The Giants ran away with Game 1, but pitching is the name of the game tonight.
Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister have matched zeros so far as Game 2 remains scoreless through five innings.
Bumgarner, who struggled over his first two starts this postseason, has allowed just two hits while striking out six and walking none. He has also hit a batter. The southpaw has received some help from his defense and also from Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, who made the ill-advised decision to give Prince Fielder the green light on a double by Delmon Young with nobody out in the second inning. Fielder was thrown out at the plate thanks to an excellent tag by Buster Posey.
Fister, meanwhile, has allowed just two hits while striking out three and walking one. He got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the second inning, which included a scary moment when he was hit in the head by a line drive, but he managed to stay in the game and wiggle out of the jam. He has retired the last 10 batters he has faced.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.