Phillies

Instant Replay: Phillies 3, Mets 1

Instant Replay: Phillies 3, Mets 1

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Aaron Nola delivered another gem and reliever Ricardo Pinto got a huge out in the eighth inning as the Phillies stopped the New York Mets, 3-1, Saturday night.
 
This was a pitching-led victory for the Phils, who had just five singles in the game. Four of those hits came in the fifth inning when they scored two runs.
 
Nola has pitched at least six innings and allowed two or fewer runs in 10 straight starts. No other Phillies starter has done that since 1900.
 
Starting pitching report
Nola gave up just two hits — one was a solo homer — and a run over seven innings. He walked two and struck out eight. Nola's ERA over his last 10 starts is a glistening 1.71. That's the best in the majors over that span.
 
Nola gave up a solo homer to Yoenis Cespedes with one out in the fourth inning. It was Cespedes' fifth homer of the season against the Phillies and the Mets' 18th in six games at Citizens Bank Park this season. Nola showed some moxie the next time Cespedes came to the plate with two outs in the sixth. The right-hander buzzed an 0-2 fastball up and in on Cespedes. The Mets' slugger glared briefly at Nola then struck out on an 1-2 changeup.
 
Mets starter Steve Matz appeared to retaliate for Nola's message pitch to Cespedes. Matz hit Nick Williams with a pitch in the bottom of the inning.
 
Matz gave up just two runs in 5 2/3 innings. He held the Phillies hitless for the first four innings then gave up four singles and two runs in the fifth.
 
Bullpen report
The rookie Pinto came up huge in striking out Cespedes on three pitches, including a 98-mph finisher, with two men on base to end the top of the eighth and preserve a one-run lead.
 
Luis Garcia got the save. He got the final two outs of the game with a runner on first base. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez ended it with a terrific play on a smash by Travis d'Arnaud.
 
At the plate
The Phillies did not exactly tear the cover off the ball in scoring two runs in the fifth inning to erase a 1-0 deficit. Williams beat out an infield hit and Maikel Franco lined a single to left. After a sacrifice bunt by Nola, Hernandez and Freddy Galvis found holes and delivered a pair of ground-ball hits to score runs.
 
Tommy Joseph delivered an important sacrifice fly to score an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.
 
Odubel Herrera's hitting streak rose to 15 games.
 
Rhys Hoskins is hitless in his first three games.
 
Cespedes' homer against Nola accounted for the Mets' lone run.
 
In the field
Franco made several nice plays at third base.
 
A moving tribute
The Phillies honored three recently deceased Wall of Famers before the game (see story).
 
Pitching plans
The Phillies have not named a starter for Tuesday night's game in San Diego. Mark Leiter Jr. could get the nod, though he has been quite valuable in a relief role lately. The opening in the rotation occurred when Vince Velasquez went on the disabled list with a finger injury.
 
Up next
The Phillies and Mets close out the series Sunday afternoon. Zach Eflin (1-3, 5.67) pitches for the Phillies against right-hander Chris Flexen (1-1, 8.49).

MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

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MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

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HOUSTON — Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dusty Baker fired by Nationals after 2 NL East titles

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Dusty Baker fired by Nationals after 2 NL East titles

WASHINGTON -- Dusty Baker's time as the manager of the Washington Nationals is over after two seasons, two NL East titles and zero playoff series victories.

The Nationals announced Friday that they would not be bringing Baker back. His two-year deal with the club is expiring.

The contracts for the members of Baker's coaching staff also are finished. The team said it will work with its new manager to fill those positions.

The moves come the week after Washington was eliminated from its NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs with a 9-8 loss at home in Game 5. The Nationals also were bounced from the postseason in the NLDS round in 2016 -- also with a Game 5 loss at home by one run, that time against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This outcome, essentially, is what Baker was worried about as far back as spring training in February, when he made clear his desire for a new contract, knowing his was up after 2017.

Before the series against the Cubs began, Baker was asked about his possible future in Washington.

"I've given some thought to some things, but we were told that we were waiting until after the season to make a determination," he said at the time. "There's a good chance I'll be back."

He expected negotiations to pick up after the season ended (see full story).

Turner, Taylor repay Dodgers' patience by sharing NLCS MVP
CHICAGO -- Justin Turner and Chris Taylor shared MVP honors in the NL Championship Series, repaying a Dodgers organization willing to roll the dice on players whose big league careers were stalled.

In Turner's case, it was then-bench coach Tim Wallach who rediscovered him playing in a Cal State-Fullerton alumni baseball game four years ago, after his career appeared all but over.

In Taylor's case, it was Los Angeles' willingness to gamble that an offseason of grueling workouts would enable the young utilityman to rebuild his swing in a matter of months.

The co-MVPs turned up in the interview room together after the Dodgers eliminated the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5. They were champagne-soaked with hats turned backward, a pair of goggles still perched on Turner's head. Fittingly, they doused each other with praise.

"He's a dynamic player and a table setter," said Turner, who hit .333 for the series, with two home runs and seven RBIs. "When he goes, we usually go as a team."

"I talk to him as much as I can. He's one of the reasons I decided to make the changes I did," said Taylor, who finished at .316 with two homers and three RBIs. Both men also walked five times, as many as the entire Cubs roster (see full story).

Rare Jackie Robinson rookie jersey up for auction
NEW YORK -- A rare jersey from Jackie Robinson's historic rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers 70 years ago could be available for someone with a few spare millions.

The jersey, part of a Heroes of Sports offering by Heritage Auctions, has been certified by Mears, one of the top memorabilia authentication companies. It is accompanied by a letter from Robinson's widow, Rachel, saying it is the one brought home by the Hall of Famer at the end of the 1947 season, when he became the first black player in the majors and earned Rookie of the Year honors.

"This is the only one known from the `47 season, the only one that survived," Chris Ivy, Heritage's director of sports auctions, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It stayed in his closet for five decades plus until it was eventually sold to a private collector in the early 2000s."

The online auction opened Friday and closes at 11 p.m. on Nov. 19. The entire collection is from one owner and can be viewed on Heritage's website. Other items available for bidding include Babe Ruth's pants from the Hall of Fame induction in 1939, Keith Hernandez's 1978 Gold Glove award, a Wilt Chamberlain jersey from 1966, Bill Vukovich's Indianapolis 500 trophy from 1953 and Muhammad Ali's shoes from his fight against Ken Norton in 1973.

Ivy said the Robinson jersey has been valued at more than $3 million. He wouldn't be surprised to see it exceed that.

"It's tough to estimate a piece like this -- it's a one of a kind," he said. "As far as collectibles a rookie (jersey) is always sought after, something that's significant."