Sean Newcomb
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Braves tag Sean Newcomb to start Game 3 of NLDS

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While the Braves originally planned to send veteran righty Kevin Gausman up against the Dodgers on Sunday, a last-minute change will see left-hander Sean Newcomb take the mound for what could be the deciding game of the NLDS.

Newcomb, 25, made a brief appearance for the team during Game 1 of the series on Thursday. He was the first man out of the bullpen behind Mike Foltynewicz, who made a hasty exit from the mound after giving up a four-run lead to Los Angeles in the first two innings. Newcomb pitched just two innings in relief, allowing a base hit to Hyun-Jin Ryu and striking out two of seven batters faced before handing the ball to Max Fried in the fifth.

Over the course of the regular season, Newcomb pitched to a 12-9 record in 30 starts with a 3.90 ERA, 4.4 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 through 164 innings. Gausman made a convincing case as well — since the Braves acquired him at the trade deadline in July, he went 5-3 in 10 starts with a 2.87 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 6.6 SO/9 across 59 2/3 innings — but with the stakes this high, the Braves appear to prefer the young southpaw as they try to stretch the NLDS to a full five games next week. Gausman, of course, could still be utilized in a starting role during Game 4 or 5, provided the Braves last that long against their NL rivals.

For now, Game 3 is scheduled to kick off at SunTrust Park on Sunday at 8:07 PM EDT. Following shutdown performances from both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw, Atlanta still has yet to score a run in the postseason and will look to break that trend against rookie right-hander Walker Buehler.

Anthony Rizzo to wear walking boot for five to seven days

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Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.

Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.

Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.