Madison Bumgarner to start Game 2 of NLDS against Reds

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Hardly shocking news, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced this evening that Madison Bumgarner will start Game 2 of the NLDS against the Reds on Sunday in San Francisco.

Matt Cain and Johnny Cueto are set to square off in the series opener on Saturday night.

Bumgarner will be opposed by Bronson Arroyo. The Reds plan to use Mat Latos in Game 3 while Bochy hasn’t decided on a starter yet, as he has left open the possibility of using Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito or Ryan Vogelsong out of the bullpen during the first two games of the series.

Bumgarner posted a 3.37 ERA and 191/49 K/BB ratio in 208 1/3 innings over 32 starts this season. The 23-year-old southpaw didn’t exactly finish the season on a high note, giving up four runs or more in five out of his final seven starts. He hasn’t completed seven innings since August 20. On the bright side, Bumgarner tossed a one-hitter in his lone start against the Reds this season back on June 28.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.