Sep 17, 2020
LEADING OFF: Bieber starts, Verlander limbers up, deGrom OK?
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A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
NOW AND LATER
Shane Bieber (7-1, 1.53 ERA) tries to get the Indians headed in the right direction when they open a series at Detroit. Cleveland has dropped eight straight, its longest slide since June 2013. Bieber, a top contender for the AL Cy Young Award and perhaps the best pitcher in baseball this season, was beaten 3-1 in Minnesota last week for his first loss of the year.Still, he became the fastest starting pitcher since 1900 to reach 100 strikeouts in a season, hitting the milestone in 62 1/3 innings.
Bieber will face Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85 ERA), the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. Mize makes his sixth big league start and is looking for his first career win.
JUST IN TIME?
Astros ace Justin Verlander threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, who was out with a strained right forearm, threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“He looked real good, especially for his first time out … his control was good,” manager Dusty Baker said.
Baker hopes the Astros can get Verlander back before the end of the regular season, but said they likely won’t know what’s next for him until Friday.
“We’re just going to have to see how he comes out of this,” Baker said. “Probably won’t know for a couple of days (if) he has any soreness or any discomfort or anything. So, we’ll just have to wait.”
BUMP IN THE ROAD
Jacob deGrom and the Mets are hoping he feels better fast after the New York ace exited early Wednesday night against Philadelphia with a right hamstring spasm. The right-hander was removed following a surprisingly rough two innings that could derail his bid for a third consecutive NL Cy Young Award. He allowed three runs, pushing his ERA back over 2.00 at 2.09. It was the first time this season deGrom gave up three earned runs.
TAKE A BREAK
The Oakland Athletics will finally have a day off after playing 16 games in 13 days. The stretch included four games in three cities and three different time zones over a span of nearly 57 hours.
Manager Bob Melvin welcomes a rest day. Not outfielder Robbie Grossman, though.
“All I’ll think about is getting back on the field,” Grossman said.
He may even spend the off day watching baseball.
“That’s just me. I love baseball. I can’t get enough,” Grossman said. “That’s who I am and I’m not ashamed of it at all.”
The AL West leaders will be back in action Friday night, hosting the Giants.
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Wilson throws 5 more TD passes, Seahawks beat Cowboys 38-31
DK Metcalf made up for a huge first-half blunder by catching a 29-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson with 1:47 remaining, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Dallas Cowboys 38-31 on Sunday.
Wilson threw five touchdown passes, setting a record for most scoring passes in the first three games of a season with 14. Patrick Mahomes threw for 13 TDs in his MVP season of 2018. Wilson became the first QB to have at least four TD passes in each of the first three games.
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It was Metcalf who found redemption in the closing minutes.
Metcalf appeared to have a walk-in touchdown after hauling in a deep pass from Wilson late in the first quarter. But he was careless with the ball in the final few steps before the goal line, and Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs came up from behind and knocked the ball free. It went out of the end zone for a touchback.
Instead of a touchdown and 16-3 lead for Seattle, it was a 62-yard reception and a forgettable moment.
Metcalf was mostly quiet after his mistake as Tyler Lockett became the favorite target for Wilson. But when Seattle needed a big play late, Wilson floated a pass into the end zone and allowed Metcalf to run underneath it for the deciding touchdown.
Wilson was 27 of 40 for 315 yards. His latest bit of fourth-quarter magic ruined Dak Prescott’s attempt at a second straight major comeback.
Dallas trailed 30-15 after Prescott fumbled on the first play of the second half and Wilson subsequently threw his fourth TD pass. But Prescott threw TD passes of 42 yards to Cedrick Wilson and 43 yards to Michael Gallup, and Greg Zuerlein’s 42-yard field goal with 4:03 left gave Dallas a 31-30 lead.
Prescott had one last chance after Metcalf’s TD reception. He led the Cowboys to the Seattle 22 but was sacked by rookie Alton Robinson on second down, and Dallas had use its final timeout with 16 seconds left. On third down, Prescott's desperation throw to the end zone was intercepted by Ryan Neal.
Prescott finished 37 of 57 for 472 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He set career highs for yards and attempts.
While Prescott became the latest QB to have a big day against Seattle’s leaky secondary, the Seahawks held Ezekiel Elliott in check. Elliott finished with 34 yards rushing on 14 carries and scored on a 1-yard run in the first half.
Lockett set a career high with three TD receptions and finished with nine catches for 100 yards. Lockett scored once from 43 yards out and twice from the 1-yard line. Jacob Hollister also had a 1-yard TD catch and made the reception on Seattle’s 2-point conversion after Metcalf’s TD.
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Dallas DE Aldon Smith had three sacks, two tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and a pass defensed in his most impactful game of the season. Dallas finished with four sacks of Wilson.
Seattle suffered some significant injury losses, most notably safety Jamal Adams and running back Chris Carson.
Adams suffered a groin injury early in the fourth quarter when he took an awkward step on a rush of Prescott. He immediately pulled himself from the game and was limping on the sideline.
Carson was hurt on Seattle’s final drive. Dallas defensive tackle Trysten Hill twisted Carson awkwardly as he was pulled down on a 2-yard run.
Seattle lost both starting guards — Mike Iupati (knee) and Damien Lewis (ankle) — to injuries in the first half. Rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks, making his first start, also left in the second half with a knee injury.
Cowboys: Return home to host Cleveland next Sunday.
Seahawks: Make another East Coast trip to play at Miami next Sunday.