Bryce Harper had to be scratched from the Nationals’ starting lineup Tuesday against the Dodgers due to soreness in his left knee, but all is well with the 22-year-old superstar …
Harper is batting .333/.460/.650 with 29 home runs and 69 RBI this season for the Nationals, who are currently 2 1/2 games back of the Mets in the National League East standings.
Washington is 5 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the second NL Wild Card spot.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.