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Jeremy Hellickson added to Washington Nationals roster



NEW YORK — The Washington Nationals have added right-hander Jeremy Hellickson to the roster and will start him in the series opener against the New York Mets.

The Nationals purchased Hellickson’s contract before Monday night’s game at Citi Field.

Washington signed Hellickson, 31, late during spring training. He was a combined 8-11 with a 5.43 ERA last year for Philadelphia and Baltimore. He has a career record of 69-69 in eight big league seasons.

The Nationals optioned righty Trevor Gott to Triple-A Syracuse. He was 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in five games for Washington.

Catcher Jhonatan Solano was put on the 60-day disabled list because of bone chips in his right elbow. He spent a short time with Washington this season and didn’t get into a game before going on the 10-day DL.

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Daniel Poncedeleon, who survived a life-threatening head injury, to be recalled by St. Louis Cardinals



It’s common during the dog days of summer for a team short of starting pitchers to call up a hot minor leaguer to make his major league debut, but the Daniel Poncedeleon saga is anything but typical.

The St. Louis Cardinals plan to bring up the 26-year-old righty and give him the ball Monday at Cincinnati — 14 months after he was on an operating table undergoing emergency brain surgery.

Poncedeleon was pitching for Triple-A Memphis in May of last year when a line drive struck him in the right temple and put his career — and life — in jeopardy. But after weeks in intensive care and months of inactivity, he began working out and building up to a return. By February, he had progressed so much that St. Louis invited him to its big league spring training camp.

For Memphis this season, Poncedeleon has a 9-3 record, a 2.15 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 92 innings. Poncedeleon won his last four starts, including a one-hitter in his last appearance on July 15 — the first complete-game shutout of his five minor league seasons.

He was called up last month, but the Cardinals sent him back down after three games in which he didn’t see action.

On July 11 he pitched one inning for the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A all-star game, and against the heart of the International League order, he struck out all three hitters.

It’s been a momentous first seven months of the year for reasons beyond Poncedeleon’s remarkable comeback and advancement, too. He and his wife Jennifer were married in February.

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Noah Syndergaard of New York Mets bound for DL after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease



NEW YORK — Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard is going on the 10-day disabled list after recently exhibiting symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease, a viral illness that normally affects children younger than 5 years old.

As bizarre as the injury is, team officials don’t believe the DL stint will last long. Scheduled now to miss his next start Wednesday, Syndergaard could be back for his following turn in the rotation.

“Sounds like once the blisters and everything — or whatever he’s got going on on his hands — clears up, he’s going to be fine,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Sunday.

Corey Oswalt will make Wednesday’s start against the San Diego Padres in Syndergaard’s place.

Syndergaard, the right-handed flamethrower known to top 100 mph, was taken out of his start Friday night after just five innings. He was removed after demonstrating a noticeable drop in his velocity with his four-seam fastball and sinker.

After beginning the game with a 97.7 mph fastball, that same pitch was consistently around 95 mph in his later innings, according to Statcast. Syndergaard’s sinker went from 98.1 mph in the first inning to hovering around 93 and 94 mph by the fourth and fifth innings.

Callaway said the disease had “everything” to do with that decrease in velocity.

“During the game, he didn’t quite figure it out. He knew he had trouble breathing,” Callaway said. “I put my hands on his legs to talk to him when he came out and said, ‘Hey, man. Is everything OK?’ And I felt his leg shaking. So he was just weak and run-down, and I think the virus just took its toll.”

The manager said the team first suspected some deeper issue when Syndergaard started noticing splotches and blisters on his hands just after he exited Friday’s 7-5 win over the New York Yankees.

Callaway suspects Syndergaard contracted the illness while hosting a baseball camp for kids in New Jersey the day before the start.

According to the Center for Disease Control, hand, foot and mouth disease can spread when people who have it cough or sneeze. A person can also become infected if they come into contact with an infected person’s blister fluid. Symptoms include fever, mouth sores and a skin rash.

“We sent him home right away when we figured out what it was,” Callaway said. “Nobody’s shown any symptoms yet. We’re trying to make sure they wash their hands and do all that a couple days ago. Some people didn’t come into contact with him that day.”

With this latest Mets injury coming just after the drama surrounding Yoenis Cespedes‘ heels, in addition to other unfortunate and untimely happenings, the discovery of Syndergaard’s unique illness initially had Mets coaches shaking their heads.

“We did that a little bit like, ‘Hand, foot and mouth?'” Callaway said. “But yeah, it’s kind of odd. Maybe the first DL stint in major league baseball with hand, foot and mouth? Maybe a record or something.”

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Cardinals vs. Cubs – Game Recap – July 22, 2018



CHICAGO — Jose Quintana pitched seven effective innings, keeping Matt Carpenter in the ballpark and helping the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Sunday.

Quintana (9-6) allowed two runs and six hits, struck out six and walked four in his first start since July 10. The left-hander also matched his career high with 121 pitches after he got an extended break to work with pitching coach Jim Hickey on his changeup and get over some shoulder fatigue.

Kyle Schwarber hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Mike Mayers (2-1) with two out in the sixth inning, and the Cubs broke it open with three runs in the eighth. The NL Central leaders took three of five from the Cardinals in their first series after the All-Star break and moved 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee.

Carpenter’s homer streak ended at six games, a single-season record for St. Louis. The infielder went deep six times in the first four games of the series, including three homers in Friday’s 18-5 victory.

Carpenter ended his streak of 12 consecutive hits for extra bases when he led off the game with a bunt single. Third baseman Kris Bryant joined the Cubs’ outfielders during Carpenter’s at-bat, and Carpenter responded with the bunt to the left side.

He advanced on Yadier Molina‘s double and scored on Paul DeJong‘s sacrifice fly. Carpenter was 1 for 12 against Quintana before the bunt hit.

Quintana intentionally walked Carpenter with runners at second and third in the second inning before striking out Molina looking.

Quintana struck out Carpenter swinging with one on after Yairo Munoz hit an RBI double in the fourth.

The Cubs then pushed across two runs in the bottom half, tying it at 2. Ian Happ smacked an RBI double down the right-field line and Willson Contreras hit a two-out RBI single to left.

Bryant hit an RBI single off Mayers in the seventh, and Contreras, Albert Almora Jr. and Anthony Rizzo each had a run-scoring single in the eighth.

Carpenter popped out with two on in the ninth against Randy Rosario.

Dexter Fowler and Yairo Munoz each had two hits for the Cardinals, who have dropped seven of 11. Miles Mikolas gave up two runs and six hits in five innings.


Cardinals: RHP Luke Weaver, who was the 26th man for Saturday’s doubleheader and started Game 1, returned to the minors. He is expected to return next weekend to make a start.

Cubs: RHP Dillon Maples was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.


Cardinals: INF Jedd Gyorko (illness) is feeling much better after sitting out Saturday’s doubleheader, manager Mike Shildt said. Gyorko grounded out as a pinch hitter with two on in the sixth inning and stayed in the game.

Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right elbow impingement and inflammation) threw from 135 feet on flat ground and could throw off a mound soon. He has been on the disabled list since May 23. “Just making an educated guess, you can’t be overly reliant on somebody who hasn’t been able to be healthy and perform this year at the same time,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “You track the rehab closely because you have to try to anticipate what he might be able to give you. Today was his best day in a long time. He threw really well and felt really good.” . LHP Drew Smyly (Tommy John surgery) threw a simulated game and is expected to throw another one Thursday.


Cardinals: RHP Daniel Poncedeleon will make his major league debut Monday at Cincinnati. He underwent surgery in 2017 to relieve pressure around his brain after he was hit in the head by a line drive while pitching for Triple-A Memphis. “It’s remarkable. Talk about a comeback story,” Shildt said. RHP Luis Castillo (5-8, 5.49 ERA) is set to start for the Reds.

Cubs: The Cubs had yet to announce their starter for Monday’s series opener against the Diamondbacks, who will start LHP Patrick Corbin (6-4, 3.24 ERA).

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