Santiago Casilla ahead of schedule, could return in 2-3 weeks

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Giants reliever Santiago Casilla is doing well recovering from recent surgery on his right knee which removed a cyst. In fact, according to CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly, the right-hander is doing so well that manager Bruce Bochy estimates a return in two to three weeks. Casilla wasn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break.

Casilla went on the DL with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings and has been nothing short of dominating since joining the Giants prior to the 2009 season. In 189.1 innings with the Giants, Casilla has a 2.19 ERA. In his absence, however, the Giants haven’t skipped a beat. They still own the National League’s third-best bullpen ERA at 3.07 and have featured six other relievers to cross the 20-inning threshold with an ERA below 2.60: closer Sergio Romo, Jose Mijares, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Chad Gaudin, and Jean Machi.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.