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Alex Bregman’s fourth inning homer breaks up dueling no-hitters in Houston

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This morning I said that you were not going to see a better starting pitching matchup in the postseason than Justin Verlander vs. Corey Kluber. It dawned on me after saying that that I could’ve jinxed things and that, as a result, we may wind up with a 10-9 game in which both managers go to their pen by the third inning.

Nah. The starters came out throwing bullets, matching each other with no-hit innings in the first three frames and with Justin Verlander continuing to no-hit Cleveland into the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, however, a batter broke through. That batter was Alex Bregman and he broke through on a 2-1 sinker with nobody out:

That’s where we are, still in the bottom of the fourth in Game 1 of the ALDS.

UPDATE: Kluber then walked Yuli Gurriel, a couple of outs were recorded, Tyler White singled to center moving Gurriel to third and then Josh Reddick singled to right, scoring Gurriel. It’s 2-0 Houston in the fourth.

Indians to activate JosĂ© RamĂ­rez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.