Giants need catching help, but “don’t consider Ivan Rodriguez the answer”

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General manager Brian Sabean loves veterans and the Giants are in need of catching help with Buster Posey out for the season, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that they “don’t consider Ivan Rodriguez the answer.”

Rodriguez is old enough that his son was drafted by the Twins earlier this week and he’s hitting .205 with a .585 OPS in 26 games as Wilson Ramos’ backup in Washington, so unless the question is “who’s a washed up future Hall of Famer?” then the Giants are right not to think he’s “the answer.”

On the other hand, presumably the Nationals will eventually come around to the idea of getting anything of value they can for Rodriguez and Eli Whiteside has struggled filling in for Posey. Sabean and the Giants understandably don’t think much of Rodriguez, but they may still be willing to give up a low-level prospect for his veteran-ness if Whiteside is hitting .190 next month.

Braves clinch NL East title

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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.