What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday’s action

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There were two afternoon games today which I totally didn’t realize were happening or else I would’ve done this earlier. What am I, a baseball media professional or something? Oh well. As I write this the Mariners are about to beat the Orioles and the Brewers are holding a lead against the Cubs.

Most of the games go down tonight. Because I’m traveling tomorrow I gave Bill the night off and he’s going to cover the day tomorrow. If something newsy happens this evening I’ll pop in to write about it. I just hope it happens after, say, 9pm because I’m going out to dinner. I’ll do what I have to do, of course, because I am nothing if not a blogging professional, but I know from experience that women just LOVE It when you interrupt a date for a “blogging emergency.” In other news, I’m going to probably die alone, surrounded by cats.

Unless I get married, in which case it’ll be a lot like this. Gotta be yourself, you know. Hi, Kevin!

The matchups tonight include a nice Steven StrasburgMatt Harvey tilt, assuming Matt Harvey remembers that he’s Matt Harvey. Chris Sale goes for win number 9 against zero losses. I want him to win 30 this year. Not because I care about how he or the White Sox do but because I really want to spend all of August and September talking about what pitcher wins really mean. That’s always a fun discussion filled with nuance and insight. Both Jeff Samardzija and Jhoulys Chacin pitch tonight which is significant mostly because I hate spelling “Samardzija” and “Jhoulys.” If my recent run of cosmic luck holds, each will pitch a no-hitter tonight and my Ctrl, C, and V keys will break down from overuse. But like I said: I’m nothing if not a professional.

Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke), 7:05 PM EDT, PNC Park

Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin) @ Cincinnati Reds (Tim Adleman), 7:10 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

Washington Nationals (Steven Strasburg) @ New York Mets (Matt Harvey), 7:10 PM EDT, Citi Field

Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 7:15 PM EDT, Busch Stadium

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale), 8:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field

Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada) @ Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana), 8:10 PM EDT, Target Field

San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija) @ San Diego Padres (James Shields), 9:10 PM EDT, Petco Park

Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin), 10:05 PM EDT, Angel Stadium of Anaheim

New York Yankees (Ivan Nova) @ Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman), 10:05 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.