Bassett’s Return, Chessocks Close, Max Begins, W cards
A look at what’s happening around majors today:
Auckland right-hander Chris Bassett promised to be back on the hill by the end of the season after driving a frightening 100mph to his face on August 17.
He will get his chance in the series finale against Seattle at the Colosseum. Bassett (12-4, 3.22) underwent facial surgery on August 24 to repair three fractures to his cheekbone after he was struck by the liner from the White Sox’s Brian Goodwin’s racket.
“It was a bit of a torture room,” Bassett said. “I’m happy to finally be back, and I hope to help the team win.”
Immediately after his injury, Bassett informed director Bob Melvin and the medical staff that he intended to stage an entirely new show this year. Bassett was leading the American League in wins and innings (151) and starts (25) when he was injured.
“Knowing Chris obviously sells a little bit of that to us, to understand that,” said athletic trainer Nick Paparista of the bowler’s quick comeback. “What has Chris done this year? Chris has had an extraordinary season. He has been an all-star. What does he have to prove? But I think he has something to prove to himself that he can get out there and can do what he needs to do to help this team win and compete.”
32-year-old Bassett returns to start a game between contenders with wild cards.
“I was ready,” he said. “It’s just a matter of having a lot of chests to check. We checked them all in the end.”
Irreversible at times, Max Scherzer has done everything the Dodgers had hoped – and more – since they pulled him out of Washington in late July on the trade deadline.
Scherzer is 7-0 with 0.78 ERA in nine games in Los Angeles as he tries to overtake San Francisco in the NL West. In 58 innings, he allowed only 31 hits and 79 hits.
The three-time Cy Young award winner is 15-4 with a league-leading 2.08 ERA. The 37-year-old Ayman tries not to beat the Dodgers when they start against Colorado at Coors Field. And Rocky Kyle Freeland will throw the left 3-3 with a 5.36 ERA at home this season.
Scherzer is 11-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 17 starts since the Nationals’ May 30 loss against Milwaukee. No round earned is allowed on the last 36 2/3 runs.
Scherzer hopes to finish another streak of his. Considered a good bowler for most of his career, he’s 0-55 overall at the plate this season – and hasn’t made it safely to base once.
White Sox Rap?
Jose Abreu, Yasmani Grandal and the White Sox are looking to win their first AL Central title since 2008, and they only need to win once in a single night in Cleveland.
The White Sox are on the verge of reaching the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in the team’s history.
Reinaldo Lopez (3-3, 3.00 PM) started the Chicago opener and Aaron Ceval (11-4, 3.40) Courts second-place Cleveland.
The White Sox lost five of seven. The magic number for winning division is two.
Adam Wainwright has won nine of his last 10 decisions, which is a big reason the Cardinals are building their lead in second place in the Premier League.
St. Louis have 11 straight wins, their best straight streak since 11 games in 2001. The Cardinals’ longest winning streak history was 14, back in 1935 when he starred in Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean.
Third base star Nolan Arenado came out early with a tightness in his lower back during the 10-2 win over the Brewers on Wednesday night.
“I stressed him out a little bit, and just wanted to get him out of there as a precaution,” said manager Mike Scheldt. “There is always some anxiety, but at the end of the match he felt better than when he was eliminated.”
The Cardinals have a 4 1/2-match lead over Cincinnati and Philadelphia in the last wild card slot.
The 40-year-old Wainwright (16-7, 2.89 ERA) starts against Adrian Houser (9-6, 3.43) and the Milwaukee squad leader. Wainwright is second in the major leagues in wins behind Julio Urías of the Dodgers and is 5-0 with a 1.51 ERA since the August 17th loss to the Brewers.
Left-handed Stephen Matz is a career best 13-8 with a 3.84 ERA as Toronto, battling for an accessory berth, opened the series at the Minnesota Twins and Michael Pineda (7-8, 3.74).
The Blue Jays are trailing half a game behind the idle Yankees for second.
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