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Report: Tim Lincecum, Texas Rangers nearing deal


UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that Lincecum “is deep into talks with the Texas Rangers” on a one-year major league deal, and the expectation is it gets done soon. Passan says that it’d likely be for a job in the bullpen, and that Lincecum could challenge for the Rangers’ open closer role.

12:52 PM: Jon Heyman reports that Tim Lincecum is deciding between two or three teams and is expected to sign in the next day or two. Heyman names two of the finalists: the Rangers and Lincecum’s longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Heyman says Lincecum is preparing to fly to Arizona, so his decision appears imminent.

It would be weird to see Lincecum in a Dodgers jersey after seeing him for so long with the Giants, but a job’s a job. At this point, of course, the free agent Lincecum is looking to get back to the big leagues any way he can.

Lincecum has not pitched at all since 2016, and hasn’t pitched well for many, many years. He attracted a lot of attention earlier this month during a showcase in which he reportedly threw in the 90-93 mph range, however, and has since drawn considerable interest, with Heyman reporting that at least two clubs have offered him guaranteed major league deals.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.