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Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard will face off in the NL Wild Card game

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Noah Syndergaard will try to pitch the Mets into the NLDS in Wednesday’s Wild Card game against the Giants. He’ll oppose Madison Bumgarner, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports, in what should be a highly entertaining matchup.

Bumgarner, of course, is revered as much for his hitting as his pitching. The four-time All-Star finished the 2016 season with three home runs and has hit 12 since the start of the 2014 season, easily the most in baseball among pitchers in that span of time. The 27-year-old lefty also found himself in the running for the NL Cy Young Award, compiling a 15-9 record with a 2.74 ERA and a 251/54 K/BB ratio in 226 2/3 innings. The venerated lefty has an outstanding postseason track record as well, owning a 2.14 ERA across 12 starts and two relief appearances.

Syndergaard, 24, will bring his trademark golden locks and his 100 MPH fastball to Wednesday’s meeting. No one threw a fastball harder on average than Syndergaard, as he averaged 98 MPH. Yordano Ventura, in second place, registered at 96.1 MPH. Syndergaard finished 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and a 218/43 K/BB ratio in 183 2/3 innings, helping buoy the Mets’ otherwise tattered starting rotation, as the club lost Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler throughout the year.

The NL Wild Card game starts at 8:00 PM on Wednesday and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Andrew McCutchen to open season on IL

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters today that Andrew McCutchen will not be ready to play to start the season. McCutchen is still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered last year. Girardi said that McCutchen hasn’t suffered a setback, but is simply not on a timetable that would allow him to play on Opening Day.

Obviously, this is a bit of a blow for the Phillies. McCutchen isn’t the MVP-level player he once ways, but he’s still a difference-maker and can be a spark plug for an offense. He was off to a .256/.378/.457 start in his 262 plate appearances before the injury struck. His continued stint on the injured list opens up everyday at-bats for Jay Bruce, whom the Phillies traded for during the 2019 season to help fill the hole caused by McCutchen’s injury. Bruce moving up the depth chart opens up a roster spot for someone like Neil Walker, Nick Martini or Kyle Garlick to make the team.

Girardi said that the Phillies expect McCutchen back at some point in April, so he hopefully won’t be on the shelf too much longer. Still, it stinks that we’re going to have wait longer for one of the more fun players in baseball to suit up again.

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