Benches clear after Adam Wainwright plunks Yasiel Puig

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Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright just plunked Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig in the shoulder and when Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate next he started jawing with catcher Yadier Molina, at which point both benches cleared.

There’s history dating back to last year’s playoffs, when Joe Kelly broke Hanley Ramirez’s ribs with a pitch. This time didn’t seem obviously intentional, but Gonzalez clearly thought there was something going on. Puig, for his part, wasn’t nearly as upset as Gonzalez.

Warnings have been issued, so if Clayton Kershaw hits anyone he’s at risk for ejection.

Oh, and Puig came around to score on a Ramirez single, tying the game at 1-1.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.