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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Baseball

Kyle Schwarber ejected for charging umpire after game ends on controversial call

Kyle Schwarber restrained

Kyle Schwarber was ejected for charging at an umpire after being controversially called out on the final play of Saturday’s Los Angeles Angels-Chicago Cubs game.

Schwarber was batting with runners on second and third, a full count, and two outs in a 6-5 game. Angels closer Cody Allen threw a breaking ball in the dirt that Schwarber offered at before holding up. Third base umpire Gabe Morales said Schwarber went, which ended the game on a strikeout.

Schwarber was furious and went after the umpire. He had to be restrained:

Did Schwarber have a case? It’s a very close call. Here’s where he held up:

Schwarber has somewhat of a gripe, but he can’t let things get that close and leave it up to the umpires. And how about him getting ejected even after the game ended?

Much like the case with Joe Maddon on Thursday, it’s clear the 5-9 Cubs are feeling a lot of pressure early in the season.

Baltimore bar celebrates Chris Davis’ first hit with open bar

Chris Davis

Chris Davis wasn’t the only one happy when he recorded his first hit of the season.

Davis had a streak of 54 consecutive at-bats without a hit dating back to last season. That prompted Lee’s Pint & Shell in Baltimore to offer an open bar for two hours when Davis gets a hit.

It didn’t take long for the bar’s patrons to take advantage of the promotion on Saturday. In the first inning, Davis hit a single to right field that scored two runs. Not surprisingly, those at Lee’s were excited.

Davis added two doubles to break out of his slump in impressive fashion. Hopefully, Davis can put his struggles behind him and return to the form that helped him become one of the more feared hitters in the American League not too long ago.

Report: Craig Kimbrel was still seeking $100 million in late March

Craig Kimbrel

Free agent closer Craig Kimbrel still doesn’t have a job in mid-April, and a large part of that seems to be down to his contractual demands.

According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, Kimbrel and his agent were still seeking a five-year, $100 million deal as recently as late March. The market simply was not there for that sort of deal, and Kimbrel remains unsigned as a result.

Bowden blames Kimbrel’s agent, Dave Meter, for many of the player’s issues. Meter reportedly set a six-year, $120 million asking price for Kimbrel at the start of the offseason, and was left without many other options when the player did not attract any interest. Bowden even believes Meter’s handling of Kimbrel’s free agency could hinder his chances with potential future clients.

If Kimbrel is unwilling to compromise on that asking price, potential suitors will likely continue to be scared off. It’s not clear where this standoff ends.

Watch: Angels’ Justin Bour tagged out on wacky play by Cubs

Justin Bour

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Justin Bour was part of one of the wackier plays of the MLB season this year.

Bour was batting in the top of the first against Chicago Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and laced a single to right field. He took a long turn around first and nearly got thrown out going back to the bag. That’s when things got weird. Take a look:

Bour might have been out at second if replay were used, but he still should know better than to head to the dugout without checking with the umpire first!

His play came with two outs and squandered a potential 2-out rally as it ended the inning.

Watch: Chris Davis finally snaps his 0-for-54 with RBI single

Chris Davis

Chris Davis’s nightmare is over.

The Baltimore Oriole designated hitter stepped to the plate in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox with the bases loaded and two out, and he did so with an 0-for-54 stretch hanging over him dating back to last season. Oriole fans were likely fearing the worst, but Davis came up big, hitting an RBI single to right off Rick Porcello to drive in two runs.

Even the Fenway Park crowd gave Davis a little love for breaking his futile streak.

In a way, Davis was treated like he’d just delivered a game-winning hit by his teammates.

This must feel great for Davis, and not just because Red Sox fans were giving him a really hard time on Friday. A career .236 hitter, it’s unlikely that he’s about to go on a huge tear, but hopefully he can avoid going that long without a hit again,

Giants fans improvise after running out of K signs during game

The San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies played an 18-inning marathon on Friday night, and things got a bit loopy by the end.

Oracle Park provides space in the outfield for fans to hang up to 20 “K” signs for every strikeout recorded by a Giants pitcher. Usually this is plenty, but San Francisco pitchers struck out 24 Rockies during those 18 innings.

That meant the Giants fans who stuck around to the end had to improvise.

You have to admire the dedication. The execution could use a bit of work, but we’ll forgive that.

The Giants seem to play a lot of these strange games, and they always lead to unusual circumstances. This was no different.

Dellin Betances at least 6-7 weeks away from Yankees return

Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees will be without Dellin Betances for a while.

Betances was working his way back from a shoulder impingement that caused him to begin the season on the injured list. He hit a snag and didn’t feel well in a simulation game, so he went for an MRI.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Friday that Betances has a spur causing inflammation in his shoulder. The reliever will receive a cortisone shot and be shut down for three weeks, with a return to the club 6-7 weeks away.

Betances went 4-6 with four saves, 20 holds and 115 strikeouts in 66.2 innings last season. He has a career 2.36 ERA.