Video: Kolten Wong thwarted by turf on outfield catch

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It wasn’t Kolten Wong’s fault that the Cubs won their 98th game on Friday afternoon. Okay, maybe a little bit — but if anyone asks, the outfield grass had more to do with Anthony Rizzo’s two-run double than anything else.

In the first inning, with the Cardinals already down 1-0 after starter Mike Leake let a run slip through on a wild pitch, Rizzo roped a line drive to left field. Wong ran in from the warning track and tried to plant his feet to catch the ball on a bounce. What happened instead was far more disastrous:

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After tagging Leake with another pair of runs to end the first inning, the Cubs coasted on the back of another gem from Jake Arrieta, who struck out 10 over seven scoreless frames. The Cubs are now two games shy of 100 wins in 2016, and reaching that triple-digit milestone would make this their sixth such season in franchise history. It would also be their first 100-win season since 1935.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.