game plan is simply to pitch inside to him. Springer’s 17 postseason homers tied Nelson Cruz and Jim Thome for most through a player’s first 54 postseason games.
Acuña HR, plunked again, Braves top Marlins 9-5 to open NLDS
Acuña got things going for the Braves in the bottom of the first when he sent Alcantara’s second pitch into right-center for a homer. Braves manager Brian Snitker said that even though he didn’t believe this pitch was on purpose, the Marlins have hit Acuña far too many times. The Braves trailed 4-3 in the seventh before Austin Riley and Acuña hit consecutive singles with no outs to chase Alcantara. The shot caused the Braves dugout to erupt with Acuña jumping over the railing to celebrate. UP NEXTRight-hander Pablo Lopez will make his postseason debut when he starts for the Marlins in Game 2 against Ian Anderson.
LEADING OFF: García youngest Yankees postseason starter
He’ll surpass Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, who was nearly 22 when he started Game 4 of the 1950 World Series against the Phillies, as the youngest postseason starter for New York. LONG AND SHORTCarlos Correa and the Houston Astros look to grab a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five Division Series against AL West champion Oakland. The Padres hadn't said whether starters Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger will be healthy enough to crack their NL Division Series roster and pitch against the Dodgers. BRAVE NEW WORLDThe Braves are back in the NL Division Series for a third straight year but haven’t advanced to the NL Championship Series since 2001. They’re hoping they can hold off the upstart Marlins, who have never lost a postseason series.
'Bottom-feeding' Marlins are making a splash in playoffs
Members of the Miami Marlins celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Chicago. The Marlins won the series 2-0 to advance to the division series. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)MIAMI – Their T-shirts say Bottom Feeders, even though the Miami Marlins are showing they’re a different kind of fish in 2020 — the sort that rises to make a splash. After holding the Cubs to one run and nine hits in two games, the Marlins posed for a team photo in the Wrigley Field infield. They are young and inexperienced, but it's just baseball.”And the Marlins are getting good at it.
Dickerson homers as Marlins beat Cubs 5-1 in playoff opener
Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer off a fading Hendricks in the seventh inning, and Miami beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Wednesday in Game 1 of their NL wild-card series. The Marlins, who rallied past the Cubs in a memorable NLCS that year, have never lost a playoff series. This year's Marlins weren't supposed to make the playoffs, not after losing 105 games in 2019 and dealing with a coronavirus outbreak early this season. Yu Darvish starts for the Central champion Cubs, and rookie right-hander Sixto Sánchez get the ball for upstart Miami. “It’s going to be great.”Darvish is making his first playoff appearance since signing with Chicago before the 2018 season.
LEADING OFF: Wild, 8-game day opens with Bauer vs Fried
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)A look at what's happening around the majors Wednesday:___CRAZY EIGHTHow’s this for wild: MLB is set to stage eight postseason games on the same day for the first time. National League clubs will open their best-of-three wild-card series, while four American League teams are already facing elimination after starting Tuesday. With the expansion of the first round from a pair of wild-card games to eight best-of-three series, there are a maximum 65 possible postseason games this year. In the 1960s, there were 66 postseason games in the entire decade, with league championship series starting in 1969. Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 1.99 ERA) starts Game 2 following a successful first season with Chicago.
Blue Jays clinch 1st playoff spot since 2016, beat Yanks 4-1
Blue Jays players embraced on the diamond at their temporary home of Sahlen Field in Buffalo after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it. The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. The Blue Jays extended their lead when Cavan Biggio and Bo BIchette hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the third. TRAINER’S ROOMBlue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (elbow) was activated off the injured list and RHP Wilmer Font was designated for assignment. Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 2.86) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore.
Braves set franchise record for runs, hammer Marlins 29-9
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)ATLANTA Adam Duvall drove in nine runs with three homers, including a grand slam, and the Atlanta Braves obliterated their franchise scoring record in a 29-9 romp over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night. The Braves had 23 hits, including seven homers, to score the most runs in their history in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. The old Atlanta record was 20 runs, most recently against the Marlins on Oct. 5, 2001. Freeman hit second, d'Arnaud hit fourth and Albies hit eighth. Marlins second baseman Isan Daz was optioned to the teams alternate training site in Jupiter, Florida.
LEADING OFF: Pads upgrade 'pen, Mets-Yanks play 2 again
The San Diego Padres acquired the reliever from Kansas City on Saturday for outfielder Edward Olivares and a player to be named. The 30-year-old Rosenthal has a 3.29 ERA and seven saves after struggling with injuries and poor performance in recent years. The Mets plan to start righty Rick Porcello (1-4, 6.43 ERA) and converted closer Seth Lugo (1-2, 2.03). That year, he became the only player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game. They made the move with infielder Starlin Castro expected to miss the rest of the season with a broken wrist.
LEADING OFF: Reds wait for virus test results before return
(AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)A look at what's happening around the majors on Monday:WAIT AND SEEThe Cincinnati Reds will wait for their latest COVID-19 test results to see when they can resume the season. Cincinnati had home games against Pittsburgh postponed Saturday and Sunday after a player tested positive. Cincinnati is the third team to have games postponed because one of its players tested positive for COVID-19, joining the Marlins and the Cardinals. Chapman tested positive for the coronavirus during preseason workouts and hasnt pitched yet this season. AILINGBlue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette is on the injured list, interrupting his big-hitting season.
Virus-stricken Marlins resume season with 18 new players
MIAMI Scrambling for replacements following a coronavirus outbreak, the Miami Marlins added a Moran, a Morin, two pitchers named Josh Smith and a former Olympic medalist in speedskating. The Marlins' revamped pitching staff includes right-hander Mike Morin and left-hander Brian Moran, and right-hander Josh A. Smith and left-hander Josh D. Smith, all recently acquired veterans. Replacements included seven newly acquired players, and 11 players from the team's alternate training site. The virus infected 21 members of the Marlins' traveling party and forced the suspension of their season July 26 after just three games. We expect to win games, Hill said.