Moylan better than ever after Tommy John surgery

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Last night Peter Moylan set a Braves record by appearing in his 85th game, which is pretty remarkable for a guy who missed nearly all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery and was no sure thing to be healthy by Opening Day.
In fact, even after making the team out of spring training Moylan struggled in his first two outings, allowing five runs without recording an out. Atlanta stuck with him and since then he’s 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 71 innings while limiting opponents to a .235 batting average.
Moylan’s average fastball is down about two miles per hour compared to his pre-surgery norms, but his slider remains just as sharp and the side-arming right-hander continues to induce a ton of ground balls. He has the third-highest ground-ball rate among all pitchers with 50 or more innings at 62.8 percent and has yet to allow a homer in 300 plate appearances. Toss in 60 strikeouts in 71 innings and he’s basically a perfect setup man.
Moylan was ridden extremely hard in 2007, logging 90 innings in 80 appearances, and that workload likely led to his needing to go under the knife. This season’s workload isn’t quite as heavy, but pitching 85 times in 156 games has still put an awful lot of stress on his surgically repaired elbow. On the other hand he’s already 30 years old despite this being just his second full season in the majors, so riding Moylan until the wheels fall off makes some sense.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.