Giants hand NLCS Game 2 nod to Jonathan Sanchez

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We now have Championship Series rotations for three of the four involved teams.  Phillies manager Charlie Manuel refused to name Roy Halladay as his Game 1 starter Monday, but that should change by Thursday morning.

The Yankees’ ALCS rotation is HERE.  And the Rangers’ can be found HERE.

The Giants, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, announced their NLCS pitchers late Wednesday evening.

Tim Lincecum is the no-brainer pick for Game 1 at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.  He delivered one of the most dominant postseason performances of all time in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, striking out 14 batters while allowing only two hits over a complete-game shutout.  The 26-year-old didn’t have the greatest regular season, but he’s capable of handling any lineup on any night in any ballpark.

Jonathan Sanchez will take on the Phillies in Game 2.  The 27-year-old took a no-hitter into the sixth inning during his lone NLDS start against Atlanta and was brilliant throughout the regular season.  Matt Cain drew the Game 2 start last series but Sanchez has missed more bats this year and is the better fit for the tiny confines in Philadelphia.

Cain will go in Game 3, and might be followed in Game 4 by 21-year-old Madison Bumgarner.

The Giants easily have the weakest lineup of the four teams remaining, but their starting rotation is as dangerous as any.  The Phillies weren’t exactly explosive at the plate in the first round.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.

Video: Manny Machado hits a 470-foot home run

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You’ve seen Carlos Gomez’s 461-foot home run. You’ve seen Joey Gallo’s 462-foot blast. You’ve seen Corey Seager’s 462-footer, too. During Friday’s series opener against the Yankees, Manny Machado delivered the tie-breaker we were all hoping for, launching a 470-foot moonshot over the center field wall to pad the Orioles’ 5-0 lead in the fifth:

It was Machado’s fourth homer of the season, and quite a doozy, according to Statcast. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says that it’s currently the longest home run recorded at Yankee Stadium, dating back through Statcast’s inception in 2015.

Through eight innings, the Yankees and Orioles combined for five home runs and two grand slams, though none reached quite as far as Machado’s record-setting blast. Aaron Judge went deep twice, hitting the 417-foot mark in the fifth inning and the 435-mark in the sixth, while Mark Trumbo executed a 459-foot grand slam in the sixth inning, followed by a 420-foot slam from Jacoby Ellsbury in the seventh. The Orioles currently lead the Yankees 11-8 in the ninth inning.