Scherzer lights-out in first Triple-A start

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scherzer headshot.jpgMax Scherzer was optioned to Triple-A Toledo last weekend after opening the season with a 1-4 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP through his first eight starts.  The demotion was understandable, given the Tigers’ presence near the top of the AL Central standings, but it looks like he won’t be in the minors for long.

According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Scherzer, 25, fired eight shutout innings Thursday in his first start for the Toledo MudHens, fanning 10 batters and allowing just one hit.  He threw 67 of his 103 pitches for strikes and topped out at 97 MPH with his fastball.

The Tigers obviously won’t rush Scherzer back because of the way he pitched over the regular season’s first six weeks.  But one or two more starts like tonight’s and he’ll be right back in Detroit.

Cody Bellinger named NLCS MVP

Cody Bellinger
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Following a dominant 5-1 win to clinch the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, the Dodgers named outfielder Cody Bellinger their MVP of the series.

Bellinger, 23, made noise when it mattered. Entering Saturday’s game, he carried a meager .190/.227/.238 batting line with just four hits and two RBI, but his hits in Games 4 and 7 became the difference-makers the Dodgers needed to keep pace with the Brewers and clinch the NL pennant. In Game 4, it was Bellinger’s 13th-inning base hit off of Junior Guerra that put the Dodgers over the top for the walk-off 2-1 win. The outfielder returned to put the finishing touches on the series with a go-ahead home run — his first of the postseason — in the second inning of Game 7.

Bellinger wrapped his second season in the Dodgers’ organization in 2018, slashing .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR across 632 PA and all 162 games. He’s the youngest Dodgers player to receive the award to date.