Brett Oberholtzer, because he was pitching poorly, intentionally threw at Alex Rodriguez

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Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer was not having a good afternoon at home against the Yankees on Saturday. He served up an upper-deck home run to right field in the first inning to Brian McCann, then surrendered a one-out, two-run blast to Chris Young in the second.

Frustrated, Oberholtzer’s next pitch was a fastball inside to Alex Rodriguez, nearly hitting the DH. Home plate umpire Rob Drake immediately ejected a remorseless Oberholtzer, who walked off the mound without an argument.

Roberto Hernandez entered the game in Oberholtzer’s place, eventually walking Rodriguez before escaping the inning unscathed.

Oberholtzer should end up with a fine and/or a suspension when the dust settles.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
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The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.

Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.