Ryan Zimmerman takes batting practice

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So much of the injury news this time of year seems hopeless and pointless. So-and-so is hoping to play on such-and-such a date. This guy may throw a bullpen session and could start whenever. Never mind that their teams are all but eliminated and the point of their getting back on the field is more about moral victories than anything else. Obviously they have to do what they have to do, but that kind of news makes me sad because it reminds us that two-thirds of the teams are basically in wind-down mode and the regular season will soon be over. It’s a real bummer.

So when you see a rehab story that does have some sort of point to it, well, that’s way better. This has a point to it:

If Zimmerman can get back, he can help the playoff-bound Nats. Either off the bench or in platoon situations or whatever. It matters if he can play in ways that it doesn’t matter if so-and-so on the other team can.

Sorry. Didn’t mean to go all emotional with that. But the end of the season bums me out a lot. It’s over in less than three weeks. Sure, we’ll have a month of playoffs and those are great, but it’s not the regular season. The regular season rules. And now it’s almost over.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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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.