Because of forearm pain Bobby Jenks hasn’t pitched since saving both games of a doubleheader on September 4 and Scott Merkin of MLB.com writes that “he could have thrown his last inning for the White Sox.”
No one seems quite sure when or if Jenks will be able to return this season and manager Ozzie Guillen talked about the 29-year-old closer as if he expects the White Sox to non-tender him this winter rather than risk a big salary via arbitration:
We gambled with this kid and it worked pretty good. We win the lottery. This kid was in Double-A and we picked him up and he pitched very well for us. Hopefully we get him back, but that’s someone else’s department. He was great for the White Sox organization.
That “someone else” is general manager Ken Williams, who seems unlikely to bring Jenks back for what would almost surely be a raise on his current $7.5 million salary. Jenks has converted 27-of-31 saves, but his ERA is a career-worst 4.44, he’s been limited to just 53 innings because of injuries, and he’s allowed more than one hit per inning for the first time.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.
Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.
The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.
The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.