Bryce Harper delivers his first of many game-winning hits

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Bryce Harper singled in Jesus Flores in the bottom of the 12th inning Tuesday to give the Nationals a 7-6 win over the Mets.

The Mets took a 6-5 lead on Scott Hairston’s homer in the top of the 12th, but the Nats came back to tie it on an Ian Desmond double before Harper ended it.

It was Harper’s second RBI single of the game. He started the scoring with his hit in the third.

Going into the day, Harper hadn’t driven in anyone except himself in the last two weeks. He did have three solo homers since his last hit to drive in a baserunner on May 22. Overall, he has 14 RBI to go along with his five homers and .288 average in 33 games.

Harper’s hit made a winner of Ross Detwiler out of the pen. Rule 5 pick Elvin Ramirez walked three in 1 2/3 innings and took the loss.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”