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Around the Wild Card Race: September 20 Edition

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If you're going to look back at who's behind you, make sure it's a short look, then keep going forward.
If you're going to look back at who's behind you, make sure it's a short look, then keep going forward.

Here are news and notes from around the Wild Card race:

  • Injuries have depleted Atlanta at the shortstop position. Andrelton Simmons and Paul Janish, two of their shortstops, were both out on Wednesday as they both recovered from shoulder injuries. Simmons is expected to be available on Friday for the start of the series in Philadelphia. Janish was sent back to Atlanta for further tests and his status is up in the air.
  • St. Louis is hoping to get some more players back from injury. Jake Westbrook threw a bullpen session and reported that he felt well afterwards, and plans to throw another one Friday. Meanwhile, Lance Berkman is not conceding that he's done for the season and would return if he feels 100 percent.
  • Los Angeles got a boost to their bullpen as reliever Kenley Jansen returned to action after experiencing an irregular heartbeat. He did not pitch in the doubleheader on Wednesday, though.
  • Second baseman Neil Walker of Pittsburgh has been struggling with his back lately, and will have to return to the bench for now. He will play when he can, but he is most likely day-to-day for a while.
  • With the conclusion of their Triple-A team's championship run, Arizona recalled outfielder A.J. Pollock and first baseman Mike Jacobs. However, highly-touted prospect Trevor Bauer was not called up, with Arizona opting to let him rest because of his innings total and they did not want to mess with their rotation.
  • In San Diego, the Padres have decided to shut down starting pitcher Andrew Cashner for the rest of the season. He had been dealing with a strained right lat as well as pain in a tendon in his arm.

Looking at yesterday's games:

  • Milwaukee continued their dominance over Pittsburgh thanks to seven innings of shutout baseball from Marco Estrada. The Brewers tallied single runs in three different innings, and got a scare late but held on for a 3-1 win. Kyle has the recap if you missed it. (Box Score)
  • Los Angeles split a doubleheader with Washington. In Game 1, Washington used six strong innings from Jordan Zimmerman on route to a 3-1 win. In Game 2, the Dodgers got six runs early off of John Lannan and built a 6-0 run entering the eighth inning. However, Washington rallied with six in the eighth to tie the game. Matt Kemp came up big in the next inning with a solo home run to put the Dodgers back in the lead, and Los Angeles held on for a 7-6 win. (Box Score: Game 1 | Game 2)
  • Atlanta got another strong start from Kris Medlen, pitching eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball. The offense scored one run in each of the first three innings to account for their offense, and Atlanta won their twenty-first straight game where Medlen makes a start. (Box Score)
  • Philadelphia struggled to score against the Mets and were down 2-1 entering the eighth inning. With one out left in the game, Chase Utley drew a walk, and Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run to give the Phillies the lead and earn a 3-2 win. (Box Score)
  • St. Louis shut out Houston for a second straight night, riding home runs from David Freese and Yadier Molina to a 5-0 win. Lance Lynn pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings, and the Cardinals allowed a total of seven baserunners in the game. (Box Score)
  • Arizona got three runs in the fifth inning, and rode that to a 6-2 win over the Padres. Adam Eaton was the hero for the Diamondbacks, hitting the triple that tied the game and then scoring the game-winning run on a balk. (Box Score)

Here are the new Wild Card Standings:


W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
Atlanta 86 64 - 6-4 W1 -
St. Louis 79 70 - 5-5 W3 -
LA Dodgers 77 72 2 4-6 W1 12
Milwaukee 76 72 2.5 8-2 W4 12
Philadelphia 75 74 4 7-3 W2 10
Arizona 74 74 4.5 6-4 W3 10
Pittsburgh 74 74 4.5 2-8 L2 10
San Diego 71 78 8 6-4 L2 6

The top six teams in the standings all won yesterday, so there was little movement. The Dodgers did lose as well, so they fell another half game behind St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot. Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Arizona all kept pace with wins. Pittsburgh fell further behind with a loss and is now in danger of falling below .500. Meanwhile, San Diego's faint hopes of a big comeback are almost out as they have fallen eight games back.

Miami was officially eliminated from the Wild Card race yesterday with their loss to Atlanta and a win by St. Louis. Next up to be eliminated is the NY Mets, who secured a losing season with a loss yesterday and could be eliminated as early as today.

Another win for the Brewers means the chances of them making the playoffs went up a little more. Here are the updating playoff chances from CoolStandings.com:

Date Odds
Today (9/19) 13.9%
Yesterday (9/18) 11.6%
One Week Ago (9/12) 7.1%
Two Weeks Ago (9/5) 0.8%
One Month Ago (8/19) <0.1%

It's a getaway day for the Wild Card teams, and four teams have a chance at a sweep. Here are today's matchups:

Houston vs. St. Louis - 12:45 PM CDT
Bud Norris (5-12, 4.93 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (4-7, 4.24 ERA)

San Diego vs. Arizona - 2:40 PM CDT
Clayton Richard (13-12, 3.74 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (1-2, 5.55 ERA)

Milwaukee vs. Pittsburgh - 3:05 PM CDT
Michael Fiers (9-8, 3.23 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (11-13, 3.65 ERA)

LA Dodgers vs. Washington - 6:05 PM CDT
Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.60 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (9-6, 3.16 ERA)

Philadelphia vs. NY Mets - 6:10 PM CDT
Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 4.95 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 4.99 ERA)

Idle: Atlanta