Video: Kyle Schwarber lays down a picture-perfect bunt for a hit

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Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber beat the shift to lead off the bottom half of the first inning during Monday night’s game against the Brewers. The pull-prone slugger, facing an infield shifted to the right side, decided to lay down a bunt on first-pitch fastball from starter Chase Anderson.

It was a beaut. The ball appeared to have enough momentum to carry foul, but it slowed up just enough after leaving the lip of the infield grass. The ball hugged the third-base foul line all the way up to the bag. Third baseman Travis Shaw watched in the hope that fate carried it just an inch further to the left, but to no avail.

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As the Cubs put it on Twitter, Schwarber [crushed] a leadoff single.

Schwarber finished 1-for-5 on the night as the Cubs lost 6-3 to the Brewers. The Cubs are now below .500 at 6-7 to begin the season.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.