Angels shut down Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver

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Having been eliminated from postseason contention with Monday’s loss, the Angels decided there was no need to push two of their top three starters any further.  They scratched Ervin Santana from his start Tuesday against Texas and Jered Weaver from Wednesday’s finale.

Tyler Chatwood and Garrett Richards are now scheduled to work the next two days.

It’s good news for the Rangers, who are one game up on the Tigers as they aim for home-field advantage in the ALDS.

Santana and Weaver had both already amassed career-high innings totals this year.  Santana was at 228 2/3, while Weaver was at 235 2/3 innings.

Santana finishes 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA.  While he’s had seasons of 17, 16 and 16 wins in the past, this year’s ERA was the lowest of his career.  2008 still ranks as his best season as a major leaguer, but his 2011 wasn’t too far behind.

Weaver, a Cy Young contender for the first four motnhs of the season, ends the year 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.  The wins, ERA and WHIP are all career bests for him, though he didn’t come close to matching his strikeout total from a year ago (198, down from 233).

Mark Melancon is considering surgery

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Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.

Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.

Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

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What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.