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Cole Hamels wasn’t too pleased at being pulled after 86 pitches

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Cole Hamels made his 2014 debut last night in Los Angeles and he pitched well, allowing two runs over six innings and tossing 86 pitches. Then Ryne Sandberg pulled him from the game. The problem: the Phillies’ bullpen sucks and last night they sucked again, allowing three runs.

Another problem: after the game Hamels waxed something less-than-enthusiastic about Sandberg’s decision to yank him. Here’s Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly.com:

Hamels appeared mystified and possibly a little miffed at the early hook. He admitted to being surprised that he didn’t go out for the seventh inning.

“I had plenty left in the tank,” Hamels said. “But I don’t make the decisions. I just have to go out there and pitch and try to be competitive and keep the team in the ballgame.

“They make the decision. They have a scheme, a plan of what they want to do and all I can do is go out there one pitch at a time and see how far I can go, how far they’ll let me.”

Hamels was not aware of any restrictions on his workload.

Hamels added that he had pitched 100-105 pitches in rehab starts, so why 86 now? Especially given a tight game and that bullpen. And Sandberg’s comments don’t seem all that compelling. He said Hamels “did his job” and that it was “his first time out” despite earlier saying that Hamels is under no restrictions.

Anyone else get this? Because I sure don’t.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.