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  • Clayton Kershaw falls apart in Game 6 loss
    Clayton Kershaw scattered seven hits and five runs (four earned) over five lackluster innings Saturday in the Dodgers' loss to the Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Someday there will be a plaque in Cooperstown with Kershaw’s name on it. But Saturday night at Wrigley Field, he just didn’t have it. The Cubs began the game with back-to-back hits off Kershaw and never really let up. Kershaw yielded home runs to Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo before getting the hook. He wasn’t fooling anyone with his slider and he couldn’t throw his curve ball for strikes. Kershaw looked gassed on Saturday and for good reason. He gave the Dodgers everything he had this postseason, logging 24 1/3 innings after missing most of the second half with a back injury. Kershaw is now 4-7 with a 4.39 ERA over 17 career postseason appearances. Yesterday, 7:56 pm
  • Kyle Hendricks pitches Cubs to NL pennant
    Kyle Hendricks allowed just two hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings Saturday in the Cubs' win over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: He finished with six strikeouts. It was a masterpiece from start to finish. Hendricks was quietly one of the best pitchers in baseball this year and reminded us why Saturday by out-pitching Clayton Kershaw in the Cubs’ biggest game of the season. He retired 15 straight hitters before yielding a one-out single to Josh Reddick in the eighth inning. Before that, he hadn’t allowed a hit since the first when Andrew Toles smacked a single on the game’s first pitch. Hendricks has been lights out this postseason with a 1.65 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. The Cubs are headed back to the World Series for the first time since 1945. They’ll play the Indians in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Yesterday, 7:53 pm
  • Kyle Schwarber activated from 60-day DL
    Cubs activated OF Kyle Schwarber from the 60-day disabled list.

    Advice: Giovanni Soto was designated for assignment in the corresponding roster move. Schwarber is scheduled to play in a simulated game on Sunday and is hoping to be ready for the World Series, should the Cubs advance. If Schwarber does return, he would likely serve as the designated hitter when the Cubs are in Cleveland. Yesterday, 3:43 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Phillies could make Vincent Velasquez available's Todd Zolecki said he would not be surprised if the Phillies looked to trade Vincent Velasquez this offseason.

    Advice: The Phillies entertained offers for Velasquez around the trade deadline but never pulled the trigger. Velasquez got off to a solid start this year but ran out of gas in the second half (5.33 ERA after the All-Star break). Velasquez arrived in Philly last offseason in a trade that sent star closer Ken Giles to Houston. The rebuilding Phillies could probably land a nice haul of prospects for Velasquez, who turned 24 in June. Yesterday, 3:38 pm
  • Nationals could bring back Stephen Drew
    Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports believes there is "mutual interest" in Stephen Drew returning to the Nationals next season.

    Advice: Drew enjoyed a solid second half (.308 AVG after the break) and has been a leader in the Nats' clubhouse. His return will depend on how the Nats plan on using Trea Turner, who played almost exclusively in center field this year but spent most of his minor league career at shortstop. If Turner moves back to shortstop, the Nats would likely keep Danny Espinosa as a backup infielder, eliminating the need for Drew. Yesterday, 3:29 pm
    New Player Note
    Stephen Drew Was - 2B,3B,SS
    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • Olney: No urgency for Mets to re-sign Cespedes
    According to ESPN's Buster Olney, there is "no urgency" for the Mets to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes.

    Advice: Cespedes is fully expected to opt out of his three-year contract this offseason. While the Mets are certainly open to keeping Cespedes (particularly if he's willing to accept another front-loaded deal), the team has plenty of outfield depth with Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto all under contract for 2017. Cespedes led the Mets in home runs (31), RBI (86) and runs scored (72) this past season. Yesterday, 3:14 pm
  • Epstein 'not ruling out' Schwarber's return
    When asked about Kyle Schwarber's availability for the World Series, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said, "We're not ruling anything in, we're not ruling anything out."

    Advice: Manager Joe Maddon confirmed there's a "chance" Schwarber could DH if the Cubs advance to the World Series. Schwarber resumed batting practice on Monday after being cleared by Dr. Daniel Cooper at his six-month check-up following ACL surgery. He's also slated to begin playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday. If the Cubs do get past the Dodgers, the DH will be available for Games 1, 3, 6 and 7. Yesterday, 2:28 pm
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Rich Hill could earn 3-year, $45 million contract
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests Rich Hill could be in line for a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency.

    Advice: It would be a hefty raise for Hill, who earned $6 million this past season. He's certainly earned it. The 36-year-old pitched to a marvelous 2.12 ERA in 20 starts for the Dodgers and A's this year, though blister issues and a minor groin injury limited him to just 20 starts. It's possible the Dodgers could extend a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Hill, though Cafardo believes he would reject it given the dearth of starting pitching available this offseason. Yesterday, 2:13 pm
  • Cafardo: Nats to 'go hard' for Mark Melancon
    According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Nationals are expected to "go hard" for Mark Melancon in free agency.

    Advice: Melancon was dominant in his two-month stretch with Washington, converting 17-of-18 save chances to go with a magnificent 1.82 ERA. The soon-to-be free agent should have a robust market this winter, so the Nats will have to pay top dollar to retain him. Per Cafardo, Melancon would welcome being used in an Andrew Miller-type role as long as he earns closer money. Cafardo believes Melancon could draw interest from the Red Sox, who he played for in 2012. Yesterday, 2:04 pm
  • Tigers will look to trade Upton this offseason
    According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Tigers will attempt to dump Justin Upton's salary this winter.

    Advice: In other words, he's available for trade. Upton, who is just one year into a six-year contract, carries a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to 20 teams. The 29-year-old matched a career-high with 31 homers this past season, though Upton's .246 average was his lowest since 2007. He also struck out 179 times, which was fourth-most in the major leagues. Despite finishing just 2.5 games out of a playoff spot this year, Olney said the Tigers will listen to trade offers for anyone including Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Yesterday, 1:36 pm
  • Jason Heyward not in Cubs lineup on Saturday
    Jason Heyward is not in the Cubs starting lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Saturday.

    Advice: With world-class left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the hill for the Dodgers, Heyward will take a seat on the pine in favor of Albert Almora Jr. Here's the full lineup for the Cubs as they look to defeat Clayton Kershaw and advance to the World Series: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist LF, Javy Baez 2B, Willson Contreras C, Addison Russell SS, Albert Almora Jr RF, Kyle Hendricks P. Yesterday, 12:13 pm
  • Kyle Schwarber could DH in World Series
    According to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, Kyle Schwarber could serve as the Cubs' designated hitter should they advance to the World Series.

    Advice: Schwarber will begin playing in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday. If he proves his health over the next couple of days there and the Cubs advance past the Dodgers, there's a very real possibility that Schwarber (who is the club's all-time leader in postseason home runs with five) could return. Yesterday, 11:14 am
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Kyle Schwarber to play in Arizona Fall League
    Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that Kyle Schwarber will play in the Arizona Fall League to continue his recovery from knee surgery.

    Advice: He's expected to debut for the Mesa Solar Sox on Saturday. The 23-year-old missed nearly the entire 2016 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee. He is well ahead of schedule in his recovery and has shown gradual improvement in his agility drills over the past month. He remains a big part of the Cubs' plans heading into the 2017 season. Yesterday, 10:46 am
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Carter Capps ahead of schedule in recovery
    Carter Capps (elbow) is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and could be ready for the start of the 2017 season.

    Advice: The hard-throwing right-hander has been throwing aggressively for nearly a month now. A dominant arm in the late innings, Capps could be looked at as a solution in the ninth inning for the Padres in 2017. Yesterday, 10:33 am
    60-Day DL
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Vargas will pitch in Mexican Winter League
    The Padres announced Saturday that Cesar Vargas (elbow) will pitch in the Mexican Winter League.

    Advice: The right-hander missed the final four months of the regular season due to a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. He posted a 5.03 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 28/15 K/BB ratio across 34 innings before the injury struck. Yesterday, 10:29 am
    60-Day DL
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Cosart undergoes successful elbow surgery
    The Padres announced Saturday that Jarred Cosart underwent successful surgery to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow.

    Advice: The bone spur in his elbow caused Cosart to miss his final two starts of the regular season. He'll be sidelined for the next six weeks before he's able to resume throwing. The club believes that he'll be fully recovered and ready to go for the start of spring training. Yesterday, 10:25 am
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Padres remain hopeful Rea can avoid surgery
    According to AJ Cassavell of, the Padres remain hopeful that Colin Rea will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery.

    Advice: He's trying the path of rest, rehab and platelet-rich plasma injections instead of opting for surgery and everything appears to be progressing nicely. Cassavell notes that he's about three weeks away from facing live hitters. The Padres are mulling their potential options for Rea, which could include sending him to the Arizona Fall League or winter ball to get some work in. Yesterday, 7:01 am
    L, 3-2 @Ari
  • Braves could still be interested in McCann
    Mark Bowman of speculates that the Braves could reconsider approaching the Yankees about trading for Brian McCann this offseason.

    Advice: The Braves are in the market for another catcher to pair with Tyler Flowers, and with the free agent market looking quite barren in terms of quality backstops, a reunion with McCann continues to make sense. The Yankees, who demanded either Mike Foltynewicz or Ender Inciarte the last time these two squads discussed a deal, will have to lower their asking price if a deal is to be consummated. Yesterday, 6:56 am
    L, 5-2 vs Bal
  • Kershaw told Dodgers he'd pitch whenever
    Clayton Kershaw said Thursday that he told the Dodgers he'll pitch whenever they want.

    Advice: This includes Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cubs on Thursday. "My stance is always the same," said Kershaw, who currently lines up to start Game 6 on Saturday on five days' rest. We doubt that is going to change. Thursday, 3:44 pm
  • Kershaw to start Game 6 of NLCS vs. Cubs
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed late Wednesday that Clayton Kershaw will start Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Kershaw was going to be an option for Game 5 if the Dodgers were facing elimination, but the best-of-seven series is tied 2-2 so Kenta Maeda will pitch on normal rest Thursday at home against Cubs. Kershaw will go in Game 6 on Saturday night at Wrigley Field, after five full days off. The ace left-hander dazzled over seven shutout innings in Game 2 this past Sunday at Wrigley. Thursday, 5:12 am
  • Hill stellar over six, Dodgers take NLCS lead
    Rich Hill shut out the Cubs over six innings Tuesday in the Dodgers' 6-0 NLCS Game 3 victory.

    Advice: Hill was sensational, yielding just two walks and two hits -- both singles -- while striking out six. He ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the second, but the crafty left-hander was able to strand Anthony Rizzo at third base and Jorge Soler at second base with a strikeout of Addison Russell and a groundout from Miguel Montero. Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton, and closer Kenley Jansen combined to finish off the shutout. It's the first time in history the Cubs have been shut out in consecutive postseason games. Los Angeles leads 2-1 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. Tuesday, 8:30 pm
  • Kershaw 'prepared' to start Game 5 of NLCS
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he hasn't spoken to Clayton Kershaw about starting Game 5 of the NLCS but noted the ace left-hander is "prepared for anything."

    Advice: Kershaw is almost certain to take the ball in Game 5 if the Dodgers are facing elimination, but he'll go in Game 6 otherwise. Kershaw dazzled over seven shutout innings in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday against the Cubs, striking out six while yielding just a pair of singles and a walk in the Dodgers' 1-0 victory. Kenta Maeda is lined up to start Game 5 for now. Tuesday, 1:45 pm
  • Jason Heyward not in lineup for Game 3
    Jason Heyward is not in the starting lineup for Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

    Advice: Heyward will take a seat against left-hander Rich Hill. The 27-year-old hit just .207/.300/.286 against southpaws this season. Jorge Soler will make the start in right field while Javier Baez will slide into the No. 5 spot in the order. The full lineup for the Cubs: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Ben Zobrist LF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Baez 2B, Soler RF, Addison Russell SS, Miguel Montero C, Jake Arrieta SP. Tuesday, 12:57 pm
  • Clayton Kershaw dazzles in Game 2 victory
    Clayton Kershaw dazzled over seven shutout innings on Sunday, defeating the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS.

    Advice: The star southpaw punched out six on the night while allowing just a pair of singles and one walk. He was perfect through the first 4 2/3 innings before Javy Baez singled with two outs in the fifth. Willson Contreras immediately followed with another single to give the Cubs their largest threat, but Kershaw was able to bear down and get Jason Heyward to pop out to end the inning. He now sports a 3.72 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 25/4 K/BB ratio across 19 1/3 innings this postseason. He's expected to get the ball again in Game 6 of the series, though if the Dodgers are facing elimination in Game 5, that plan could change. Oct 16, 7:57 pm
  • Hendricks pitches well in loss to Dodgers
    Kyle Hendricks pitched well in a losing effort against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday, surrendering just one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

    Advice: The right-hander uncharacteristically walked four on the night while striking out five. The only blemish on his evening was a solo home run off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez leading off the second inning. That would prove to be the only offense in the ballgame for either side. He'll get a chance for redemption against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers should the series stretch to six games. Oct 16, 7:55 pm
  • Hill announced as Dodgers' Game 3 starter
    Updating an earlier report, Rich Hill will start Tuesday against the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS.

    Advice: He'll be going on normal rest after pitching Thursday in Game 5 of the NLDS against Washington. This also puts Hill in line to start Game 7, if necessary. Hill did not pitch against the Cubs during the regular season. Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 for the Dodgers while manager Dave Roberts has yet to announce who will pitch in Game 4. Oct 15, 3:07 pm
  • Rich Hill expects to pitch Game 3 of NLCS
    Rich Hill said he'll be available to start Tuesday against the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Hill has been excellent when healthy but has battled blister problems all year and was lifted after only 2 2/3 innings Thursday in Game 5 of the NLDS against Washington. He made it through Saturday's bullpen session without issue, which should put him in line to start Tuesday's Game 3. "I could pitch today," said Hill. "It's all hands on deck." Hill went 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA over two starts in the Division Series. Oct 15, 2:39 pm
  • Kershaw officially announced as Game 2 starter
    The Dodgers have officially announced Clayton Kershaw as the starter for Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs.

    Advice: The move was widely expected but was not announced until Saturday. Kershaw said at Saturday's press conference that he'll have no restrictions in Game 2. The last time we saw Kershaw was Thursday night when he threw seven pitches to pick up the save in the Dodgers' NLDS-clinching win over the Nationals. He hasn't pitched all that well this postseason, logging a mediocre 5.84 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks, who led the majors in ERA this season. Oct 15, 2:30 pm
  • Clayton Kershaw expected to start Game 2
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated Friday that Clayton Kershaw will start Sunday's NLCS Game 2 versus the Cubs.

    Advice: Kershaw threw 110 pitches on three days' rest in Game 4 of the NLDS and seven pitches on one day of rest in Game 5, and now he'll come back for another start on two days' rest. The left-hander will face Kyle Hendricks on Sunday. Oct 14, 2:40 pm
  • Hendricks (forearm) cleared to start Game 2
    Kyle Hendricks (forearm) will start Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Sunday.

    Advice: Hendricks was officially given the go-ahead after getting through another bullpen session Friday with no issues. The right-hander was struck on the pitching forearm by a line drive in his NLDS Game 2 outing, but he's feeling fine now. He'll be preceded by Jon Lester and followed by Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. Oct 14, 12:46 pm
  • Hendricks (forearm) says he's ready to go
    Kyle Hendricks (forearm) threw another bullpen session Friday and declared himself ready to pitch whenever the Cubs need him.

    Advice: Hendricks had to exit Game 2 of the NLDS against the Giants after being hit in the right forearm by a liner, but he's recovered nicely. He'll presumably start one of Games 2-4, although the Cubs have yet to officially announce anything beyond Jon Lester getting the ball in Game 1 on Saturday. Oct 14, 12:29 pm
  • Hill pulled in third inning against Nationals
    Rich Hill lasted just 2 2/3 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Thursday.

    Advice: Hill was going on short rest in a do-or-die game, so he wasn’t expected to work deep into this one, but the Dodgers ideally would have gotten more from him. They ended up winning anyway. Hill threw 55 pitches while giving up three hits and two walks (one intentional). Six of his eight outs were via the strikeout. Oct 13, 9:57 pm
  • Kershaw gets the save as Dodgers move on
    Clayton Kershaw secured the final two outs for his first career save as the Dodgers beat the Nationals in the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday.

    Advice: It was assumed that Kershaw wouldn't be available after he threw 110 pitches in short rest in Game 4 on Tuesday, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts threw all the rules out the window in this one. Kenley Jansen was clearly spent after throwing 51 pitches over 2 1/3 innings and walking a pair of batters in the ninth, so Roberts called on Kershaw to face Daniel Murphy. He got him to pop up to second base before striking out Wilmer Difo swinging for the win. This was Kershaw's first relief appearance since Game 5 of the 2009 NLCS. Oct 13, 9:44 pm
  • Kershaw not available to pitch in Game 5
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Clayton Kershaw is "absolutely not" available for Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Thursday.

    Advice: It's not a big surprise. Kershaw threw 110 pitches on short rest in Game 4 on Tuesday. Rich Hill will start Game 5 and Julio Urias could end up playing a big role out of the bullpen. Oct 13, 2:38 pm
  • Rich Hill confirmed as LAD's Game 5 starter
    Rich Hill will start Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday against the Nationals, the Dodgers confirmed.

    Advice: Hill announced to reporters that he would be the Game 5 starter following Tuesday's Game 4 victory, and now it is official. The veteran left-hander allowed four runs on two walks and six hits over 4 1/3 innings in the Dodgers' NLDS Game 2 loss at Washington. He'll try to out-pitch Max Scherzer in Thursday night's loser-goes-home matchup at Nationals Park. Oct 13, 8:38 am
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