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Max Scherzer loses no-hit bid against Cubs in seventh inning of NLDS Game 3

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Update (6:31 PM ET): Ben Zobrist broke up the no-hitter with a double to left-center field with one out in the bottom of the seventh. That brought Baker out to the mound with Scherzer at 98 pitches. After a 30-second chat with Scherzer, he brought in lefty Sammy Solis to face the left-handed-hitting Kyle Schwarber. Cubs manager Joe Maddon then had the right-handed-hitting Albert Almora, Jr. pinch-hit for Schwarber.

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So much for that hamstring injury. The Nationals pushed back ace Max Scherzer‘s debut in the NLDS until Game 3 because of a “tweaked” hamstring he sustained in his final start of the regular season. He was aiming for around 100 pitches on Monday.

Scherzer has held the Cubs hitless through six innings thus far in Game 3 of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. He’s issued three walks and struck out six on 90 pitches.

The Nationals gave Scherzer the lead in the top half of the sixth. Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber failed to catch a fly ball, then booted it away trying to reclaim it in left field, allowing Daniel Murphy to get to third base with two outs. Ryan Zimmerman then launched a two-out double to right field to plate Murphy. The Cubs, by the way, have committed four errors in this contest.

Don Larsen (1956) and Roy Halladay (2010) are the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter in the postseason — Larsen’s was a perfect game. We’ll keep you updated as Scherzer attempts to navigate the final three innings. Given that he’s already at 90 pitches, manager Dusty Baker may not want to risk the right-hander’s health by asking more out of him than he’s physically capable of giving.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).