Jacoby Ellsbury tells his side of the story

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Jacoby Ellsbury just met with reporters a short while ago at Rogers Centre in Toronto, according to Brian McPherson of the Providence Journal. And let’s just say that he didn’t do anything to put an end to the controversy.

Reportedly referring to several pages of notes throughout the brief Q & A —  thanks Scott Boras! — Ellsbury said that the fractures in both the front of his rib cage and the back of his rib cage all occurred during his collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre on April 11. This contradicts the diagnosis of Red Sox medical director Dr. Thomas Gill, who said the fracture in the back of his rib cage occurred when Ellsbury made a diving catch against the Phillies on May 23, just three days after returning from the disabled list.

Ellsbury said that he requested — but did not receive — MRI exams on both the front of his rib cage and the back of his rib cage after suffering the original injury in April.

“That’s where the pain was — front and back,” he said, referring
frequently to the notes on his lap. “That’s important to remember that.
Front and back. That’s what I asked for.”

Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com gets a bit more specific, reporting that Ellsbury said the Red Sox told him “we don’t MRI bruises.” Wow.

Ellsbury said he actually landed on the disabled list in May due to a strained latissimus dorsi muscle that he said developed because of the fractured rib on the back of his rib cage. The posterior rib fracture wasn’t discovered until late May by Dr. Lewis Yocum. He claims that the initial misdiagnosis of the injury cost him extra rehab time.

As for spending the past five weeks in Arizona, Ellsbury insisted that he had the team’s blessing, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

“I wanted what was best for the team,” Ellsbury said, explaining his
reason for staying away. “I didn’t want to be a distraction to the team.
That’s the last thing I wanted. My teammates know that. The Red Sox
were in favor of it. They gave me their blessing. And when I was at API,
every single day, they’d get a report of exactly what I did. Every
detail was submitted to them, and I was in constant contact with my
teammates, (manager Terry Francona), my teammates, my
coaches.”

Welcome back? Geesh.

Granted, it’s not his knee, but is anybody else finding this eerily similar to the Carlos Beltran situation? 

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.