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Watch: Mikie Mahtook lends a helping hand to a Jose Ramirez home run

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Jose Ramirez kicked things off for the Indians in unusual fashion on Sunday, returning a 3-2 fastball from Tigers’ southpaw Chad Bell to give the club a one-run lead in the first inning. The ball traveled an estimated 361 feet, per Statcast’s calculations, but needed an extra push to clear the fence in left field. It bounced twice off the top of the wall before eventually tipping away from the field.

There to lend a helping hand? Tigers’ left fielder Mikie Mahtook, who reached for the ball twice before inadvertently pushing it over the wall — and causing a little frustration in Detroit’s bullpen, too.

Ramirez returned in the third inning with a leadoff double, his 45th of the season, and hustled home to score on a comebacker off of Carlos Santana‘s bat. The Indians currently lead the Tigers 4-1 in the top of the fourth.

Madison Bumgarner is reportedly asking for a nine-figure deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.

Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.

Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.

The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.