Francisco Liriano slated to make Pirates debut Saturday

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Francisco Liriano wasn’t exactly sharp in his minor-league rehab start Sunday, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings at Triple-A, but apparently the Pirates are convinced he’s ready to go.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Liriano is expected to make his Pirates debut Saturday against the Mets after missing the first six weeks of the season with a broken non-pitching arm.

Despite not being particularly sharp Sunday he’s fully stretched out, throwing 98 pitches, and Liriano was very good in his previous two Triple-A outings. Overall at Triple-A he has a 3.38 ERA and 23/1 K/BB ratio in 16 innings, so Sunday’s poor start aside he’s been pretty strong overall.

At the very least he can’t be any worse than Jonathan Sanchez.

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.