Brian Wilson likely unavailable all weekend with sore elbow

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Brian Wilson was unavailable yesterday for the second straight game because of elbow inflammation and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes that the Giants’ closer is unlikely to pitch again before Monday.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that Wilson has avoided the disabled list so far and Dr. James Andrews advised against surgery after finding no structural damage during an exam Wednesday.

Giants trainer Dave Groeschner noted that Wilson “has a remarkable ability to recover” and described his elbow problems as “the typical pitching stuff that you see all the time.”

Wilson has been plenty effective this season, but his performance has dropped off considerably compared to last year. Not only has his ERA risen from 1.81 to 3.19, his strikeouts are down 22 percent, his walks are up 65 percent, and his average fastball velocity is 1.5 miles per hour slower.

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.