Jason Heyward was held out of today’s game due to back stiffness. A week or so ago he missed action because tightness in his hamstring. In the first week of March he missed action because of a sore groin.
None of this is serious, but as an official member of the Jason Heyward is So Totally Dreamy Club, I am concerned about his durability. He was probably only physically right for a month or two early last season and battled injuries the rest of the way. In spring this year he’s been shown to be susceptible to a lot of bumps, bruises, owies and other stuff that, while falling short of any real injuries, are troublesome. I’m heartened by memories of guys like Paul Molitor who were hampered by injuries early on but for whom it all evened out later. But I’m also kind of freaked that he’ll just never be completely healthy.
Phillies and Mets fans who wish to comfort me in my time of sorry may feel free to leave their kind thoughts in the comments. Your concern for my team’s well being is almost palpable.
So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.
The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.
Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.
With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.