LEADING OFF: Schwarber gets MRI on hamstring, Brews roll
A look at what’s happening around the majors on Saturday:
HOT, THEN HURT
After a historic June homer binge, Kyle Schwarber’s July got off to a less promising start.
The Washington Nationals slugger exited Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers because of an injured right hamstring. Schwarber grimaced rounding first on a single, grabbed the hamstring and immediately left the field.
Schwarber was set for an MRI.
“When you see a guy grab his leg like that, you’ve got to get him out of the game,” manager Dave Martinez said.
“You hope he can come out of it and be OK,” he said.
Schwarber’s mashing from the leadoff spot revived the Nationals’ season in June. He became the third player in major league history to hit 16 homers in 18 games and was chosen NL Player of the Month.
Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers go for their 11th straight win when they take on the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Brewers’ current 10-game run matches the franchise’s longest regular-season winning streak since 2003. Milwaukee won 12 straight in 2018, but four of those victories came in the playoffs.
The NL Central-leading Brewers beat the Pirates 7-2 on Friday night to move a season-best 17 games over .500 at 50-33. They are a major league-best 29-10 since May 22.
Fans hoping Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani will hit and pitch in the All-Star Game might just get their wish. Angels manager Joe Maddon wants Ohtani to do both in the July 13 midsummer classic in Denver and has discussed it with Tampa Bay skipper Kevin Cash, who will manage the American League squad.
Maddon said seeing Ohtani do both as well as participating in the Home Run Derby on July 12 at Coors Field would draw in even non-baseball fans. That is why he is advocating showcasing Ohtani as much as possible.
“The maximum participation of Shohei within limits to me is the right thing to do,” Maddon said. “What else could you possibly want? We have to do it in a manner that is not going to be destructive in some way.
“In order to have him both pitch and hit, you have to relax a bit, the DH rule. I think they’re prepared to do those kinds of things.”
Ohtani was elected to his first All-Star Game by fans Thursday as the AL’s starting designated hitter. He remained coy through his translator on what the plans might be for him during the game.
The Marlins will see if their starting pitcher can last more than one pitch when they take on Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves.
Miami starter Pablo López was ejected Friday night in Atlanta after hitting Acuña with his first pitch of the game. Marlins manager Don Mattingly also was tossed.
The Marlins have a history of hitting Acuña. In a testy incident, Miami pitcher José Ureña plunked the hot-hitting Acuña with his first pitch in August 2018, leading to a suspension and a bench-clearing dustup.
Sandy Alcantara (4-7, 3.12 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Marlins. He’s hit five batters in 17 starts this season.
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
After days of wet weather in New York, the Mets and Yankees hope to begin their first Subway Series of the season a little late -- though more rain is in the forecast.
The crosstown rivals were washed out Friday night at Yankee Stadium with what appeared to be the first full house on hand since 2019, setting up a split doubleheader of seven-inning games Sunday. First, they’ll try to play their regularly scheduled game Saturday afternoon, with Taijuan Walker (6-3, 2.38 ERA) poised to pitch for the NL East-leading Mets against Jordan Montgomery (3-2, 4.06).
The slumping Yankees were also rained out Thursday at home against the Angels after a stinging defeat Wednesday night that was delayed more than two hours by multiple storms.
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