Reds officially shut down rookie Mike Leake for the season

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Mike Leake hasn’t pitched since August 24 because of a fatigued shoulder and today the Reds officially shut down the 22-year-old rookie, ruling him out for the playoffs.
Here’s what manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

He’s going to travel with the team, but there’s not enough time for him to get ready. He hasn’t been on the mound, and some of the guys that have been on the mound are sharper and more ready than he is right now. Like I told him last night, without him we wouldn’t be here now. Take away his eight victories and other fine games that we won, he’s a big part of this team.

Leake got off to a great start after skipping the minors to join the Opening Day rotation, going 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 73 innings through early June, but after that he coughed up 55 runs in 65 innings. He finishes with a 4.23 ERA and 91/49 K/BB ratio in 138 innings overall, and also went 16-for-48 (.333) at the plate.

If there is an ALCS Game 7, Ric Flair will call out “Play Ball!”

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I don’t really care who wins the ALCS, but part of me wants to see it go seven games now. Why? Because if the Astros win tonight and force a Game 7, the series will be visited by a Rolex-wearin,’ kiss-stealin,’ wheelin-dealin,’ limousine ridin,’ jet flyin,’ son of a gun, jack! From the Chronicle:

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

That’s pretty cool. It’d be even cooler if it ended with a Dusty Finish.