Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds

Cole Hamels excellent in return from disabled list


It’s safe to say that a little bit of rest was just what the doctor ordered for Cole Hamels.

Hamels, who placed on the disabled list earlier this month with left shoulder inflammation, allowed one run on two hits over six innings tonight against the Reds. It was his first start since August 12.

The southpaw didn’t surrender his first hit until Brandon Phillips led off the fourth inning with a triple. It was ruled as a hit, even though the fly ball was badly misplayed by Hunter Pence in right field. Phillips eventually came in to score on a groundout by Joey Votto.

Hamels struck out seven while walking none and averaged 90.12 mph on his fastball, according to Brooks Baseball. He threw 50 out 76 pitches for strikes before being replaced by Antonio Bastardo to begin the bottom of the seventh inning with score tied at 1-1. While it would have been nice to see him stick around for a chance at the win, the Phillies are obviously more concerned about having him healthy and effective for the postseason.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.