Braves get bad news on Tommy Hanson, Peter Moylan

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It looks like Tommy Hanson and Peter Moylan will join Jair Jurrjens on the sidelines if the Braves are able to hold on to their wild card lead and advance to the NLDS.

Hanson, out since early August with a small tear in his rotator cuff, felt pain in his shoulder blade while working in an instructional league game Friday and exited after two innings.

The hope was that Hanson would go three or four innings today and then start the regular-season finale for the Braves on Wednesday, putting him in line to potentially pitch in the NLDS.  Since Wednesday’s session is out now, it’s hard to imagine the Braves carrying him on their playoff roster.  Perhaps he’ll be a possibility if they advance to the NLCS.

Without Hanson, the Braves would be looking at a postseason rotation of Tim Hudson, Brandon Beachy, Derek Lowe and either Mike Minor or Randall Delgado.

The news was even worse for Moylan, who just returned in early September after missing nearly five months following back surgery.  He was diagnosed with tears in both his rotator cuff and labrum.  He’ll see Dr. James Andrews before a decision is made on whether to operate.

Moylan was almost certainly going to be on the Braves’ postseason roster despite all of the missed time.  His innings could instead go to Cristhian Martinez and Arodys Vizcaino.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.