Madison Bumgarner named NLCS MVP

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After the Giants secured a trip to the World Series with a dramatic 6-3 win over the Cardinals this evening, left-hander Madison Bumgarner was named as the NLCS MVP.

Bumgarner tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory in Game 1 and allowed three runs over eight innings in Game 5 tonight. He kept the Giants in the game just long enough for Michael Morse to tie things up with a pinch-hit solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. Travis Ishikawa then launched a walk-off three-run homer in the ninth.

Bumgarner has a 1.42 ERA and 28/5 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings across four starts this postseason. The Giants’ ace owns a 2.67 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance during the postseason for his career.

The World Series doesn’t begin until next Tuesday, so Bumgarner should be on regular rest for Game 1 against the Royals.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.