5-inning games, 2-out innings? Odd MLB spring look on deck
A worker cleans the stadium seats as San Francisco Giants players train during the team's spring training baseball workout in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon figures players can find plenty to do with any extra time they could get at the end of days if spring training games don't go nine innings. Even after that, until the end of spring training, games can be scheduled for only seven innings. Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said he had already been in touch with Cleveland's Terry Francona by midweek about their spring training opener Sunday. AdJESSE'S TEAMVeteran right-hander Jesse Chavez is re-signing with the Los Angeles Angels on a minor league deal, and will join them in spring training after clearing intake protocols.
New Marlins GM Ng eager to finally see her team in action
(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)MIAMI – Three months into the job, Kim Ng will finally get to see her team. Miami Marlins pitchers and catchers hold their first workout Thursday at the team's spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida. And Ng, hired in November as the first female general manager in Major League Baseball, will be watching. She made offseason moves to improve the team as she was still learning about it. Young pitching is the Marlins' strength, both at the major league level and in the minors.
Kevin Cash, Don Mattingly win Manager of the Year awards
FILE - In this July 24, 2020, file photo, Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, left, gives an elbow-bump to Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi, right, prior to a baseball game in Philadelphia. Mattingly won the NL Manager of the Year award on Tuesday night, Nov. 10. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash won the AL Manager of the Year award on Tuesday night, and Miami’s Don Mattingly took home the NL honor. Tingler and Ross led their teams to the playoffs in their first seasons as a big league manager. The Tampa, Florida, native and Florida State alum was hired as Tampa Bay manager the day before his 37th birthday.
Mookie Betts, Jacob deGrom in the mix for historic NL awards
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts could become the second player to win the MVP award in each league, and New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is in the running for his third consecutive NL Cy Young Award. Betts, Freddie Freeman and Manny Machado are the top finishers for NL MVP in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. DeGrom, Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish are the finalists in the NL Cy Young race. Betts, who won the 2018 AL MVP award with Boston, helped the Dodgers win the World Series last week for the first time since 1988. Frank Robinson is the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, accomplishing the feat in 1961 with Cincinnati and 1966 for Baltimore.
LEADING OFF: Rays thwart Yankees, seek revenge vs Astros
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow celebrates after Game 5 of the baseball team's AL Division Series against the New York Yankees, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in San Diego. Tampa Bay won 2-1 to advance to the AL Championship Series. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)A look at what's happening around the majors Saturday:___REVENGE RAYSThe Tampa Bay Rays have more revenge in mind heading to the AL Championship Series. FINAL PREPARATIONSBaseball's postseason gets a full day off from games before the AL Championship Series opens Sunday. Tickets are already sold out for the opener of the neutral-site NL Championship Series between the Braves and Dodgers, although plenty are available on the secondary market.
Wright, d'Arnaud lead Braves to sweep Marlins, reach NLCS
Atlanta Braves players celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Houston. And even those future Hall of Famers didn't throw the way these Braves have this postseason. Wright (1-0) was sharp despite not pitching since Sept. 25, allowing three hits and walking two with a career-high seven strikeouts. Atlanta became the second team in history to throw four shutouts in the first five playoff games, joining the 1905 New York Giants behind Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity. D’Arnaud knocked a double off the bullpen in right-center to send two home and extend the lead to 3-0.
No days off puts stress on pitchers in Division Series, LCS
(AP Photo/David Dermer)NEW YORK – Postseason games come at an unprecedented pace starting Monday in this year of the pandemic. Teams could play the Division Series over five straight days, take a single day off and then contest the League Championship Series on seven consecutive days. The last to pitch for seven straight days was San Francisco’s Steve Kline from July 31 to Aug. 6, 2007. The League Championship Series has had a 2-3-2 format since 1985, with days off between Games 2 and 3, then another between Games 5 and 6. To start twice in the Division Series, Game 1 pitchers would have to come back on three days' rest.
'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 better at it.
Pitchers already experiencing both extremes this postseason
Chicago White Sox pitcher Matt Foster walks to the dugout after retiring the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning of Game 3 of an American League wild-card baseball series Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Pitchers already experiencing both extremes this postseason
It's been a feast-or-famine postseason on the pitcher's mound so far. Then there were teams like the Indians and Chicago White Sox, whose seasons are over in large part because of control problems that popped up at the worst possible time. The Atlanta-Cincinnati contest was the first postseason game to be scoreless after 11 innings. San Diego was only in that position because the Cardinals couldn't hold off the Padres' sluggers Thursday. The White Sox ended up using nine pitchers and Oakland used eight.
Cooper homers, Sánchez dominates, Marlins knock out Cubs 2-0
Miami Marlins relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler, left, and catcher Chad Wallach (17) celebrate a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)CHICAGO – The Miami Marlins didn't need a hand from a fan at Wrigley Field to knock the Chicago Cubs out of the playoffs this time. Led by manager Don Mattingly and CEO Derek Jeter, the Marlins remained unbeaten in all seven postseason series they have played following triumphs in the 1997 and 2003 World Series. The Cubs haven’t advanced since the 2017 team lost in the NLCS. You can make your first half disappear.”BRAVE WORLDThe Marlins lost six of 10 against the Braves, including a 29-9 romp at Atlanta on Sept. 9.
LEADING OFF: Cubs' Darvish tries to save season vs Marlins
A look at what's happening around the majors Friday:___TRY AGAINThe Cubs and Marlins resume their series a day after poor weather caused a postponement at Wrigley Field. He wasn’t in the starting lineup for Thursday’s postponed game, but manager Don Mattingly had not ruled out using him. The ace right-hander was a steady presence for the Cubs throughout the pandemic-shortened season, joining the NL Cy Young Award conversation. The Marlins will counter with 22-year-old Sixto Sánchez, who debuted Aug. 22 and posted a 3.46 ERA in seven starts. “That’s the thing.”The Braves won’t play again until Tuesday, when they’ll open an NL Division Series against either the Cubs or Marlins in Houston.
Game 2 of Marlins-Cubs wild-card series postponed
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs are counting on Yu Darvish to help them avoid a playoff sweep by the Miami Marlins. Game 2 of the NL wild-card series between the Cubs and Marlins was postponed Thursday because there was rain in the forecast. But as much as anything, I think respect for the organization — of where we're going and how we're doing it and how we're trying to get there and what we're building. I think, hopefully, people are seeing that.”The Marlins will have one of baseball's top prospects on the mound for Game 2. “I felt like his stuff is dynamic enough that he can dominate a game if he's on,” Mattingly said.
LEADING OFF: Marlins' Marte hopes to play with broken hand
The Marlins are hoping center fielder Starling Marte can play through a broken bone in his left hand as they try to eliminate the Cubs at Wrigley Field. To do it, the Braves might need to make a whole lot more contact at the plate than they did Wednesday while beating the Reds 1-0 in 13 innings — the first postseason game to be scoreless after 11. They’ll be up against Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.21), who makes his first career playoff start for the Reds. He was out for a second straight playoff game because of a sprained right foot that kept him out of the final three games of the regular season. Wainwright closed out the Padres at Petco Park in their previous postseason appearance in 2006.
Dickerson homers as Marlins beat Cubs 5-1 in playoff opener
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)CHICAGO – The Miami Marlins just kept fighting. 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. 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.