Madison Bumgarner to start vs. Red Sox on Saturday

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According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants will call up Madison Bumgarner to start against the Red Sox on Saturday.

Bumgarner was scratched from his start for Triple-A Fresno on Friday night, but the Giants downplayed the whole situation at first, saying that he would only be used if Joe Martinez was needed in relief on Friday night. While Martinez did warm up, he never entered the game. Still, after Friday’s game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said they “needed a fresh arm.” In other words, the Giants probably intended to go with Bumgarner all along.

The 20-year-old left-hander had a chance to make the team out of spring training, but gave up five runs over seven innings (6.43 ERA) while showing decreased velocity, eventually losing the fifth starter gig to Todd Wellemeyer. Bumgarner has turned it around since then, going 7-1 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP over 14 starts with Triple-A Fresno, touching 90-93 mph on the radar gun in recent starts.

The 2007 first-round pick posted a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances and one start as a September call-up last season. Despite concerns about his velocity, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 14 prospect in all of baseball over the winter.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.

Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.

Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.

Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.