LEADING OFF: Mets-Phils meet again after HBPs, Hinch vs HOU
A look at what’s happening around baseball Thursday:
JUST SAW YOU GUYS
The Mets and Phillies renew hostilities in Philadelphia only four days after their previous matchup at Citi Field, which got a little testy at the end.
One inning after Philadelphia reliever Cristopher Sánchez hit Francisco Lindor in the thigh with a 93 mph pitch Sunday night, New York right-hander Yoan López threw inside to Kyle Schwarber.
Both benches were warned, and Schwarber eventually grounded out. López then plunked Alec Bohm with a 1-2 changeup, but was not ejected.
The next day, López (three games) and Mets manager Buck Showalter (one game) were handed suspensions by Major League Baseball. An appeal was filed by López, who had already been optioned back to Triple-A.
Aaron Nola (1-3, 3.90) pitches for the Phillies in the opener of a four-game series. Taijuan Walker (0-0, 0.00) makes his third start of the season for the Mets — all against Philadelphia. New York has won four of six meetings this year, and the NL East rivals will play a whopping 13 times by the end of May.
I REMEMBER YOU
Houston opens a four-game series at home against former manager A.J. Hinch and the Detroit Tigers. Hinch guided the Astros to two AL pennants and a World Series title before getting fired in the wake of the team’s illegal sign-stealing scandal.
He was replaced by Dusty Baker, who this week became the 12th manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins — and the first Black man to accomplish the feat.
Houston hopes star second baseman Jose Altuve is feeling better after fouling a ball off his groin area during Wednesday’s win over Seattle. Altuve initially remained in the game but later exited with right groin soreness.
Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera has 3,005 hits, two behind Tigers great Al Kaline for 31st place on the career list.
The slumping Cincinnati Reds are piling up losses on and off the field.
Already with by far the worst record in the majors, the Reds removed outfielders Tyler Naquin and Nick Senzel from the starting lineup for Wednesday’s game at Milwaukee and placed both on the injured list. They were added without injury designations, an indication that both are sidelined with COVID-19-related issues.
Star first baseman Joey Votto was added to the IL for COVID-19 on Tuesday, although manager David Bell said Votto hadn’t tested positive at that point. Bell said Wednesday that Votto would likely be out for “more than a couple of days.”
Rookie fireballer Hunter Greene will start Cincinnati’s series finale against the Brewers. After throwing a pitch-tracking-era record 39 fastballs over 100 mph on April 16, his velocity has slipped, averaging 95.8 and 96.7 mph in his past two starts.
OHTANI A GO
Shohei Ohtani is expected back on the mound for the Angels in the finale of a series at Fenway Park after dealing with tightness in his groin this week.
Ohtani was held out of the lineup Monday against Boston but started as designated hitter Tuesday and Wednesday. The AL MVP has slumped at the plate early this season but looked sharp on the mound, going 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
Giants ace Logan Webb (3-1, 3.26 ERA) gave up a career-most 11 hits to Washington in his previous outing, a setback he’ll try to shake off in the opener of a series against St. Louis. He’ll oppose Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (1-1, 1.52), who pitched into the eighth inning against Arizona his last time out but still lost a 2-0 decision.
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