LEADING OFF: Brewers’ Williams punches wall, breaks hand
A look at what’s happening around the majors on Thursday:
This was not the kind of punchout Milwaukee reliever Devin Williams wanted: The valuable setup man could miss the entire postseason after breaking his pitching hand when he punched a wall.
Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said the right-hander likely will require surgery. He said there’s an “outside chance” the 2020 NL Rookie of the Year could be available for the World Series if the Brewers get that far.
The main setup man for All-Star closer Josh Hader, the 27-year-old Williams is 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 58 games this season. He has struck out 87 in 54 innings and opponents are batting .186 against him.
Williams hurt himself on the day the Brewers clinched the NL Central crown.
“After our celebration, I went out to have a few drinks,” Williams said Wednesday. “On my way home, I was a little frustrated and upset, and I punched a wall. That’s how it happened.”
Williams apologized to the Brewers and their fans for the circumstances that led to his injury.
“I’m pretty upset with myself,” he said. “There’s no one to blame but me. I feel like I’ve let my team down — our coaching staff, our fans, everyone. I know how big of a role that I play on this team. There’s a lot of people counting on me. I guess all I can do now is cheer my team on and learn from it and don’t make that same mistake in the future.”
HE’S MADE HIS PITCH
Angels star Shohei Ohtani is finished on the mound this year, with manager Joe Maddon saying it was a mutual decision to have the two-way sensation skip a possible start on the final day of the season.
“There’s really nothing left to prove on the mound,” Maddon said Wednesday.
A strong AL MVP candidate, Ohtani finished 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA. He struck out 156 in 130 1/3 innings over 23 starts.
Ohtani missed all of 2019 on the mound following Tommy John surgery and started just two games in 2020.
Ohtani will continue to hit in the Los Angeles lineup as the DH. He went into Wednesday night’s game at Texas with 45 home runs and 98 RBIs.
Madison Bumgarner will finally get his moment to be celebrated by the San Francisco fans.
The big Arizona lefty (7-10, 4.58 ERA) pitches against his old Giants club with a crowd this time -- unlike his first outing back at Oracle Park last September played in front of cardboard cutouts. The Diamondbacks played in San Francisco earlier this season and he came out of the dugout to wave at the crowd, but didn’t pitch.
“He’s done some unbelievable things here,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “When the worlds collide in a special way to where it works out so he can pitch back in this ballpark again, we’re all going to enjoy it for a couple minutes. But I’m sure the competitive part of Bum is going to take over after the first pitch or two or after the first moment or two and it’s going to be just another big baseball game to him.”
Bumgarner signed an $85 million, five-year contract with Arizona in December 2019 after 11 seasons with the Giants. He was the 2014 World Series MVP as San Francisco won the championship and also helped the team take titles in 2010 and ’12.
Lovullo didn’t specifically line Bumgarner up to pitch this week back in the Bay Area, but is happy it worked out this way.
“I’m a baseball fan, too, I watch these types of thing all the time,” Lovullo said. “They’re feel-good moments. I know this town means a lot to Bum as well. It’ll be nice to say that he’s done it and he’s gotten it out of the way.”
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has appealed his three-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball for making contact with umpire Tim Timmons during a game this week.
Anderson was penalized Wednesday, two days after the incident in Monday’s 8-7 win at Detroit. He can continue to play for the AL Central champions until the process is complete -- Anderson won’t have to serve his suspension in the playoffs, meaning there’s a chance the ban won’t go into effect until next season.
The White Sox and Tigers cleared the benches after Chicago slugger José Abreu was thrown out trying to steal and exchanged words with shortstop Niko Goodrum. Abreu had earlier been hit by a pitch.
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