Phillies and Cardinals drew strong ratings in NLDS Game 5

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From the Associated Press, via MSNBC.com:

St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over Philadelphia in Game 5 of the NL division series Friday night received a 5.1 rating and was seen by 8,389,000 viewers on TBS, a National League record for first-round games on cable.

For reference, the NLDS Game 5 played between the Diamondbacks and Brewers at 4:05 p.m. ET drew a 3.0 rating and was seen by 4,592,000 viewers.

The numbers aren’t surprising. Philadelphia is a major media market and the Cardinals have a wide-ranging following. Milwaukee, on the other hand, is baseball’s smallest market and the Snakes are still working on cultivating a dedicated fan base. Add to that the different start times and it all makes plenty of sense.

It’s doubtful that the NLCS between the Cards and Brewers will be a major ratings hit — and the same goes for the ALCS — but more of the same would surely be satisfactory in the eyes of Major League Baseball.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.