Indians' Salazar 'ready to pitch,' could be roster option

Sports / Baseball /

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitcher Danny Salazar continues to draw nearer to his return to the mound. Now at the end of the postseason line, he could be an option for the World Series roster.

Salazar, dealing with a strained forearm, threw in the batting cage on Thursday and is slated to throw roughly three innings in a simulated game either Saturday...Read more

Dodgers turn to fully-rested Kershaw with no margin for error

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CHICAGO -- The equipment bag sat in front of Clayton Kershaw's locker, half-zipped but ready to be tossed aboard a charter flight to Chicago. As the Dodgers prepared Friday to leave home for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Cubs, the players understood the likelihood of another game at Dodger Stadium in 2016 depended...Read more

Indians' Bauer not concerned with injured finger

Sports / Baseball /

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer's American League Championship experience ended in less than an inning when his stitched up right pinkie finger began dripping blood.

The Indians can only hope that the additional time between Game 3 of the ALCS and whenever he is scheduled to start in the World Series is enough for the laceration to heal enough to ...Read more

Beating Kershaw is Cubs' biggest barrier to 1st pennant since 1945

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The temptation to look ahead to the World Series is great, but the challenge of beating three-time National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is even greater.

"Honestly, it's just like any normal game until you get to those last couple of innings," Ben Zobrist said of playing in a playoff clinching game.

And it's simple, really. If ...Read more

Of all Cubs' big hits against Dodgers, biggest might have been a bunt

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CHICAGO -- Momentum can be fickle and fleeting in the postseason, where a game, a series and ultimately a season can turn on one pitch, one hit, one play.

For the 2004 Boston Red Sox, it was the Dave Roberts' stolen base that sparked a ninth-inning comeback against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

The ...Read more

Indians fans take care of rookie Ryan Merritt's wedding registry

Sports / Baseball /

CLEVELAND -- A KitchenAid 14-piece cutlery set. A natural Acacia serving bowl -- large. A ceramic Chip & Dip platter. A toaster that can toast four slices at once. A butter dish and gravy boat, both in white. Bath towels, sheets and place settings.

Ryan Merritt and his fiancee, Sarah Brushaber, are getting them all. And in part, it's thanks to ...Read more

Lloyd McClendon named Tigers hitting coach

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Lloyd McClendon is back in the big leagues.

After spending a season managing Triple-A Toledo, the baseball man nicknamed "Legendary Lloyd" will return to the Detroit Tigers coaching staff as hitting coach in 2017, the team announced Friday.

McClendon previously served as the team's bullpen coach in 2006 and hitting coach in 2007-13.

"I ...Read more

Dodgers' Gonzalez says Wrigley won't get any louder

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LOS ANGELES -- As the Dodgers packed up their belongings Thursday night for what could be their final trip of the season, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez considered what he expects Wrigley Field to be like for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Cubs.

He unwittingly issued a challenge to Cubs fans.

"The same (atmosphere...Read more

Dodgers face elimination with 8-4 loss to the Cubs in Game 5 of NLCS

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LOS ANGELES -- The blame cannot rest on one man's shoulders. The Los Angeles Dodgers' Joe Blanton took plenty in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, when the two-run homer he allowed to Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell broke the deadlock in the sixth inning of an 8-4 defeat, but there was plenty of responsibility to spread ...Read more

Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw not thinking too deeply about 'magnitude' of Game 6

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LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw said he wouldn't use the word "excitement" to describe his mindset going into his Game 6 start Saturday night against the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

So what is the right word?

"I don't know -- such a deep thought," he said. "I don't know if I have a word for it. But you ...Read more

Cubs gain one-game edge in NLCS with 8-4 victory over Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES -- The tension turned to relief and heightened anticipation Thursday night as soon as Addison Russell's drive cleared the center-field wall.

Russell's two-run homer in the sixth inning snapped a 1-1 tie and gave Jon Lester much-deserved run support as the Cubs ran away to an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers. The triumph at a warm Dodger...Read more

Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks prepares for big stage

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LOS ANGELES -- The more the stakes change, the more Kyle Hendricks tries to stay the same.

Baseball's ERA leader will face arguably baseball's best pitcher in Clayton Kershaw when his Cubs take on the Dodgers on Saturday night in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field.

Hendricks said he doesn't pay attention to all ...Read more

Braves pitcher Marksberry recovering after seizure

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Braves pitcher Matt Marksberry awoke from a medically induced coma Thursday in an Orlando, Fla., hospital, his sister said via social media.

A person familiar with the situation said Marksberry, 26, was in a coma after suffering a seizure and collapsed lung while undergoing a colonoscopy Tuesday. He went in for the procedure after having ...Read more

Rizzo, Cubs snap out of doldrums, even NLCS at 2 games apiece

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LOS ANGELES -- Rookie Willson Contreras nearly threw a ball from behind home plate into the left field stands before batting practice.

Javier Baez stepped out of the box and took a deep breath before hitting a single into left field in fourth inning.

And Anthony Rizzo was all smiles and fist pumps after breaking out of his postseason slump.

...Read more

Cubs manager Maddon: Russell's miserable postseason won't cloud confidence

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LOS ANGELES -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon resisted any temptation to sit slumping Addison Russell on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series despite his 1-for-24 postseason performance.

Maddon was rewarded when Russell hit a two-run homer in his second at-bat in the fourth inning and then he reached on an infield ...Read more

Dodgers' follies help Cubs tie NLCS with 10-2 victory in Game 4

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LOS ANGELES -- One sequence cannot do this game justice, not during a 10-2 defeat Wednesday to the Chicago Cubs when the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup hibernated, the pitchers quivered and the defense self-destructed. But one moment will stand out, well after the outcome was decided, well after it became clear that the National League Championship...Read more

Dodgers' Urias fails to replicate dominance

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LOS ANGELES -- Ahead of Wednesday's fourth game of the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers pronounced that they liked their starting pitcher, 20-year-old left-hander Julio Urias, in part because he was unaware of the game's magnitude.

The club entered closer to the World Series than it had been in 28 years, and when ...Read more

Dodgers rookie Julio Urias' historic night derailed by Cubs youngster

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LOS ANGELES -- Julio Urias became the youngest starting pitcher to take the mound in a postseason game Wednesday night in the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.

But a Cubs youngster made sure the night didn't belong to the 20-year-old Urias.

Addison Russell, 22, hit a two-run homer in a four-run fourth inning that drove ...Read more

Indians taking wait-and-see approach with Trevor Bauer's lacerated finger

Sports / Baseball /

TORONTO -- Trevor Bauer's first attempt to pitch with his lacerated pinkie finger didn't go so well. The Indians are hoping he'll have a second try, and that it'll last a bit longer.

Bauer was taken out of Game 3 in the first inning when his gruesome-looking pinkie began dripping blood. Bauer's jersey, pants and cleats all had blood on them, as...Read more

Indians advance to World Series for first time since 1997 behind MVP reliever Andrew Miller

Sports / Baseball /

TORONTO -- The Indians are headed to the World Series for the first time in 19 years.

Rookie pitcher Ryan Merritt was practically conjured out of thin air to deliver one of the gutsiest starts in recent postseason memory and the bullpen was suffocating yet again Wednesday as the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0, in Game 5 at the Rogers ...Read more