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.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.