Rays are headed to World Series

Rays are headed to World Series
The American League East champion Tampa Bay Rays are headed to the World Series. They won the first three games of the AL Championship Series against Houston, but then lost the next three. But behind right-hander Charlie Morton, they won 4-2 in Game 7 last night to head to the World Series for the second time in team history. In 2008, they lost, four games to one, to Philadelphia. Now they will chase their first title against the winner of tonight's National League Championship Series Game 7...
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Would Astros reaching World Series punch Baker's ticket to Cooperstown?

Would Astros reaching World Series punch Baker's ticket to Cooperstown?
The Astros beat the Athletics 11-6 on Thursday in Game 4 of the American League Division Series, punching their ticket to a fourth consecutive AL Championship Series. And it brings Dusty Baker a step closer to a championship he has been eyeing for more than two decades as a manager. Baker has 1,862 career victories, 15th on the all-time list. He has been named Manager of the Year three times and won seven division titles. But the 70-year-old is searching for his first World Series title, the...
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Astros rally to eliminate Twins in wild card series, extending playoff losing streak

Astros rally to eliminate Twins in wild card series, extending playoff losing streak
The Twins won the American League Central by not losing two consecutive games at home during the season. Then everything changed when the postseason started. The Astros came to Target Field and added more history-making agony to the Twins' postseason record. After losing 4-1 and 3-1 to the Astros in the first two wild card games, the Twins extended their postseason losing streak to 18 consecutive games, more than any other National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National...
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Kendrick's dramatic homer ranks near top of change-of-fortune hits in baseball history

Kendrick's dramatic homer ranks near top of change-of-fortune hits in baseball history
All Nationals fans would admit that Howie Kendrick's two-run homer in the World Series Game 7 was a big moment in franchise history. But fans probably do not realize the homer ranks as the 10th best change-of-fortune hit in Major League Baseball postseason history, dating to 1903, according to a metric developed by The Baseball Gauge. The Baseball Gauge tracks a metric known as Change in World Series Win Probability (cWPA), based off every World Series (and postseason) game played the past 115...
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Lineups: Astros vs. Nats in West Palm Beach

Lineups: Astros vs. Nats in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman makes his Grapefruit League debut for the Nationals tonight, playing first base and hitting fifth against the Astros. "I was scratching my head about it, but I talked to him and he said he'd like to play today, which is nice," said manager Davey Martinez, who is well aware of the veteran's penchant for delaying his spring debut as long as possible. "We'll see three innings and hopefully get him two at-bats." Zimmerman came to Martinez a couple of...
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Manfred: "I think there is ... a good future for baseball in Baltimore"

Manfred: "I think there is ... a good future for baseball in Baltimore"
NORTH PORT, Fla. - Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred expressed no concerns this afternoon while speaking at the annual Media Day about the decline in Orioles attendance and the club's future as it goes through a painful rebuild process. He probably enjoyed the break from all of the Astros questions. "I have spent a considerable amount of time with the Angelos family during this offseason," Manfred said. "I think that the family is committed to making baseball as good as it can...
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One Houston fan's reaction to the Astros' cheating scandal

One Houston fan's reaction to the Astros' cheating scandal
By now, many fans have probably heard about what another fan did. That fan is 54-year-old Tony Adams and he is a Houston Astros fan. In an effort to get more information about the sign-stealing scandal, he went through 58 of the Astros' 2017 home games and cataloged the sound of a trash can being hit. Banging on a trash can was one way Houston players tipped teammates at the plate as to which pitch to expect. Someone would watch the catcher's signs on a television monitor, and before the...
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In cheating scandal, there were no penalties for players

In cheating scandal, there were no penalties for players
It has been quite a week in Major League Baseball. The cheating scandal took down one general manager and three managers. Franchises are tarnished. Houston got hit hard and Boston could be next. But the players involved were not fined or suspended, and none got fired. I'm OK with that. It would be hard to know exactly which players took part and how often. Cheating once is too much, but were I handing out the discipline I would not treat every player equally. In a sense, all the players on the...
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Astros fire Luhnow and Hinch after MLB levies penalties in sign-stealing case

Astros fire Luhnow and Hinch after MLB levies penalties in sign-stealing case
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred Monday for allowing the team's uniformed personnel to steal signs electronically during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Luhnow and Hinch were suspended through the 2020 World Series. The Astros also were fined $5 million - the maximum allowed under MLB rules - and they'll have to forfeit first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. About an hour the initial report...
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Trying to get a handle on cheating via technology in MLB

Trying to get a handle on cheating via technology in MLB
The hammer may be about to drop on the Houston Astros for their real-time sign stealing and cheating in baseball. But even before that hammer falls comes news that the Boston Red Sox are involved. Again. Wasn't the Apple Watch episode enough? And it can't be a good look for the sport when the World Series champs of 2017 (Houston) and 2018 (Boston) are tainted. You can say I'm exaggerating here, but a "Landis moment" may be coming soon for Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. He...
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A look back at how Nats worked around injuries to win first title

A look back at how Nats worked around injuries to win first title
The amazing run of the Washington Nationals in 2019 is made even more amazing when one looks back at the state of the standings May 23. The Nats trailed the Brewers by 9 1/2 games for a National League wild card spot and the Marlins, winners of six in a row, had crept with 1 1/2 games of their 19-31 record. But with persistence, belief and a slow return of their starting lineup to full health, the Nats turned their season around and found a way to grab the top wild card spot for home field...
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Fans at Nats Park cheer from afar as the boys win title in Houston

Fans at Nats Park cheer from afar as the boys win title in Houston
The Nationals won their first world championship Wednesday night, coming back from an early deficit to stun the Astros and their fans in a 6-2 victory in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Some 1,413 miles away in rainy Nationals Park, an a crowd estimated at more than 30,000 watched the game on the big screen and cheered for their team so everyone in the state of Texas could hear. The rain intensified as the night wore on, but so did the noise when Anthony Rendon...
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Nats need offense to ignite for shot at Game 6 win

Nats need offense to ignite for shot at Game 6 win
The Nationals look to pull off the big upset again tonight as they return to Minute Maid Park for Game 6 of the 2019 World Series against the Astros. They have one of their top starters heading to the mound in Stephen Strasburg, who has put together a 4-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in five games this postseason. His career record in postseason play is astounding: 5-2 with a 1.34 ERA in eight games (seven starts) with 64 strikeouts in 47 innings. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman on his confidence level...
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Suzuki updates hip flexor injury: "It's getting better"

Suzuki updates hip flexor injury: "It's getting better"
Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki updated his status for Game 6 of the World Series after sitting out two games with a hip flexor injury. "It's getting better," Suzuki said Monday afternoon before the team's charter left D.C. bound for Houston. "Obviously, got the treatment and stuff like that and it's progressing. We'll see. Going to do some stuff today and we'll figure out more tonight after we get into Houston about tomorrow. Everything is looking good so far." Suzuki, who hit a home...
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Even with a career high in starts, Strasburg ready for biggest one

Even with a career high in starts, Strasburg ready for biggest one
The Nationals now move to Game 6 in Houston, down three games to two in the best-of-seven World Series. They face an elimination game versus the Astros on Tuesday night, their fourth of these playoffs. And they have their second ace on the mound in an attempt to survive. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg has been very good this postseason, rolling up a 4-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in five game (four starts). In his first World Series start against the Astros last week, Strasburg allowed just two...
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Ross was close to striking out Correa second time before game-changing blast

Ross was close to striking out Correa second time before game-changing blast
After Max Scherzer was felled by neck and trapezius spasms early Sunday morning, right-hander Joe Ross was pressed into service as an emergency starter and did his best to keep the Nationals in Game 5 of the World Series. But a pair of two-run homers were more than enough for the Houston Astros, as they took control of the series with a 7-1 victory at Nats Park before 43,910. They now lead the best-of-seven series three games to two. Yordan Alvarez smacked a two-run shot in the second and...
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Alvarez homer starts off scoring in Game 5 (Nats fall 7-1)

Alvarez homer starts off scoring in Game 5 (Nats fall 7-1)
The Astros struck first in Game 5 of the World Series off Nationals starter Joe Ross. With one out in the second, Yuri Gurriel reached base thanks to an infield single that glanced off of Ross. Yordan Alvarez, making his first start in the series in the field, belted a two-run homer to left-center field. The Nats started the second inning in promising fashion with singles from Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick. But right-hander Gerrit Cole struck out Ryan Zimmerman and Victor Robles grounded into a...
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Suzuki rested and available for Game 5, but Martinez sticks with Gomes

Suzuki rested and available for Game 5, but Martinez sticks with Gomes
The Nationals were able to get catcher Kurt Suzuki a full day of rest Saturday after he tweaked his right hip flexor in Game 3 of the World Series against the Astros on Friday night at Nats Park. Yan Gomes caught on Saturday during the Nats' 8-1 setback that evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece. He'll be behind the plate again tonight catching Joe Ross, who was handed the starting assignment when Max Scherzer was scratched with spasms in his neck and right trapezius...
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Scherzer prepared to "stay in the moment" in tonight's crucial Game 5 start

Scherzer prepared to "stay in the moment" in tonight's crucial Game 5 start
In Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 22, Nationals ace Max Scherzer ended up throwing 112 pitches to record 15 outs. The Astros scored two runs in the first inning. But after that, Houston managed only three hits off Scherzer. The Nats held on for a 5-4 victory. Manager Davey Martinez said Scherzer has been working since right after Game 1 to this point devising a plan for adjustments to the way he went after Houston that first time around. "After the first game, he's already sat down and...
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Rookie hurler delivers shutdown performance as Astros square World Series

Rookie hurler delivers shutdown performance as Astros square World Series
Rookie pitcher José Urquidy pitched five shutout innings and Alex Bregman hit a grand slam Saturday night as the Houston Astros tied the World Series with an 8-1 win against the Nationals in Game 4. The Astros win guarantees the best-of-seven series, tied at two games apiece, will have a Game 6 on Tuesday in Houston. Game 5 is Sunday night at Nationals Park with the Astros' Gerrit Cole pitching against Max Scherzer, a rematch of Game 1. Urquidy, 24, who was the Astros' opening day starter...
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