Rays on the ropes, Joe Maddon ejected after Michael Young homer follows questionable call

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Joe Maddon had Game 2 starter James Shields on a very short leash this afternoon, pulling him from a 2-0 game with two outs in the fifth inning and two runners on base.
Chad Qualls replaced Shields and appeared to wriggle out of the jam by getting a checked-swing strikeout on Michael Young, but first base umpire Jerry Meals ruled that he didn’t go around … and Young delivered a three-run homer to straightaway center field on the next pitch to make it 5-0.
Maddon headed out to the mound to chat with Qualls, waited for home plate umpire Jim Wolf to come break up the meeting, and then got himself tossed in a cacophony of expletives. And then the fans at Tropicana Field started chanting “Replay! Replay! Replay!” before Vladimir Guerrero delivered an RBI single that extended the Rangers’ lead to 6-0.
(Thanks to Jeff Sullivan for the checked-swing screen capture.)

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.