Lee the story as Phils produce a laugher

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Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino homered and Ryan Howard extended his streak of postseason games with an RBI to a record seven, but Sunday night was all about Cliff Lee. The left-hander pitched eight shutout innings and struck out 10 in the Phillies’ 11-0 victory.
This one was over quickly, as the Phillies scored four times on Howard’s triple and Werth’s homer in the first and added two more in the second. The Dodgers never collected an extra-base hit in the contest. They never had multiple runners on base at the same time. In short, it was a dominant performance for Lee, who even singled and scored on Victorino’s homer in the eighth.
Lee improved to 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in three postseason starts. He’d likely be 3-0 if not for Dexter Fowler’s leap in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS. He appeared all set to go for the shutout tonight, but after he ran the bases in the eighth and the Phillies added three more runs, the team took the prudent course and lifted him from the rout.
It’s been a spectacular run for the left-hander, who wasn’t good enough to make the Indians’ postseason roster two years ago. Even though he was healthy enough to pitch, the Indians opted to pick Aaron Laffey over him in 2007 after he went 4-8 with a 6.29 ERA in 16 starts and four relief appearances that season.
Now Lee stands as the ace of the postseason to date, and the Dodgers won’t be very optimistic if they head back to L.A. down 3-2 knowing they’ll be facing him and Pedro Martinez again. The Phillies, on the other hand, have a chance to take the series without being forced to turn back to Lee. They’ll throw Joe Blanton in Monday’s Game 4. The Dodgers will turn to former Phillie Randy Wolf, their Game 1 starter in the NLDS.

Report: White Sox, Nationals making “strong progress” on a Chris Sale deal

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starting pitcher Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox deliivers the ball against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the White Sox and Nationals are making “strong progress” on a trade involving ace Chris Sale. Most reports coming out on Monday night suggest that a deal isn’t likely to be consummated until Tuesday at the earliest.

Sale, 27, has pitched in the majors over parts of seven seasons. He owns a career 74-50 record with a 3.00 ERA and a 1,244/260 K/BB ratio in 1,110 innings. The lefty will earn $12 million in 2017, then has a club option for 2018 worth $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout as well as a 2019 club option worth $13.5 million with a $1 million buyout. Relative to what he would earn if he were a free agent today, Sale’s remaining salary is a bargain.

The Nationals would likely have to part with several of their top prospects. MLB Pipeline lists pitcher Lucas Giolito, outfielder Victor Robles, and pitcher Reynoldo Lopez in the club’s top-three.

Adding Sale would arguably give the Nationals claim to the best starting rotation in baseball as he would join 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

There are other teams in the mix for Sale. The Red Sox and Astros have also talked with the White Sox about the lefty’s services.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.