Mets starter Matt Harvey pitched four perfect innings to begin Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cubs, but faltered in the fifth inning. After getting ahead 0-2 on Anthony Rizzo, Harvey plunked him with a fastball. Starlin Castro followed up with a double over the head of center fielder Juan Lagares to bring Rizzo home.
Jorge Soler grounded out for the first out of the inning. The next batter, Javier Baez, ripped a ground ball single to left field. Cubs third base coach Gary Jones waved Castro around, mistakenly, as Yoenis Cespedes fired a one-hopper to catcher Travis d'Arnaud. The throw was a bit off-line, but the tag was still applied easily. Baez stole second and advanced on a throwing error by d’Arnaud, and David Ross was intentionally walked so Harvey could face pitcher Jon Lester. Lester, as expected, struck out to end the inning.
Harvey has allowed the one run on two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, throwing 61 pitches. Lester has allowed a run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts, tossing 63 pitches.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.
Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.
Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.
The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.