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Astros jump on Max Scherzer early, take 2-0 lead in World Series Game 1

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Max Scherzer got into immediate trouble and nearly pitched his way out of it, but Yuli Gurriel pounded a two-run double to left-center field with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Astros an early lead in Game 1 of the World Series.

George Springer worked a leadoff walk and José Altuve followed up with a single to left field on the first pitch he saw from Scherzer. Scherzer rebounded with back-to-back strikeouts of Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman, though Springer and Altuve separately stole a base. With two strikes, Gurriel lashed a Scherzer slider that clanked high off of the wall in left-center, mere feet from becoming a three-run home run.

On his 26th pitch of the inning, Scherzer struck out Correa to end the threat, but the damage was done. Gerrit Cole, who worked around Trea Turner‘s leadoff single and subsequent stolen base in the top of the frame, now has what feels like a substantial cushion.

Update: Well, that didn’t take long. Ryan Zimmerman answered with a solo homer off of Cole with two outs in the top of the second inning. 2-1 ‘stros.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.