Cardinals have early lead over Giants in NLCS Game 4

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The Cardinals are trying to get the National League Championship Series back to St. Louis, and they’re off to a decent start here in Game 4 at AT&T Park.

Matt Carpenter opened the top of the first with a leadoff double, Jon Jay followed with walk, and then Matt Adams laced a one-out RBI single to shallow left field. San Francisco retaliated with a run in the bottom of the first, but the Cards answered right back when Kolten Wong doubled to deep center in the top of the second and A.J. Pierzynski drove him in.

Wong would strike again in the top of the third inning, slugging a solo shot over the right field wall. Shortly before Wong’s blast, Matt Holliday raced home on a double play groundout by Jhonny Peralta. It was a 4-1 lead at that point and Giants manager Bruce Bochy opted to pinch-hit Joaquin Arias for starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong to open the bottom of the third. That worked out well, as Arias singled to center and then made it home on a two-out RBI single by Buster Posey. Pablo Sandoval followed with a walk and Hunter Pence drove Posey in for the Giants’ third run through three innings against Cardinals starter Shelby Miller.

St. Louis leads Game 4 by a score of 4-3 in what could be a back-and-forth marathon.

San Francisco has a 2-1 lead in this National League Championship Series.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.