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Saturday was a bad day for playoff rotations

Sunday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes brutal injuries for playoff teams, a possible regret for the Cardinals and a trend for Dellin Betances.

Detroit Tigers v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

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You probably didn’t need a reminder, but baseball is cruel and pitchers are usually on the receiving end of the cruelty. On Saturday, the gods made sure we hadn’t forgotten that, as two potential playoff teams received major blows to their rotations. The biggest injury of the day came in Cleveland, and it happened in one of the most cruel ways possible. On just his second pitch of the day, Carlos Carrasco was hit in the hand by an Ian Kinsler line drive. He was eventually taken out of the game, and Tribe fans waited for news with bated breath. The news was not good, as it’s come out that he has a displaced fracture in his throwing hand. While there is no timetable for his return, one would imagine he will miss at least a month.

Over in New York, the Mets also received some bad news. Things had been starting to trend up for their rotation, as Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom were both working their way back as the team tries to stave off the Cardinals for a wildcard spot. The former still appears to be on track, but it’s a different story for the latter. After a bullpen session that seemed encouraging to manager Terry Collins, it turns out deGrom needs elbow surgery. The good news is he should be ready for spring training. The bad news is he won’t pitch again in 2016. This is a sharp turn from the expectation that he’d start on Sunday.

Both teams figure to be mightily affected by this if/when they make the postseason. The Indians, who are virtually guaranteed a playoff spot, still have Corey Kluber to anchor their rotation, but have now lost Carrasco and Danny Salazar behind him. Similarly, the Mets still have Noah Syndergaard to start a potential wildcard game, but the group behind him is suddenly much less inspiring. Obviously baseball is weird and the playoffs are a crapshoot and both teams could still go deep into October. However, both Cleveland and New York were built around their pitching and both staffs took a major hit on Saturday.