Pirates pick Kevin Correia as Opening Day starter despite 5.40 ERA last season

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It’s probably not quite as depressing to fans as Kansas City picking a guy with a 5.60 career ERA as the Opening Day starter, but it might be close.

Pittsburgh announced that Kevin Correia will get the Opening Day assignment after going 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA for the Padres last year, which is some remarkably awful pitching for a guy who made 15 of 28 appearances in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly ballpark.

Correia has been better in past years, but not by much. He’s a 30-year-old with a 4.57 ERA in 741 career innings. Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, and James McDonald will follow Correia in the rotation and, if healthy, I’d bet on McDonald finishing the season as the Pirates’ best starter.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.