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7:40 PM ET, September 14, 2018


 Top News: 
David Haugh / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Cubs need unlikely leader to emerge from bullpen  —  Chicago Tribune  —  For context on the quandary that is the Cubs bullpen, consider that the defending World Series champion Astros closed out their two most important games last season without a pitcher whose primary purpose was to get the final three outs.
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Cubs know they won't get any sympathy for a 30-day work stretch  —  Javy Baez discusses his game-winning bunt against the Nationals on Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington.  (Paul Sullivan/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The heaviest thing most baseball players lift during a game is a bat …
Phil Rogers / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs closer Pedro Strop out for rest of regular season with moderate left hamstring strain  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The Cubs have ruled out closer Pedro Strop for the rest of the regular season.  —  An MRI on Friday showed a moderate strain of his left hamstring.
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:   7 candidates to replace Pedro Strop as Cubs closer
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:   Can Javier Baez carry the Cubs to the NL Central title?
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
3 things we learned from the Cubs' 4-3 win over the Nationals
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
Trevor Story is pushing Javier Baez in crowded NL MVP race
Discussion: Baseball Prospectus
Steve Rosenbloom / Chicago Tribune:   Column: Time to join Cubs manager Joe Maddon for another episode of ‘Joverthinking It’
USA Today:
Yankees activate Aaron Judge from DL, but will be limited  —  Check back for updates  —  The New York Yankees activated Aaron Judge before Friday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.  —  However, Judge will be limited to only defense and base running.  He will not be able to hit yet.
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
George A. King III / New York Post:
Hal Steinbrenner throws support behind Aaron Boone amid swoon
Daily Record:   Last Slide  —  The Yankees open their final home stand …
Yankees need to come up big against Jays
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Bill Madden / New York Daily News:
If Yankees aren't home for wild-card game, Aaron Boone will be to blame
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Joe Lyons / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Flaherty-Buehler rematch highlights Cards vs. Dodgers  —  Two of baseball's top young righthanders — Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals and the Dodgers' Walker Buehler — will square off Friday in a 7:15 p.m. showdown at Busch Stadium.  —  Los Angeles won 9-7 in the opening game of the four-game series …
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Cardinals notes: Molina recovers enough to play
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Weaver becoming nonfactor on Cards' pitching staff
David Wellham / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves to begin sales of single-game NLDS tickets next week  —  The Braves announced that single-game tickets for a potential National League Division Series will go on sale Wednesday.  —  The Braves lead the National League East Division by 7-1/2 games over the second-place Phillies entering play Friday.
Braves try to secure division title in homestand starting with Nationals
Discussion: Federal Baseball and Talking Chop
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Last Slide  —  DENVER — Eleven years ago, the Colorado Rockies sat 4 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with 15 games to play.  They wound up in the World Series.  Four years later, the Tampa Bay Rays were 2 1/2 out with five to play.  They got in.  The next year it was the Oakland Athletics who were five back with nine remaining.
Toronto Sun:
Astros return from another successful trip to face D-backs
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
Michael Kelly / Associated Press:
Arenado, Story homer to help Rockies beat Diamondbacks 10-3
Tom Haudricourt / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
How the Brewers' rotation defied low expectations  —  What would your expectations have been for the Milwaukee Brewers' starting rotation during the 2018 season if you had this information at the outset:  —  » Jimmy Nelson would not throw a pitch in a major-league game.
ESPN:   Brewers in thick of playoff race as they host Pirates
Larry McShane / New York Daily News:
David Wright finale turns meaningless Mets game into city's hottest ticket next week  —  News of retiring Mets star David Wright's Citi Field farewell instantly turned a meaningless September game into the city's hottest sports ticket.  —  The average resale price for tickets to the Sept. 29 contest …
Mike Puma / New York Post:
Jose Reyes hopes to be next to David Wright in his finale
Discussion: Sporting News and Amazin' Avenue
Scott Boeck / USA Today:
MLB playoff picture: Updated look at division, wild card races  —  With just more than two weeks remaining, the Boston Red Sox are the only team to officially punch their ticket to the postseason.  —  The Red Sox still have work to do to clinch the American League East, although that …
Ramona Shelburne / ESPN:
Matt Kemp is finally home again in LA  —  There is no easy way to tell a player he's been traded.  But generally whatever awkwardness or emotion an executive feels from those calls is offset by the excitement of the calls welcoming the players joining the club.
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
How big is Rays-A's this weekend?  Well ...  That the Rays are playing a series with even the slightest amount of playoff implications in mid-September is somewhat of an accomplishment.  —  How big the matchup with the A's that starts tonight at the Trop is depends on your perspective.
Rays try to close gap versus A's
Discussion: Athletics Nation
Bob Ford /
The 2018 Phillies.  So what the heck was that?  |  Bob Ford  —  The lone saving grace of the Phillies' late tumble from postseason contention was that the baseball they played while exiting the race wasn't much uglier than what they played while taking part.
David Murphy /
As a season wanes, a complex set of decisions awaits the Phillies
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Eddie Matz / ESPN:
'It's like group therapy': How a rookie skipper won over the Cards clubhouse  —  Somehow, Mike Shildt got the St. Louis Cardinals to buy into “Ball Talk.”  —  It would've been all too easy for the Cardinals players, especially the veterans, to roll their eyes.
Kyle Newport / Bleacher Report:
Mike Trout Reportedly Expected to Receive ‘Lifetime’ Contract Offer from Angels  —  While Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be the biggest names on the free-agent market this offseason, it could be a player already under contract for the foreseeable future who could make the biggest splash.
ESPN:   Mariners hope to stay on Cruz control vs. Angels
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Braves, Giants franchises molded by 1993, MLB's last great pennant race  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The last great pennant race left some with the most beautiful memories in their careers and others with the ugliest of scars.  —  It created the most radical change in baseball's playoff format …
Dave Clark /
Former Reds exec Bob Miller of Nats auctions World Series ring for colleague with leukemia  —  Washington Nationals assistant general manager Bob Miller, who spent nine seasons with the Cincinnati Reds as vice president and assistant general manager, put the World Series ring he earned …
Phil Rogers / Chicago Tribune:
Kyle Schwarber not in lineup against Matt Harvey, Reds  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Kyle Schwarber worked out in left field before Friday night's game but wasn't in Joe Maddon's lineup against Reds right-hander Matt Harvey.  —  Schwarber, who didn't travel to Washington because of a sore back, is only 2-for-12 lifetime against Harvey.
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