Brett Anderson likely finished for the season with a back injury

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Rockies starter Brett Anderson is likely done for the year due to a bulging disk in his back, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports. The bulge is located at the L4-L5 vertebrae in his lower back.

Anderson shut the Cubs out on one hit in his most recent start on Tuesday, but left after three innings. He had previously missed three months of the season between mid-April and mid-July due to a fractured index finger. In 43 1/3 innings spanning eight starts this season, Anderson pitched well, posting a 2.91 ERA with a 29/13 K/BB ratio.

The Rockies have a $12 million club option with a $1.5 million buyout on Anderson’s contract for the 2015 season. The Rockies did not deal the lefty at the trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the club planned to pick up his option or sign him to an extension. It will be interesting to see if their enthusiasm wanes given his latest injury.

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.