Why is Masahiro Tanaka even talking to doctors?

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Masahiro Tanaka was put on the disabled list due to wrist tendonitis and soreness in his forearm. An MRI yesterday showed that there was no additional tear to his UCL over what came before. What does this all mean? For that, one could consult orthopedists and other doctors. Trained experts who have went to school for years and have mastered what is perhaps the most critical and difficult discipline among all of the professions.

Or maybe he and the Yankees should just have a couple of reporters and some ballplayers weigh in? Like John Harper:

This is why so many teams and pitchers opt for getting Tommy John surgery rather than trying to pitch once they have been diagnosed with a ligament tear. This is why the likes of Martinez and Curt Schilling said they thought Tanaka should have had the surgery.

Nevertheless, Cashman has said all along that the ballclub’s decision was guided by the advice of three orthopedists who recommended that Tanaka try to rehab and pitch with the tear.

That “nevertheless” is the most rich thing I’ve ever heard. Given what Haper has written on this subject before, that’s the equivalent of him saying “welp, you were dumb to listen to medical professionals before, so if you want to do it again, I can’t help you.”

How about Kevin Kernan?

From the moment Tanaka suffered a small tear in his elbow ligament last season, the Yankees and Tanaka have taken the conservative route, the route recommended by team doctors, the route Tanaka wanted to take.

The no-surgery route.

It’s time to change game plans. This is not working. He needs to have Tommy John surgery to have any chance of getting back to being the kind of pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they shelled out $175 million.

Will Masahiro Tanaka need Tommy John surgery? Maybe! I have no idea. It’s a distinct possibility! But his doctors said he didn’t need it before and, as yet, they have yet to say he needs it now. That appears to be good enough for the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka, who are wisely consulting with medical professionals and not the a couple of tabloid columnists who, apparently, have no idea that they aren’t actually qualified to make such assessments.

Of course, if and when Tanaka does go under the knife, I’m sure we’ll get a nice round of “told ya so’s” from these guys. “Told ya so’s” that are the medical equivalent of you or I telling the widow at the funeral that we knew her husband was gonna die one day. Eventually.

Cardinals beat Brewers, both clinch postseason berths

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. LOUIS — Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

“We’d have been happy getting in as the eight seed,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We’d have been happy being the one seed, but people can say we got in if there was no expanded playoffs so that’s even another feather in this group’s cap.”

Brett Anderson (4-4) surrendered a triple to Bader and a walk to Tyler O'Neill to start the third inning before departing with a blister on his left index finger. Anderson opened the season on the injured list with a blister on the same finger and did not make his debut until Aug. 3.

Freddy Peralta replaced him a day after being activated from the paternity list, and O’Neill promptly stole second. Kolten Wong then hit a line drive off Peralta’s leg that Peralta threw into right field to score Bader and O’Neill.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong each added RBI singles to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

After Milwaukee scored in the top of the fifth, Bader hit his fifth home run of the season.

“That was a big counterpunch,” Shildt said of Bader. “Got them on their heels again.”

THREE TIMES THE FUN

Yadier Molina grounded into a triple play in the eighth inning when he hit a one hop grounder to Jace Peterson at third base in the eighth inning. It was Milwaukee’s first triple play since Sept. 23, 2016, when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto lined out to first base. Molina was also the last Cardinals player to hit into a triple play when he grounded out to third base at Boston on Aug. 15, 2017.

TRAINING ROOM

Brewers: Counsell said it was too early to prognosticate Anderson’s status after departing with the blister.

Cardinals: St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced that RHP Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Monday. Hudson went 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts before leaving his start on Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh with right elbow discomfort after two innings.

UP NEXT

Brewers: The Brewers head to Los Angeles and will likely be without two of their top starters in Anderson and Corbin Burnes, who sustained a left oblique injury on Thursday.

Cardinals: This will be the fourth postseason series between St. Louis and San Diego, who faced each other in 1996, 2005, and 2006 in the Division Series.