Cupcakes, clinchers to decide the NL Wild Card

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File this under Deep Thoughts, I guess, but I’m struck by the remaining schedules of the NL Wild Card contenders:

Cardinals: Cubs, Astros, Nationals, Reds;
Brewers: Nationals, Reds, Astros, Padres;
Dodgers: Reds, Padres, Rockies Giants

The Cards seem to have the easiest go of it, with two cupcake teams and two teams that have clinched the playoffs and will either be resting their players or, at the very least, may not quite have that eye of the tiger you’d see if they hadn’t clinched.

That Padres series for the Brewers is sorta dangerous, as San Diego is in Play for Pride mode. I mean, yes, I suppose the Cubs and Astros are too, but the Padres at least have talent to make such an inspiration meaningful.

Schedule often doesn’t matter that much in baseball, but it’s interesting to see just how much the Astros are affecting everything, what with beating the Phillies last week and then having so many games against the contenders late.

Down the stretch they come.

Tim Anderson exits game with apparent ankle injury

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White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson needed help leaving the field after suffering an ankle injury in the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Anderson was fielding a ball hit up the middle by J.D. Martinez, appearing to twist his ankle in the process.

Leury García moved from center field to shortstop and Ryan Cordell entered the game to play center field. Anderson was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored on the night.

The White Sox should be able to provide more information later tonight or tomorrow. Anderson is in the midst of his best season, entering Tuesday batting .313/.338/.485 with 11 home runs, 37 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 278 plate appearances.