Brandon Phillips expects to play tonight despite “nasty swelling” on shin

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Brandon Phillips took a foul ball off his leg Saturday and then sat out Sunday’s game with what Mark Sheldon of MLB.com describes as “some nasty swelling above his left shin.”

However, the Reds second baseman felt much better Monday and is expected to be in the lineup for tonight’s Wild Card playoff game against the Pirates.

Or as manager Dusty Baker put it:

I expect Brandon to be in there. I saw him yesterday. I told him, “he wasn’t limping, he was pimping” … not literally.

Between that quote and all the brawl-starting home run celebrations it’s really been a banner season for the word “pimping” being used in a baseball context. Congrats to everyone involved.

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.