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Héctor Neris suspended three games for throwing at David Freese

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Phillies closer Héctor Neris has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended three games by Major League Baseball for throwing a fastball at Dodgers infielder David Freese in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game at Citizens Bank Park. Both Neris and manager Gabe Kapler were ejected by home plate umpire Chris Conroy.

Neris took over in the ninth inning with the Phillies ahead 6-5, but he would serve up a go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Beaty. Freese was the very next batter. The pitch that hit him was the second pitch of the at-bat. The first pitch was just outside of the strike zone, low and inside.

The Phillies went on to win in walk-off fashion, 9-8, staving off another humiliating loss after dropping Monday’s contest 16-2.

Neris is appealing his suspension, per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. Neris is allowed to continue playing until that matter is resolved. If and when he does serve his suspension, there’s no obvious ninth inning candidate as the bullpen has been depleted by injuries and has not performed well. Lefties José Álvarez and Adam Morgan, and right-hander J.D. Hammer seem the most likely to handle save chances while Neris is out.

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.