Darwin Barney out for opener because of gashed knee

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As first reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney has been ruled out for the first game of the regular season — Monday vs. the Pirates — due to a deep cut on his left knee that required five stitches.

Barney suffered the gash Saturday during an exhibition game in Houston while trying to track down a foul pop-up along the first-base boundary wall. There’s a chance he could be placed on the disabled list. Brent Lillibridge is expected to fill in.

Barney registered a weak .254/.299/.354 batting line across 588 plate appearances last season for Chicago, but the 27-year-old won Gold Glove honors for his excellent defense at second base.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.