Report: Blue Jays have “strong interest” in Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers

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It’s no secret that the Blue Jays plan to target starting pitching in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. We all know about some of the big names like Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija, and Scott Kazmir who are expected to be available, but here’s an under-the-radar possibility:

As opposed to Cueto, Samardzija, and Kazmir, this wouldn’t be a rental situation. Fiers is currently making the major league minimum and won’t even be arbitration-eligible for the first time until after next season. As such, Rosenthal writes that the Brewers would require multiple pieces in return.

After posting a 2.13 ERA over 10 starts and four relief appearances in 2014, the 30-year-old Fiers has a 3.79 ERA and 106/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings this season.

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.