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Cole Hamels scratched from Thursday’s start due to neck stiffness

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Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake announced that starter Cole Hamels has been scratched from Thursday night’s start against the White Sox due to neck stiffness. Doug Fister will start in his place. The Rangers haven’t announced who will start on Friday, when Fister had been scheduled to start.

Hamels, 34, has compiled a 3.48 ERA with a 57/21 K/BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings so far this season. He had his best start of the season last Friday when he tossed six scoreless, one-hit innings against the Astros, outdueling Justin Verlander in the process.

Fister, 34, has also been solid for the Rangers this year, putting up a 4.06 ERA with a 29/15 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.