Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard could get a cortisone shot for sore ankle


Ryan Howard, who was in an 0-for-15 slump before coming off the bench and delivering a game-winning double in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, says his sore left ankle continues to bother him and he might get a cortisone shot.

It sounds as though Howard would prefer to just have the one cortisone shot, so he might choose to play through the pain for now and then get the injection prior to the start of the postseason.  It’s not as though the Phillies need him at his best right now.

Besides, even with that 0-for-15, Howard is hitting .255/.397/.553 with four homers and 10 RBI in 47 at-bats this month.  It looks like he’ll finish this year with the lowest OPS of his career — he’s at .831 right now — but he’s leading the majors with 113 RBI anyway.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.