Yankees, Phillies tweak rosters for World Series

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With the World Series now just hours away the Yankees and Phillies have both made some minor roster changes.
Philadelphia has swapped utility man Miguel Cairo for a 12th pitcher, adding Brett Myers to the bullpen after leaving him off the NLCS roster. Cairo, who played for the Yankees for three seasons, appeared in two games and batted a total of five times through the first two rounds.
Myers made one poor appearance in the NLDS before being dropped for the NLCS and has allowed five runs in 7.2 innings since returning from hip surgery, but the Phillies hope that the time off will help after spending three months on the sidelines. When healthy Myers has shown that he’s capable of being a shutdown reliever, but he’s unlikely to be used in high-leverage spots if manager Charlie Manuel can help it.
New York has reversed the ALCS switch by adding Eric Hinske back to the roster in place of Freddy Guzman, and have also added a 12th pitcher in Brian Bruney at the expense of third catcher Francisco Cervelli. Bruney will give Joe Girardi a chance to be even more manic with his bullpen management and playing under NL rules in Philadelphia makes pinch-hitting Hinske for a pitcher more valuable than pinch-running Guzman.
Cervelli got just one plate appearance through two rounds, but subtracting him from the roster could mean Jorge Posada starting every game behind the plate instead of giving way to Jose Molina when A.J. Burnett is on the mound. There’s also speculation that adding Bruney makes it more likely that the Yankees will use a four-man rotation including Chad Gaudin, who had been a reliever against the Twins and Angels.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.