The Nationals are pouring it on against the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Bryce Harper led off the top of the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run. After entering tonight’s action 1-for-19 in the series, the 19-year-old phenom has a triple and a homer in his first two at-bats tonight. He’s just the second teenager to homer in a postseason game, joining Andruw Jones (1996).
But the scoring didn’t stop there. Ryan Zimmerman doubled to the right-center field gap and was brought home on a two-run homer by Michael Morse, which chased Adam Wainwright from the ballgame. After scoring nine runs over the first four games of the series, the Nationals hold a 6-0 lead through three innings tonight.
Gio Gonzalez really struggled with his control in Game 1, but he has been spotless so far tonight. It’s still early, but things are looking bleak for the defending World Series champions.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.