Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported earlier this week that we would learn the fate of Ryan Braun’s appeal before the outfielder reports to spring training, but Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports was told by a source “familiar with the appeal” that there’s a possibility a decision could take longer.
While there’s hope for a resolution on the matter by next week, Passan’s source says that it may not happen until the week after. Braun is scheduled to report to Brewers’ camp next Friday while the team’s first full-squad workout will take place the following day.
The 2011 National League MVP tested positive in early October for “insane levels” of synthetic testosterone and faces a possible 50-game suspension which would push his season debut back to May 31. If the suspension is upheld, Braun will still be eligible to play during Brewers’ spring training games.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.
Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.
The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.
The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.