Former Washington Nationals’ pitcher Tim Redding was on the radio yesterday, accusing teammate Mike Bacsik of intentionally throwing a fat pitch to Barry Bonds, giving him the record breaking home run:
“I think he wanted to give it up. And he can say what he wants in
defense or whatnot, but doing the chart, I mean, every ball that Barry
hit, the ball was center cut, right down the middle, fastball. You
know, I think maybe inside he was thinking he was going to get a little
bit more publicity. Maybe, you know, publicity and some money out of
it, appearances, stuff like that.”
Bacsik’s response via Twitter:
“Well just got a call from Bill Ladson of washingtonnationals.com and
Tim Redding said he believes I tried to give up homer#756 Good
What he said. I mean, there was a time when a guy wouldn’t publicly accuse his teammate of taking a dive like that. He would keep the fact that his teammate took a dive like that all to himself.
OK, seriously, I have no idea if Bacsik really did groove one to Bonds. It’s not like he had masterful stuff anyway — he gave up 26 home runs in 118 innings in 2007 and had a lifetime ERA of 5.46 — so the odds favored Bonds jacking one out of the yard that night anyway.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.