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13.11.2018 08:02
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CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo walked the Cubs to a wild victory.Rizzo walked with the bases loaded in the seventh inning after Jason Heyward broke up a no-hitter with a two-run single in the sixth , and Chicago beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Friday.In the first meeting between the teams since they beat Washington in the NL Division Series, the Cubs won even though they didn’t get a hit against Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson.Heyward finally broke through against Sammy Solis (1-2) with two outs in the sixth. But just as big was Rizzo walking three times. He sparked the tying rally with one in a 13-pitch at-bat before forcing in the go-ahead run with another in the seventh.Manager Joe Maddon got ejected, but the Cubs pulled out the victory.“The second one obviously was a big one for us,” Rizzo said. “(Hellickson) was cruising, really hitting his spots.”Hellickson retired 17 in a row after issuing a leadoff walk to Rizzo in the first. But things took a wild turn with two out in the sixth.He walked Rizzo on 13 pitches and both Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist on four to load the bases.Heyward took two balls from Solis before lining a tying two-run single past second baseman Daniel Murphy.“I think I tried everything,” Hellickson said. “That’s why (Rizzo is) one of the best hitters in our game.”Chicago grabbed a 3-2 lead in the seventh after Maddon got tossed for arguing an interference call against Willson Contreras on the bases. The Cubs thought they had runners on second and third after Kyle Schwarber led off with a single and third baseman Anthony Rendon’s throw sailed down the right-field line.Instead, he got called for interference, leading to Maddon’s second ejection this season. He argued with plate umpire Bill Miller and went to first to demonstrate his point that first baseman Ryan Zimmerman could not have caught the throw, anyway.Maddon called it “obviously a horrific call” that rewards defenses and penalizes offenses and said the umpires should be allowed to “exercise judgment.”But Miller insisted: “In this situation, (Contreras) interfered with the first baseman’s ability to catch the ball. Because he was running inside fair territory — he was not running in the lane.”Schwarber had to go back to first. But he eventually scored when Greg Holland walked Rizzo after Ian Happ and Addison Russell singled to load the bases, putting the Cubs on top.Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs and eight hits in six innings for Chicago, and five relievers combined to hold the Nationals scoreless the rest of the way.Steve Cishek (3-1) struck out the final two batters in the seventh. Carl Edwards Jr. got three outs in the eighth after former Washington pitcher Brandon Kintzler walked the first two batters. Contreras picked Juan Soto off first from his knees before Mark Reynolds flied out and Murphy grounded out, and Pedro Strop worked the ninth for his ninth save in 12 chances.Hellickson gave up two runs , walked four and struck out three. Murphy had three hits and a run, but the Nationals came up short after a 7-3 homestand.CUBS MOVESThe Cubs signed veteran left-hander Jorge De La Rosa and transferred righty Yu Darvish to the 60-day disabled list to make room for him on the 40-man roster. Chicago also optioned left-hander Randy Rosario to Triple-A Iowa to create a spot for De La Rosa on the active roster.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: OF Bryce Harper was back in the lineup after being scratched from Thursday’s game against Atlanta because of a sore right knee. … Martinez said RHP Stephen Strasburg (cervical nerve impingement) is scheduled for about a 60-pitch bullpen session Saturday and will pitch in a simulated game on Wednesday. Martinez said he thinks Strasburg will need to go on a minor league rehab assignment before returning to the rotation. … RHP Erick Fedde (shoulder inflammation) threw in the bullpen in the bullpen on Friday.Cubs: The Cubs plan to have Darvish — sidelined since May 20 because of triceps and elbow injuries — throw at least one more simulated game before going on a minor league rehab assignment. … Ben Zobrist (sore hip) started in right field after missing Wednesday’s game at Kansas City.UP NEXTNationals: RHP Tanner Roark (6-12, 4.21 ERA) looks to win his fourth straight start.Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (12-4, 3.44) hopes to return to form after going 0-2 with an 8.53 ERA in his past four starts. NEW YORK (AP) — The big league batting average dropped to its lowest level since 1972, strikeouts topped hits for the first time and defensive shifts increased by another 30 percent while innings and pitches per starting pitcher dropped again in a another baseball season of rapid change.The batting average fell seven points to .248 in the regular season that ended Monday, down from a Steroids Era peak of .271 in 1999.Strikeouts set a record for the 11th straight year, increasing by 1,103 to 41,207, and topped hits (41,019) for the first time in big league history. Hits led by 2,111 last year and by 13,418 in 2006.Home runs dropped from a record 6 Bartolo Colon Jersey ,105 to 5,585 but was the fourth-highest total behind last year, 2000 and 2016.In a game transformed by teams’ use of advanced analytics, defensive shifts on balls in play rose to 34,673 from 26,705, according to Sports Info Solutions. There were just 6,882 as recently as 2013 and 17,826 in 2015.Twenty-six of the 30 teams increased use of shifts, with Detroit, Kansas City, the New York Mets, Philadelphia and St. Louis doubling. Only the Los Angeles Angels Jon Niese Jersey , Milwaukee, Texas and San Diego declined, but the Brewers had the fifth highest overall total.Innings per starting pitcher dropped to 5.36 from 5.51 last year and 5.89 in 2012, and average pitches per start fell to 88 from 92 in 2017 and 95 in 2012. Relievers per team per game rose to 3.4 from 3.2 last year and 3.0 in 2012.As a result, complete games set a record low for the fourth straight year at 42, down from 59 last season and 104 in 2015. Complete game shutouts dropped from 27 to 19, the fewest since 1874, when there were just eight teams. There were 65 shutouts as recently as 2014.There were 95 starts of one inning or fewer, more than double the 38 in 2017, and 244 of two innings or fewer, up from 133. Use of an “opener” reliever instead of a starter by Tampa Bay in many games was a factor, and some other teams started to copy the innovation.Sacrifice bunts dropped from 925 to 823, the fewest since a record-low 806 in 1900 , the last season with eight teams. Toronto had a record-low five, while Oakland and the Los Angeles Angels had six apiece and Boston seven. There were 1,667 as recently as 2011 and no club dropped below double digits until Texas had nine in 2005. No team had fewer than 50 in 1972.Nine-inning games averaged 3:00:44, down from 3:05:11 for last season, helped by new restrictions that cut mound visits without pitching changes to an average of 4.01 from 7.41.There were 1,400 video reviews, an increase of four, and overturned calls rose by six, from 47.3 percent to 47.6 percent, and the average time of reviews dropped five seconds to 1:23.Disabled list placements rose from 702 to 737. There were 563 in 2016, the last season before the primary disabled list switched from 15 days to 10.

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