LEADING OFF: Mets '86 World Series team to be honored
A look at what's happening all around the majors Saturday:
IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO
The New York Mets honor their 1986 World Series championship team before Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, their last team to win the title. The Mets beat the Red Sox in seven games. It is infamously remembered for Boston first baseman Bill Buckner allowing a routine ground ball to go through his legs at first in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Mets the win in Game 6. They went on to take Game 7. The Red Sox honored their team earlier this week.
BACK ON THE MOUND
Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish faces the Pirates in his first major league start since Aug. 9, 2014. Darvish missed the end of the 2014 season with right elbow inflammation and had more issues while making just one spring appearance last year before undergoing Tommy John surgery. In five rehab outings this month, Darvish had a 0.90 ERA with 21 strikeouts and six walks in 20 innings. ''I've yet to see Darvish pitch a real game for us,'' second-year Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ''So that'll be fun.''
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun loves to see the Reds. Entering the weekend, Braun had hit 32 homers against Cincinnati since the slugger's rookie season in 2007, the most by a player against the Reds in that span. Braun gets another crack against Cincinnati when the teams play the second game of a three-game set on Saturday at Miller Park.
San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner ranks among the National League's best in strikeouts (77) and wins (6). He also boasts a 2.17 ERA heading into his start Saturday against the Colorado Rockies, a team he's owned in recent outings. Bumgarner has won his last four starts against Colorado.
Braves rookie right-hander Aaron Blair, who was 0-3 with a 7.59 ERA in his first five-game stint in the majors before being sent back to Triple-A Gwinnett, appears bound for a second chance with Atlanta. Blair will start in Saturday's game against the Miami Marlins. The Braves need a fill-in after projected starter Casey Kelly had to pitch four innings in relief in Wednesday's 13-inning loss to Milwaukee. Blair is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts with Gwinnett.