We’ll know who the All-Star Game starting pitchers are, at the latest, early this afternoon when the managers meet the press. But there is some suggestion that Mike Matheny may call his own guy’s number and have Adam Wainwright make the start.
Rick Hummel reports that Matheny and Wainwright are both saying things which suggest that Wainwright is ready to go. He pitched on Saturday, is feeling good, Tuesday is the day he’d throw a side session, etc. He also suggests that Matheny has already made his decision and told Wainwright about it even if it isn’t public and that Wainwright offered a coy smile about it.
Of course, Clayton Kershaw is the better pitcher and he hasn’t pitched since Thursday. So perhaps there is still time for Matheny to change his mind and make, you know, the better choice.
The Pirates shut out the Reds 4-0 on Sunday, clinching the first NL Wild Card slot, which means they will host the Cubs in the Wild Card game. The winner will travel to St. Louis to play the Cardinals in the NLDS on October 9. The Pirates end the season with a 98-64 record, their best record since 1991 when they also finished 98-64.
Starter J.A. Happ pitched six shutout innings, limiting the Reds to three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Relievers Joakim Soria, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon each pitched a scoreless inning behind Happ to finish out the game.
Neil Walker provided the Pirates’ first run with an RBI single in the first inning. Pedro Alvarez ripped a solo homer in the fourth, Jordy Mercer doubled in a run in the sixth, and Josh Harrison hit an RBI double in the seventh to account for all of the offense.
The Cubs beat the Brewers 3-1 on Sunday to finish with a 97-65 record. They’re in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle got the start in the final game of the regular season on Sunday against the Rays, an attempt by manager John Gibbons to get the veteran to the 200-inning mark for a 15th consecutive season. Unfortunately, Buehrle didn’t have anything working, allowing eight runs — all unearned — on five hits, a walk, and two errors while recording only two outs. The biggest hit was a grand slam by Joey Butler which made it 6-0.
Buehrle, who is reportedly retiring, will end his season with a 15-8 record, a 3.81 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings.
Sunday’s game wasn’t entirely meaningless for the Blue Jays, as they entered the afternoon trailing the Royals by one game for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Royals, however, took an early 5-0 lead around the same time the Jays fell behind the Rays.