From David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution comes word that Braves center fielder Michael Bourn jammed his left thumb during Saturday’s 8-2 defeat of the Phillies and has been ruled out of Sunday afternoon’s series finale.
Bourn finished 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored in the victory and made it all nine innings, so the decision to sit him out for one game is mostly precautionary. The Braves have a scheduled off day Monday, then open a three-game series against the Marlins on Tuesday night.
Bourn, 29, is batting .274/.346/.391 with nine homers, 59 RBI and 39 stolen bases in 151 games this year.
The Braves are currently 5 1/2 games back in the NL East but have a firm grasp on the first Wild Card slot.
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.
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.