Harper, Schwarber HR as Wheeler, Phils top Pads to open NLCS
Bryce Harper homered again, Kyle Schwarber hit a jaw-dropping, 488-foot drive and Zack Wheeler was brilliant in throwing one-hit ball for seven innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies over the San Diego Padres 2-0 in the opening game of the all-wild card NL Championship Series.
Scherzer's 9 K's, Avila RBI double lift Nats past Cards 1-0
Max Scherzer struck out nine in six scoreless innings to move up to No. 21 on the career Ks leaderboard, and Alex Avila drove in the game’s lone run with one of his two doubles, helping the Washington Nationals edge the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0.
Padres star Tatis has shoulder discomfort, to be reevaluated
The Padres said Tatis had discomfort in his non-throwing left shoulder and would be reevaluated on Wednesday. Corbin Burnes turned in 4 2/3 innings, striking out six while allowing two runs on three hits. Jon Lester allowed one run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings in his second start of the spring for Washington. He gave up five hits, hit two batters and struck out three. PADRES 5, REDS 4MacKenzie Gore worked 3 2/3 innings in his third start for San Diego, allowing two runs on three hits.
Boone takes leave for pacemaker; Lester to have surgery
I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days.”LESTER SURGERYWashington Nationals left-hander Jon Lester is leaving spring training camp to have surgery for the removal of his thyroid gland. He underwent chemotherapy treatments and returned to the Red Sox at spring training before the following season. Soto’s spring training start was delayed because he fouled a ball off his right foot in live batting practice Sunday. Martinez had two hits for a second straight game, driving in his first two runs of spring training. Jarred Kelenic, Seattle’s top prospect, hit a two-run homer and Taylor Trammell hit a solo homer.
Sigh and Cy: Bieber tagged, Bauer sharp in Dodgers debut
Bieber bounced back with a pair of strikeouts, but Nick Heath hit a single to put the Royals up 3-0. DODGERS 10, ROCKIES 0 (6 INNINGS)Trevor Bauer, pitching for the first time since signing a $102 million, three-year contract, debuted in Dodger blue with two scoreless innings. Jameson Taillon followed with a scoreless inning. CUBS 1, PADRES 0 (7)Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks struck out two in two scoreless innings. BREWERS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 1 (8)Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta each threw a scoreless inning for Milwaukee before Jordan Zimmermann gave up a run.
Lefty Jon Lester finalizes $5M, 1-year deal with Nationals
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2020, file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester throws to a Chicago White Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago. A person with knowledge of the deal has confirmed to The Associated Press that left-hander Lester and the Washington Nationals have an agreement in principle in place for a one-year contract. Lester and the team had an agreement in principle in place last week, pending the successful completion of a physical exam. Lester pitched 61 innings across 12 starts in the truncated 2020 season, going 3-3 with a career-high 5.16 ERA for the Cubs. Lester is owed a $10 million buyout by Chicago: $2 million on each Dec. 31 from 2022 through 2026.
Brad Hand gets $10.5M from Nationals, $6.5M of it deferred
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers in the ninth inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Red in Cleveland. Brad Hand has agreed in principle to join the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)WASHINGTON – Brad Hand knows his fastball's speed declined more than 2 mph over the past two seasons. So the Washington Nationals' new reliever is trying to reverse that trend. The deferred money will come in payments of $1.5 million due next Jan. 15, $3.5 million due Jan. 15, 2023, and $1.5 million due Jan. 15, 2024.
AP source: Nationals agree to sign All-Star closer Brad Hand
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers in the ninth inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Red in Cleveland. Brad Hand has agreed in principle to join the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)WASHINGTON – All-Star closer Brad Hand has agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The 30-year-old left-hander is poised to become Washington’s closer after leading the majors with 16 saves during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. After tying for last place in the NL East, the Nationals have acquired Hand, starter Jon Lester (pending a physical), slugger Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Josh Bell.
AP source: Zimmerman, Nats agree at $1M, pending physical
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that Zimmerman agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract that would include additional bonus provisions. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)WASHINGTON – First baseman Ryan Zimmerman is returning to the Washington Nationals after sitting out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, agreeing in principle to a $1 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday. A second person confirmed to the AP there is an agreement in principle in place, without describing the terms. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical. ___More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Padres bring Musgrove home in 3-team trade with Bucs, Mets
The San Diego Padres are adding yet another pitcher to their rotation, agreeing to bring right-hander Musgrove to his hometown in a trade with the Pirates, according to a person familiar with the deal. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, file)SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres brought right-hander Joe Musgrove to his hometown team Tuesday, adding yet another starting pitcher in a seven-player trade involving the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets. As part of the agreement, the Padres will send left-hander Joey Lucchesi to New York, and the Pirates will receive catcher Endy Rodríguez from the Mets. Musgrove won a World Series ring with Houston in 2017 before being sent to the Pirates in the trade that sent Gerrit Cole to the Astros in January 2018. Musgrove was the winning pitcher in Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers.
AP source: Jon Lester, Nats agree to deal, pending physical
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2020, file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester throws to a Chicago White Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity on Monday night because the contract was not yet official. 4 starter in Washington, slotting into a rotation that is led by three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, 2019 World Series MVP and lefty Patrick Corbin. Lester pitched 61 innings across 12 starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, going 3-3 with a career-high 5.16 ERA for the Cubs. Lester is owed a $10 million buyout by Chicago: $2 million on each Dec. 31 from 2022 through 2026.
Schwarber signs $10M deal with Nats, reunites with Martinez
Schwarber agreed in principle to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Washington Nationals, according to a person familiar with the deal. (AP Photo/Matt Marton, File)WASHINGTON – Now that they're both with the Washington Nationals, Kyle Schwarber recalls joking around with Dave Martinez when both were with the Chicago Cubs — Schwarber a slugger, Martinez a bench coach. “He goes, ‘Whenever I get a manager’s job, you are going to come over, and you are going to play for me,'” Schwarber recounted. The 27-year-old Schwarber struggled at the plate during the pandemic-truncated 2020 season, hitting .188 with a .701 OPS. Like Schwarber, the 28-year-old Bell had a career year in 2019 — 37 homers, 116 RBIs, .936 OPS — and slumped in 2020.
Pirates trade slugger Josh Bell to Nationals
FILE - In this July 22, 2020, file photo, Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell bats during an exhibition baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Pittsburgh. The Pirates traded the slugging first baseman to Washington on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020, for pitching prospects Will Crowe and Eddy Yean. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)PITTSBURGH – Josh Bell embraced everything about being a Pittsburgh Pirate. The Pirates sent the 28-year-old Bell to Washington on Thursday, giving the Nationals the middle-of-the-order bat general manager Mike Rizzo said was an offseason priority for the perennial NL East contenders. “In order to build that winning team and get to that winning team it’s going to require some difficult decisions at times, this is one of those," Cherington said.
Indians decline options on closer Hand, 1B Santana for 2021
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2020, file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers to Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland. The Cleveland Indians have declined contract options on Brad Hand and first baseman Carlos Santana for next season, decisions that will initially cut $27 million from the team's payroll. Feeling the financial pinch from a shortened season, Cleveland declined Hand's $10 million contract option on Friday and also chose not to exercise options for either first baseman Carlos Santana ($17.5 million) or outfielder Domingo Santana ($5 million). The team owes buyouts of $1 million to Hand, $500,000 to Carlos Santana and $250,000 to Domingo Santana, who are all free agents. Carlos Santana struggled in his second season back in Cleveland after leaving as a free agent in 2018.
Walk away: Indians rally again, keep AL Central hopes alive
“We want to win the division.”Down 3-1 and held to one hit for eight innings, the Indians found more of the late-inning magic that has carried them this week. Delino DeShields — who broke up Pittsburgh's no-hit bid with a perfectly placed bunt single in the seventh — hit a one-out RBI single. Adam Plutko (2-2) picked up his first career win in relief for the Indians (34-25), who have clinched a playoff spot but want more. It's quite a turnaround for the Indians, who recently dropped eight straight from Sept. 8-16 and have been plagued with offensive inconsistency all season. Gregory Polanco hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Carrasco, but the Pirates couldn't hold on and dropped to 2-16 against AL Central teams.
Kuhl goes 7 sharp innings, Pirates beat slumping Cubs 7-0
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH – Chad Kuhl pitched seven sharp innings and Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds each homered in three-hit games in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7-0 victory over the slumping Chicago Cubs on Thursday. Chicago’s magic number for clinching the NL Central remained two with three days left in the regular season. Chicago concludes its regular season this weekend with a three-game series at the crosstown White Sox, which begins Friday night. UP NEXTCubs: Visit the crosstown White Sox on Friday night to open a three-game series to end the regular season. Pirates: Start a three-game series against the Indians at Cleveland.
Sogard bails out Hader, lifts Brewers with 1st walkoff HR
Milwaukee Brewers' Eric Sogard celebrates after hitting a walk off two-run home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)MILWAUKEE Eric Sogard bailed out All-Star closer Josh Hader by hitting his first career walkoff home run, a two-run shot that lifted the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Saturday night. Something you probably wont see again out of Hader, kind of a fluke thing," Sogard said. Entering Saturday, the left-handed Hader was 7-for-7 in save opportunities and had not allowed a run or a hit all season. UP NEXTPirates LHP Steven Brault (0-1, 4.80 ERA) faces Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff (2-2, 3.19 ERA) in game three of the four-game series.
Reds, Pirates won't play Monday, awaiting COVID test results
Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell (55) reacts to drawing a walk as Cincinnati Reds' Tucker Barnhart (16) reacts in the first inning during a baseball game at in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. The last two games of a series between the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates were postponed Saturday after the player tested positive. The Reds expect results of their latest tests on Monday, when a decision will be made whether they travel to Kansas City. The Reds are the third MLB team to have games postponed because one of its players tested positive for COVID-19, joining the Marlins and the Cardinals. The Reds' Matt Davidson confirmed that he tested positive during the opening series of the abbreviated, 60-game season, forcing him onto the injured list.
Pirates manager Shelton argues through mask, gets 1st ML win
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton (17) argues with home plate umpire Jordan Baker during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, July 26, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)ST. LOUIS Pittsburgh's Derek Shelton staged baseball's first major, socially distanced umpire argument, then got his first victory as a big league manager as the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Sunday. Keller (1-0) faced St. Louis for the first time in his career. Cardinals RHP Kodi Whitley also made his major league debut in a relief appearance in the top seventh. Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (4-2, 3.17 ERA, 24 saves in 2019) makes his first start for the Cardinals since July 30, 2018, Tuesday in Minnesota against the Twins to start a seven-game road trip.
Chemistry class: New managers test for right mix amid virus
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 7, 2020, file photo, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, right, listens to manager Derek Shelton during a team workout at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Shelton and other first-year managers are scrambling to make up for lost time. Fortunately for the first-year Pittsburgh Pirates manager, bench coach Donnie Kelly made it a point to provide it. I just (want) to make sure that Im talking to them, Im aware of what theyre going through, Shelton said. The 38-year-old Rojas the youngest manager in the majors read a book by Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski to help him prepare.
Eyeing social change, Pirates star Josh Bell finds his voice
Wary of the optics and the fallout, Bell, who is Black, heeded the advice of his girlfriend. (She told me) Youre going to make a lot more impact with your platform than going to this riot right now. Thats something that could change your career in a heartbeat.And not the kind of change the 27-year-old All-Star from Texas wants to impart. I feel like social justice is something that a lot of people are learning right now, Bell said. It's made going to work far easier than it might have been if he'd just silently seethed.