Odubel Herrera extends hitting streak to 20 games

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With a third-inning double against the Nationals on Thursday evening, Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera extended his hitting streak to 20 games. According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that’s the longest streak in the majors this season. Only three other players — Jose Altuve, Bryce Harper, and Whit Merrifield — got a hitting streak to 19 games.

That seemed low, so I looked up the longest hit streaks of this decade. There have only been 42 hitting streaks since 2010 that went at least 20 games. The longest last season was Freddie Freeman‘s 30-gamer.  There were only six streaks that lasted 20 games in 2016. Four in 2015, peaking at 26 games. Five in 2014, also peaking at 26. There have been only three games reaching the 30-game plateau this decade: Dan Uggla (33 in 2011), Freeman, and Andre Ethier (30 in 2011). Interesting.

Herrera added a single in the fifth, making him 2-for-2 with a walk on the evening. He entered Thursday’s action batting .288/.333/.465 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 472 plate appearances.

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.