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Rox-Brewers to lean heavy on 'pens in NLDS

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With an eye toward how teams across Major League Baseball spent 2018 experimenting with openers, and the way relievers spent the last few postseasons elbowing themselves more and more onto the big stage, this October, and which team survives it, figure to rest as heavily in the hands of relief pitching as perhaps any other.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Brewers' OF gamble pays off with Cain, Yelich

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The Brewers were on the eve of hosting the Rockies in Thursday’s Game 1 of the National League Division Series for a list of reasons that begins just like manager Craig Counsell’s lineups: With Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Dodgers to start Ryu in Game 1, Kershaw in 2

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The Dodgers will start lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the visiting Braves on Thursday night, and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 on Friday night, also at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw was previously expected to open the series.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Lester lifted for pinch-hitter after 6 sharp innings

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Jon Lester threw six sterling innings, but it’s up to his teammates to rally against the Rockies if they want to advance to the National League Division Series against the Brewers.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Braves pick Foltynewicz for NLDS opener

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The Braves announced Tuesday that right-hander Mike Foltynewicz will start Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

For A's, Wild Card feels like 'any other game'

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The A’s have a large assemblage of postseason first-timers on their roster, but to presume the pressure of a playoff atmosphere will rattle them Wednesday would undermine just how they got to this point.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Projected 25-man rosters for postseason clubs

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Below are the projected 25-man rosters for each postseason team’s next round. Teams can adjust their roster for each round, and we will update these as they become official.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Playoff bracket set as Brewers, Dodgers win

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With the Brewers beating the Cubs in the National League Central tiebreaker game and the Dodgers beating the Rockies in the NL West tiebreaker game, the 2018 postseason bracket is complete. Here is a full breakdown of where things stand, with key dates for the Wild Card, DS, LCS and World Series, as well as a complete breakdown of home-field advantage through the Fall Classic.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

LA wins 6th straight NL West title in tiebreaker

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With two-run homers from Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy powering the offense, Walker Buehler fired 6 2/3 one-hit innings, the first 5 1/3 without allowing a hit, while also singling home his first career run in a 5-2 National League West clincher over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Rox fall in Game 163, off to Wrigley for WC Game

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German Marquez’s third strike to Max Muncy in the fourth inning bounced around Tony Wolters’ catcher’s mitt, then popped to the backstop, allowing Muncy to reach first to lead off the frame.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Eppler reveals what he's seeking in next skipper

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One day after Mike Scioscia announced that he was stepping down after a 19-year run as the club’s field boss, general manager Billy Eppler met with reporters to discuss the upcoming managerial search and describe the attributes he plans to prioritize as he sifts through potential candidates.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Yelich wins batting title, falls shy of Triple Crown

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Christian Yelich didn’t become a Triple Crown winner, but he is a National League Central champion. Yelich went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the Brewers’ 3-1 win over the Cubs on Monday that sealed the NL Central title in Game 163. Vying to become the 13th Triple Crown winner since 1920, Yelich fell two homers and an RBI short in his quest. The 26-year-old, however, led the NL in hitting (.326), to become the first batting champion in Brewers history.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Game 163 gives Yelich last shot at Triple Crown

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Christian Yelich took the field for the final Sunday of the regular season chasing two crowns: the National League Central crown and the vaunted Triple Crown.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Rockies roll, head to L.A. for tiebreaker

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The Rockies powered past the Nationals, 12-0, on Sunday, but the Dodgers also won, 15-0, vs. the Giants, to force a tiebreaker on Monday in Los Angeles to determine the division winner.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Crew's win sets up division tiebreaker at Wrigley

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Jesus Aguilar homered and drove in three runs, and Ryan Braun sparked a six-run seventh inning with a two-run double to ensure the Brewers would play for the NL Central crown on Monday at Wrigley Field in Game 163. Gio Gonzalez led Milwaukee’s staff by allowing three hits over five innings. Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull struck out seven but allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Dodgers crush Giants, force West tiebreaker

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Despite demolishing the Giants on Sunday at AT&T Park, 15-0, the “regular” season isn’t over for the postseason-bound Dodgers, who will play a tiebreaker 163rd game Monday at home against the Rockies to determine who wins the National League West and who goes to the Wild Card Game on Tuesday on the road.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Scioscia's tenure with Angels comes to an end

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Mike Scioscia’s 19-year run with the Angels is at an end. Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in baseball, stepped down from his post following the club’s regular-season finale on Sunday against the A’s, a 5-4 win.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

LA clinches postseason spot, keeps heat on Rox

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Manny Machado’s go-ahead RBI triple in the eighth inning propelled the Dodgers to a 10-6 win over the Giants at AT&T Park on Saturday, which clinched a spot in the postseason for the sixth consecutive season, the longest streak in MLB. Los Angeles is guaranteed no worse than a Wild Card berth — with a sixth consecutive National League West title still possible.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Nola ends brilliant '18 campaign with 8-K gem

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The Phillies’ bats awoke in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s 3-0 win over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park to back Aaron Nola’s final gem of 2018 and avoid a 10-game losing streak. With seven scoreless frames of two-hit ball, Nola finished a remarkable season with a 2.37 ERA in 212 1/3 innings. Cesar Hernandez opened the scoring in the seventh inning with a bases-loaded single that plated Jose Bautista and Scott Kingery.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Yelich continues Triple Crown push with 2 HRs

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Besides the fact that Christian Yelich is turning the National League Most Valuable Player Award debate into not much of a debate, he’s now chasing a Triple Crown, too.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Snell puts exclamation point on year with 10 K's

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Blake Snell put a fitting capstone on his Cy Young-worthy season, fanning 10 Blue Jays in five innings and allowing just one run. He earned a no-decision, as the Rays pulled ahead with two in the seventh on an Austin Meadows homer and Mallex Smith single. Teoscar Hernandez and Reese McGuire went deep for Toronto, while Ryan Borucki ended his solid rookie campaign by allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Morton (shoulder) says Sunday start a big test

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Astros pitcher Charlie Morton admitted his final start of the regular season Sunday against the Orioles will be a big one for him mentally and physically in terms of gauging his preparedness and health for the playoffs.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Blackmon HR gets playoff-seeking Rox going

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With two out in the third — and the Rockies able to clinch a second straight postseason berth with a victory — Charlie Blackmon lined a slider just over the left-field fence for his 28th home run this season and a 1-0 lead.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Marlins seeking artist approval to move sculpture

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The Marlins are planning to make changes to Marlins Park in the offseason, and among the ideas being considered is replacing the home run sculpture with a party deck.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Cole becomes third Astro with 200 IP in victory

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Gerrit Cole joined Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel in reaching the milestone this season in the Astros’ series-opening win over the Orioles. Cole, who got a no-decision, allowed one run in six innings. Josh Reddick’s homer was the lone blemish for O’s rookie Davis Hess over seven frames. Marwin Gonzalez’s RBI single in the eighth was the difference.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Yanks tie M's for single-season club HR record

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Gary Sanchez belted a solo homer in the third inning on Friday at Fenway Park, Aaron Hicks went deep in the fourth, Luke Voit went yard and Aaron Judge added a solo shot to tie the Yankees with the Mariners for the single-season record, at 264.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Haniger, Diaz honored for breakout seasons

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Breakout seasons by Mitch Haniger and Edwin Diaz were recognized Friday, as the two Mariners All-Stars were selected for top honors from the Seattle chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Braves' home-field chances take a hit with loss

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As the Braves debate whether to put Julio Teheran in their postseason rotation, they must ask whether he should be judged on his recent results or the metrics that indicate his recent success has been aided by good fortune. Teheran made one last good impression as he auditioned for the National League Division Series rotation during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Mets at Citi Field. But the offense’s struggles against Jason Vargas prevented the Braves from maintaining their lead in the battle for home-field advantage in the NLDS.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

These are the 25 best postseason hits

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Mere seconds after Game 7 of the 1992 National League Division Series had ended, former president Jimmy Carter hopped over a railing in front of his box seats, dodged the celebration at home plate and sprinted toward Braves third-base coach Jimy Williams for a victorious hug.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Liriano exits early with lower back tightness

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In his final start of 2018, Francisco Liriano’s night was cut short Thursday when he exited Detroit’s game vs. the Twins at Target Field with lower back tightness.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Kiner-Falefa's rare versatility a boon for Texas

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Isiah Kiner-Falefa has emulated a Hall of Famer this season. There are very few examples in Major League history of a utility player being able to play both infield and catcher in the same season.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Cubs get break, then Bote makes Bucs pay

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The Cubs knew Pirates starter Trevor Williams would be tough. They got a break in the second inning, which helped them open a 2-0 lead against the right-hander on Thursday night at Wrigley Field.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

J-Hey homers as Cubs secure playoff berth

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The Cubs had scored one or fewer runs against the stingy Pirates in their previous six meetings, but Jason Heyward finally broke through in the first inning on Wednesday night with a much-needed home run.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Crew returning to playoffs for first time since '11

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Travis Shaw drove in Christian Yelich twice as the Brewers secured a sweep of the Cardinals. Jhoulys Chacin and four relievers limited St. Louis to two hits. The Cardinals had a chance to tie the game in the eighth, but pinch-runner Adolis Garcia tripped rounding third and was thrown out at home.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Replay review gives Field first multihomer game

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Twins outfielder Johnny Field recorded the first multihomer game of his career on Wednesday, as he smacked a leadoff blast in the second and added a two-run shot in the fourth off Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

As offseason nears, Harper soaks in home finale

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About 3 1/2 hours before the start of what could be his final home game at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Bryce Harper arrived to his locker and immediately changed into his home white uniform.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Scherzer hits 300 K's, adds to win column

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Max Scherzer pitched himself into the history books once again, recording his 300th strikeout in a dominant performance against the Marlins.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Astros win No. 100; AL West magic number at 1

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The Astros reached 100 wins for the second year in a row, and third time in team history, and reduced their magic number to win their second consecutive American League West championship to one with a 4-1 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. Astros rookie right-hander Josh James held the Blue Jays to one run and four hits in five innings, and Alex Bregman clubbed a two-run home run in the first inning — his team-high 31st of the season — to put Houston ahead, a lead they would not relinquish. Toronto’s lone run came off the bat of outfielder Billy McKinney, who slugged a solo home run in the third.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Avi Garcia to have arthroscopic knee surgery

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Avisail Garcia will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 2 in Chicago to clear up persistent pain Garcia said has plagued him all season.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Mejia being aggressive in first Padres stint

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When the Padres traded for Francisco Mejia in July, they knew they’d landed an extremely unique bat. It’s been three weeks since Mejia — MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 catching prospect — received his callup. He’s lived up to that billing.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Ohtani to undergo Tommy John surgery

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The Angels announced Tuesday that two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery, as had been expected. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery in Los Angeles during the first week of the offseason.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Story back for Rockies after missing a week

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Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is in the starting lineup for Monday night’s Rockies game against the Phillies at Coors Field, set to play for the first time since injuring his right elbow on a dive-and-throw on Aug. 17 against the Dodgers.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

A's clinch first playoff berth since 2014

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By virtue of a Rays loss to the Yankees on Monday, the A’s automatically punched a ticket to the postseason even before beginning play in Seattle.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Rays' Wild hopes officially ended by Yanks

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Elimination came to the Rays on Monday night in a 4-1 loss to the Yankees at Tropicana Field. Give the Rays credit, they fought hard to give their fans postseason hopes, going 25-8 since Aug. 19 and 38-22 since the All-Star break.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Sox win record 106th, clinch Majors' best mark

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In the 118-year history of the Red Sox, no team had won 106 games in a season until Mookie Betts — well on his way to being an all-time franchise icon in his own right — powered the American League East champs to a 6-2 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park on Monday night.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Gardner lifts Yankees with glove, go-ahead hit

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Brett Gardner, the longest-tenured Yankee, came off the bench to deliver an RBI single, then preserved the lead with a terrific sixth-inning catch as the Yankees defeated the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. Andrew McCutchen homered while Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge contributed RBI doubles as New York continues to push for home-field advantage in the AL Wild Card Game.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Mookie pads MVP resume with 31st HR

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Mookie Betts bashed a solo shot to center to lead off the top of the fifth inning on Sunday night against the Indians, tying the game at 3 and putting the AL MVP candidate a triple shy of the cycle.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog

Rockies sweep, keep pace in postseason chase

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Kyle Freeland and three Rockies relievers shut out the D-backs to end a nine-game road trip. Freeland struck out six over seven innings and Wade Davis recorded his franchise-record-tying 41st save. Zack Godley gave up a pair of RBI hits over five frames on a day Arizona was officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Source: MLB Baseball Blog