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Cubs’, Reds’ benches clear at Great American Ball Park

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Things got a little spicy during the Cubs-Reds game on Saturday after Cincinnati reliever Amir Garrett induced a swinging strikeout from Javier Baez in the seventh inning. Baez worked a 2-2 count against the southpaw, then whiffed on an 84-MPH slider to end the inning. Apparently Garrett looked too happy about the strikeout — his first of the afternoon — and the two exchanged heated words as the benches cleared around them.

It’s not clear exactly what was said to elicit an emotional outburst from Baez, but the kerfuffle died down after several minutes. While both sides received a warning, nothing escalated beyond the verbal confrontation and no ejections were issued.

The altercation also signaled the end of Garrett’s outing, as he was swiftly replaced by right-hander Raisel Iglesias to begin the eighth inning. The Reds led the Cubs 4-2 at the time of the brawl, then relinquished their lead following Ian Happ‘s leadoff home run and Anthony Rizzo‘s RBI double in the eighth. They remain tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 11th.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.