What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

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Things got a little chippy during Monday night’s game between the Dodgers and Giants, as Craig briefly wrote about this morning. Yasiel Puig grounded out on a light tapper to the left of the pitcher’s mound, ending the inning. Madison Bumgarner, for whatever reason, didn’t particularly care for Puig at that moment and began chirping at him. “Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me. Don’t f-ing look at me,” he said. And that’s when the benches emptied.

Things devolved from there. The Giants’ bullpen once again could not hold a lead. Derek Law began the bottom of the ninth inning staked to a 1-0 lead, but allowed a leadoff single to Andrew Toles. Manager Bruce Bochy brought in lefty Javier Lopez to pitch to the left-handed Corey Seager, but Seager also singled, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Finally, Seager brought in Hunter Strickland which would prove to be a mistake. Strickland yielded another single to Justin Turner, tying the game. He then served up a game-winning double to Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 victory.

The Giants have lost three games in a row and six of their last eight. After looking like one of baseball’s best teams in the first half, going 57-33, the Giants have been baseball’s worst team in the second half, compiling a 22-38 record. They’re now six games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West, their largest deficit all season. And now they’re tied with the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card slot. It’s quite possible the Giants, who were supposed to have Even Year Bullsh– on their side, will watch the postseason from home or at a golf course.

Johnny Cueto will try to stop the hemorrhaging when he takes the mound for the Giants on Tuesday evening. He’ll oppose the Dodgers’ Rich Hill in a 10:10 PM EDT start.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (James Shields) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson), 7:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @ New York Mets (Robert Gsellman), 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly), 7:10 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Josh Smith) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 8:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Daniel Wright) @ Texas Rangers (A.J. Griffin), 8:05 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Matt Boyd) @ Minnesota Twins (Hector Santiago), 8:10 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Steven Brault) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza), 8:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) @ Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa), 8:40 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Joe Musgrove) @ Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea), 10:05 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ San Diego Padres (Paul Clemens), 10:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 10:10 PM EDT

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.