Juan Lagares Jersey

PHOENIX — Closer No. 1 has been out since mid-July.Closer No.
2 Asdrubal
Cabrera Jersey
, since Thursday.The loss of Brandon Morrow and
Pedro Strop has not left the Cubs anything close to out of late-inning options,
however.Article continues below ...“It would be real nice if we could be one of
those teams that has the best bullpen ERA in the league,” president Theo Epstein
said dryly before Monday’s game.“Oh, wait. That’s us.”You could look it up.The
Cubs led the NL in bullpen ERA by a quarter of a run before their 5-1 victory
over to Arizona on Monday, recently taking over the league lead in that category
from the suddenly fragile Diamondbacks‘ corps.The Cubs did not need a closer
Monday, when Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit two-run homers and Kyle Hendricks
was one out short of his fourth career complete game while dropping his ERA to
1.76 in 13 September starts the last three seasons.“It started with fastball
command,” Hendricks said. “Willy (catcher Willson Contreras) and I were really
aggressive early, which is what I’ve been needing to do lately.”Cubs left-hander
Mike Montgomery (4-5) is scheduled to face Matt Andriese (3-4), who will make
his first start for the Diamondbacks after being acquired from Tampa Bay at the
trade deadline.Maybe nothing illustrates the Cubs’ all-arms-on-deck bullpen
depth more than their 3-2 victory against Cincinnati last Friday, when former
Diamondback left-hander Jorge De La Rosa pitched the ninth for his first career
save after back-to-back scoreless innings by Dillon Maples and Jaime Garcia.The
Cubs acquired De La Rosa after he was designated for assignment in early August
and added Garcia after he had been released by Toronto. Maples has spent most of
the year in the minors.“It says a lot about the mettle of those guys,” Epstein
said.“We’ve had a deep group all year with contributions from many, many
relievers — some expected, some unexpected. They have been resilient. They’ve
been executing pitches. It has been next man up. That’s the way it will continue
to be.“Obviously we’ve missed Brandon and we’re missing ‘Stropy’ right now. Our
pen is more than just one or two guys.”Morrow had 22 saves before going on the
disabled list in mid-July, and he is expected back soon, perhaps later in the
Arizona series. Strop has 13 saves, and five others have at least one.The Cubs’
last five victories have been saved by five different closers — Jesse Chavez,
Strop, Randy Rosario, De La Rosa and Steve Cishek.“It’s not exactly the way we
drew it up, but we have quality relievers out there who are unafraid and going
right at guys and making quality pitches,” Epstein said. “We feel confident we
are going to protect leads. It’s just a matter of getting those leads.”The Cubs’
five-run burst was their biggest since a 6-5 loss to Washington on Sept. 8. They
have scored 20 runs in their last eight games.The Diamondbacks’ offense has
fared a little better recently, scoring 27 runs on a seven-game road trip to
Colorado and Houston and getting only three hits Monday. They have lost eight of
10 to fall five games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and five games behind
St. Louis for the second wild card.“We want to go out and play our best
baseball. That’s all we can do right now,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo
said.“We’ve experienced a lot of frustration over the past 2 1/2, three
weeks http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tug-mcgraw-jersey ,
but we have to place that aside. We haven’t played our best baseball in a long
time, so we want to focus on being ourselves and see where that lands
us.”Montgomery has a 3.87 ERA while splitting time between starting and
relieving. He rejoined the Cubs’ rotation on Aug. 30 and has been on a limited
pitch count since, getting into the fifth inning only once in his last three
turn while giving up two runs in four innings in each of his last two.Montgomery
has been much more effective as a starter, going 4-4 with a 3.48 in 16 starts.
He has made 19 relief appearances. He did not face the Diamondbacks in their
previous series after the All-Star break and has a 1.69 ERA in three career
outings against them, one start.Andriese, who has a 7.31 ERA in six appearances
with Arizona, did not have decision in four starts with Tampa Bay this season,
where he was used as an “opener,” logging only 11 1/3 innings in those starts.
He was 3-4 with a 4.07 ERA in 27 appearances with the Rays this season after
making 36 starts in 2016-17.His Diamondbacks ERA was skewed by his last outing,
when he gave up seven runs in 1 1/3 innings when he asked to take one for the
team in the late stages of a 13-2 loss at Colorado last Monday.“I think he can
go out there and do his job and execute a game plan,” Lovullo said. “He’s
pitched in a very rugged AL East and had a lot of success. Since he’s been here,
it’s been good and bad. Him getting the baseball is going to be a whole new
fresh outlook on things. I wanted to see what it looked like.” ATLANTA (AP) —
Ronald Acuna Jr. is good for baseball.Jose Urena and his defenders are not.Jose,
take the rest of the season off.And while you’re at it, take Keith Hernandez
with you.In a nod to the bad ol’ days when it was apparently acceptable to plunk
a guy who was playing too well, Urena unleashed a 97 mph fastball to Acuna’s
left forearm with his very first pitch of Wednesday night’s game in Atlanta
.Fortunately, it appears Acuna escaped serious injury. The Braves said X-rays on
his elbow were negative and results of further tests would be announced on
Thursday.Nevertheless, Major League Baseball should act swiftly to show that
this sort of barbarism will not be tolerated in the national pastime.Urena
deserves to be suspended for the rest of the season.Nothing less.Urena
apparently thought it was perfectly acceptable to assault — hey, let’s call it
what it was — one of the game’s shining young stars, a 20-year-old who plays the
game with pure joy and great skill for the first-place Braves.Acuna’s crime?
Going deep four times in the previous three games against the woeful Miami
Marlins (and homering in five straight games overall), a remarkable run that
included one of baseball’s rarest feats — a pair of leadoff homers in Monday’s
doubleheader sweep by Atlanta.Acuna started Tuesday’s game with his third
straight leadoff homer.Urena made sure the streak didn’t reach four before the
Marlins left town.“This young man is just playing the game, doing what he loves
to do,” said Brian Snitker, the Braves’ manager. “It’s a damn shame.”Urena was
ejected. So was Snitker for leading his team onto the field to confront the
Miami pitcher.After the game, won by the Braves 5-2 to complete a four-game
sweep Juan Lagares
, the manager was still fuming.“It’s beyond … I don’t know,”
Snitker said, struggling to find words in the non-profanity category. “I’ve had
three hours to calm down and all of a sudden I’m not real good right
now.”Snitker’s counterpart, Miami manager Don Mattingly, hardly came to his
pitcher’s defense .“This kid’s swinging the bat good. We’ve got to figure out
how to get him out,” Mattingly said. “That’s what we said to Jose. I don’t want
to see this kid get hit. He’s a great player. He’s going to be great for a long
time. He’s beat us up. But this is not the way we want to handle that
situation.”He wasn’t the least bit surprised that Snitker and his players came
storming out of the dugout.“I understand,” Mattingly said. “If we were on the
other side and our guy was hitting homers all over the place and that happens,
you’re going to be fired up.”Laughably, and with a completely straight face,
Urena tried to make himself out as the real victim in all this .“It seems like
people get upset and things like that,” he said. “But I get upset, too. I’ve got
to wait five days to just go out there, make one pitch and get kicked out of the
game? That don’t make sense.”Actually, it makes perfect sense.Now, baseball must
take it to the next level.Instead of a typical suspension that might cost Urena
a start or two, the lords of discipline at MLB need to really bring the hammer
down. Send a message, once and for all, that this sort of Neanderthal-like
behavior will no longer be tolerated.Even if the players’ union appeals, even if
it succeeds in overturning a rest-of-the-season ban, baseball would be sending a
much-needed message and, hopefully, sparking a long-overdue dialogue to stamp
out this sort of brutality.It won’t be easy.Hernandez, a former All-Star first
baseman and NL MVP who now works as a New York Mets broadcaster, quickly threw
his support to Urena based on that ridiculous code of ethics passed down through
the ages http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-travis-d_arnaud-jersey ,
the one that supposedly allows a pitcher to take the law into his own hands when
a guy keeps hitting the ball into the seats.“You’ve lost three games. He’s hit
three homers. You’ve got to hit him,” Hernandez said during the Mets-Orioles
game, sounding like someone who needs to be led gently into a pasture and left
there. “I’m sorry. People are not going to like that, but you’ve got to hit him.
Knock him down (at least). I mean, seriously knock him down if you don’t hit
him.”Then, stressing there’s a proper way to carry out this painful but
necessary justice, Hernandez offered a caveat.“Never throw at anybody’s head,”
he said, delivering a spot-on impression of that crazy uncle going on some
nonsensical rant around the Thanksgiving table while everyone else stares at
their food in uncomfortable silence. “Never throw at anybody’s head or neck. Hit
him in the back. Hit him in the fanny.”Here’s the thing:Maybe that’s what Urena
was trying to do — hit Acuna in the back or fanny, as was so eloquently stated
in The World According To Keith. But sometimes, a guy throwing a baseball almost
100 mph doesn’t put it exactly where he wants. Or maybe the batter reacts in a
way that the pitcher wasn’t expecting, ducking into a pitch instead of leaping
away. All of which points to the ludicrousness of anyone, even someone such as
Hernandez who spent 17 years in the big leagues, trying to brush this off as
just part of the game.Urena claimed he was merely trying to work inside against
Acuna, apparently relying on the fact that he’s hit 11 batters overall this
season, tied for the most in the National League.“I try to get something inside
and move his feet,” the right-hander insisted. “Then we can go back outside,
because he’s been hot.”Once MLB dismisses that ludicrous defense — Urena’s
defiant reaction on the mound hardly indicated that the pitch got away and he
was really, really sorry about it — there’s another issue to consider.Baseball
isn’t exactly flourishing at the moment, especially with young people.A
thrilling player such as Acuna could help to reverse that trend, but not if he
has to step to the plate after every homer wondering if he’s going to get
plunked again. Not if he’s laid up with a broken arm. Not if he’s driven from
the game by a fractured skull.Acuna is the future of baseball.Urena and
Hernandez are best left in the past.
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