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Registered: 19-12-2018
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DETROIT — Right-hander Michael Fulmer returns to the mound Friday night against the Chicago White Sox for the Detroit Tigers Tommy Joseph Jersey , who are hopeful that rest has healed his sore left oblique and his two main pitches — fastball and slider.Fulmer (3-9, 4.50 ERA) has not started since before the All-Star break, on July 14. He strained his oblique throwing a bullpen session and was placed on the disabled list July 20.He made two rehab starts with high-Class A Lakeland, striking out 11 in six scoreless innings, but more important his fastball was up to 98 mph and his slider had the sharp tilt it displayed when he was successful.Article continues below ...Fulmer’s fastball was down some 2-4 mph for most of the season and he has struggled to maintain a consistent slider.Manager Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers’ brass decided that with Detroit having lost two starters to injury in the last week it made sense to dispense with another rehab start and have Fulmer pitch in a major league game instead.“It may have been a blessing in disguise,” Fulmer said. He had determined just before the injury that his arm slot was too high and was getting solid results from dropping it slightly before the oblique strain. He will be limited to about 70 pitches in his return.Right-hander Artie Lewicki experienced elbow soreness after starting against the White Sox last week and it was determined Wednesday that he needs a second Tommy John operation.“His ligament is very loose,” Gardenhire said. “It’s not going to heal, so he has a decision to make. It’s a big decision, but for him, it’s the right decision, with his age and everything.”Lewicki had Tommy John surgery in 2012 while at Virginia but returned in 2014 to help pitch to the finals of the College World Series. He was drafted by Detroit in the eighth round and has worked his way up through the minors.In two seasons, Lewicki was 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 17 games.Fulmer pitched 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball in a win over Chicago in his only appearance against the White Sox this season. In his three seasons, Fulmer is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in six starts.Chicago will pitch right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (4-9, 4.72 ERA), who has pitched well against Detroit but with limited success. He has allowed 10 runs in seven innings in his last two starts.Lopez has started five times against the Tigers, four of them this year, when he is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA. In his five starts, Lopez is 1-1 with a 3.56 ERA.The White Sox were again without manager Rick Renteria, still back in Chicago getting checked out for lightheadedness. There is no timetable for his return and bench coach Joe McEwing is running the team in his absence.“I talked to him this morning ... olz-jersey , and he’s doing well,” McEwing said. “He’s in good spirits and sounded great.”Renteria was likely listening Thursday while James Shields was getting knocked around in Detroit’s 7-2 victory. Shields gave up three home runs in the sixth to Nicholas Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook and Ronny Rodriguez.Right-hander Ryan Burr made his major league debut in the game, getting four outs and striking out two batters.“You think about it your whole life, and then it happens,” Burr said. “It’s crazy. I thought I was gonna balk when I came in. I was shaking a little bit.”Adam Engel finished the game 2-for-4, with two doubles. Engel now has 20 multi-hit games — including four games with multiple extra-base hits — for the White Sox. He is closing in on a .270 batting average since the All-Star break.“His at-bats have gotten so much better,” McEwing said. “He’s more consistent on a daily basis. You don’t see the gaps from day to day. It’s more consistent every single day. He’s making better contact, harder contact, and he’s putting himself in a good position right now.” Dylan Buell/Getty ImagesThe National League Division Series slate is set.The Colorado Rockies will take on the Milwaukee Brewers in one matchup after a dramatic 2-1 win in 13 innings over the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card Game.The reigning NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers will square off against the young Atlanta Braves in the other matchup, and one of those four teams will be playing in the World Series later this month.Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. First, the NLDS.Ahead you'll find all the pertinent scheduling and TV info, as well as a quick preview of both matchups:Milwaukee Brewers vs. Colorado RockiesDavid DahlMatthew Stockman/Getty ImagesGame 1 at MIL: Thursday, October 4 (5:07 p.m. ET, FS1)Game 2 at MIL: Friday, October 5 (4:15 p.m. ET, FS1)Game 3 at COL: Sunday, October 7 (4:37 p.m. ET Aaron Altherr Jersey , MLB Network)Game 4 at COL: Monday, October 8 (TBD, FS1)Game 5 at MIL: Wednesday, October 10 (TBD, FS1)The Brewers secured the best record in the National League and home-field advantage through the NLDS and NLCS with their Game 163 win over the Chicago Cubs, and now they're ready to square off against the upstart Rockies.Both teams finished the year strong, with the Brewers going 19-7 with a plus-67 run differential in September, and the Rockies not far behind at 19-9 with a plus-59 differential.The two teams met seven times during the regular season, with their most recent meeting coming in early August. The Brewers won five of seven, including taking three of four at Coors Field.The Brewers will open the series with a "bullpen day" before turning to Jhoulys Chacin on short rest in Game 2, and the bullpen will be the key to them making a deep postseason run.Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel and Josh Hader form a dominant three-headed monster in the late innings, veterans Joakim Soria and Dan Jennings are both capable middle relievers and rookies Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff can provide multiple innings.They'll have their hands full shutting down a Rockies offense that has been firing on all cylinders of late. Nolan Arenado and David Dahl both finished the regular season on fire, Trevor Story had an MVP-type season and Charlie Blackmon remains as dangerous as any table-setter in the game.Meanwhile, young starters Kyle Freeland and German Marquez have enjoyed breakout seasons to help turn the rotation into a strength for the Rockies for the first time in years.The Rockies will need to score early to have a chance. The Brewers will need theirstarting pitching to provide something, or they risk running the relief corps ragged.Prediction:Brewers in 4Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta BravesHyun-Jin RyuJason O. Watson/Getty ImagesGame 1 at LAD: Thursday, October 4 (8:37 p.m. ET, MLB Network)Game 2 at LAD: Friday, October 5 (9:37 p.m. ET ... ley-jersey , FSI)Game 3 at ATL: Sunday, October 7 (8:07 p.m. ET, FS1)Game 4 at ATL: Monday, October 8 (TBD, FS1)Game 5 at LAD: Wednesday, October 10 (TBD, FS1)The Dodgers have won six straight division titles and reached the NLCS in three of the past five seasons.The Braves are in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, and only Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran remain from that roster.With the four-man rotation of Clayton Kershaw (6 GS, 3-0, 3.89 ERA), Walker Buehler (6 GS, 2-1, 1.62 ERA), Hyun-Jin Ryu (5 GS, 3-2, 1.50 ERA) and Rich Hill (5 GS, 5-0, 3.90 ERA) all pitching well over the final month of the season, the Dodgers are going to be tough to beat.For the first time during their recent run of playoff trips Richie Ashburn Jersey , it will be someone other than Kershaw on the mound in Game 1 of the NLDS, as Ryu will get the start.Bill Plaschke of theLos Angeles Times wrote: "Ryu loves pitching in Dodger Stadium, witness his 1.15 earned-run average in nine games there this season. Ryu also loves pitching in big moments, as he threw seven scoreless innings in the showdown series opener against Colorado in mid-September, then gave up one run in six innings during crunch time in San Francisco last weekend."If the soon-to-be-free-agent lefty can keep pitching at a high level, it would provide a huge boost for the Dodgers.The Braves shouldn't be counted out, though.With Ronald Acuna Jr. setting the table and veterans Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis shouldering the run-production load, they're capable of getting to that impressive Dodgers staff.Meanwhile,the trio of Mike Foltynewicz, Anibal Sanchez and Kevin Gausman atop the rotation has a chance to be formidable, with lefty Sean Newcomb or the aforementioned Teheran likely taking the ball in Game 4.The Braves were counted out by many before the season started, and then again when the Philadelphia Phillies seemed poised to take control of the division at the end of July, yet here they are.There's no question they're underdogs, but stranger things have happened.Prediction:Dodgers in 5Odds to Reach World Series (via OddsShark)Dodgers: +170Brewers: +250Rockies: +325Braves: +520All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

11-01-2019 02:18
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