The Giants clinched a spot in the postseason on Thursday and they are slated to play in either Pittsburgh or St. Louis for the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, so manager Bruce Bochy has decided to rest most of his regulars for today’s game against the Padres.
1. Gary Brown – CF
2. Matt Duffy – 2B
3. Brandon Belt – 1B
4. Andrew Susac – C
5. Joaquin Arias – 3B
6. Brandon Crawford – SS
7. Chris Dominguez – LF
8. Juan Perez – RF
9. Jake Peavy – RHP
Noticeably absent from the lineup is Hunter Pence, who will miss his first start since September 23, 2012. This ends a streak of 331 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in the majors. There’s still a chance he could extend his consecutive games played streak (also the longest active in MLB) to 382 if he makes a pinch-hit appearance, but Bochy might just give him the entire day off as the Giants gear up for the postseason.
According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman now has the longest consecutive starts streak at 166.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.