Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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The NL East isn’t a division with all that much drama right now. The Nationals have already clinched their spot atop the group, and they have no chance at finishing with the best record in the National League. The only thing Washington has left is whether they will have home-field advantage against the Dodgers. The Mets, on the other hand, are in the midst of a tight race for the Wild Card. After a big win against the Marlins last night, New York has a 1 1/2-game cushion over the Cardinals. These two teams do have a couple things in common, though. For one, they both have World Series aspirations that are still in reach. They also both just suffered injuries that will hurt those aspirations.
In Washington, catcher Wilson Ramos got the bad news on Wednesday that he’d suffered a torn ACL. That ends his season, and puts at least part of his 2017 in doubt, too. It’s hard to overstate how much production the Nationals figure to lose with this loss. Ramos had been in the midst of a true breakout season, posting one of the best offensive seasons of any catcher in baseball. Now, Washington will turn to the likes of Jose Lobaton, Pedro Severino, and Spencer Kieboom. They certainly have enough talent on the roster to overcome the loss, but this hurts. On the other end of things, this is awful news for Ramos himself, who was set to hit free agency this winter and had set himself up for a major payday.
Up in New York, it’s a slightly different situation. Steven Matz has been fighting injury for most of the second half, and hasn’t made an appearance since mid-August. However, the talented young lefty was supposedly going to be back in time for the playoffs. Then, setback after setback changed those plans, going from potential starter to potential reliever to now needing surgery and being shutdown for the season. The Mets had already lost Jacob DeGrom and Matt Harvey for the season, so losing Matz is another major hit to their starting pitching depth. Noah Syndergaard is still available for a potential Wild Card Game, but if they advance further that rotation no longer looks quite as scary.
- Dee Gordon hit a home run in the Marlins’ first at-bat following the tragic death of Jose Fernandez. It was a perfect, unbelievable moment.
- Aledmys Diaz was good friends with Fernandez, and was away from the Cardinals on Monday to visit with his friends’ family. He came back to the team on Tuesday and promptly hit a grand slam. Sports are amazing.
- As the Marlins somehow try to move on from this tragedy, they’ve shown a commitment to winning in the short-term by signing Martin Prado to a three-year extension.
- Cleveland’s rotation has taken a couple of major blows, but they just keep winning because of a well-balanced roster. Championship City, baby.
- Baltimore is still in the Wild Card hunt despite an almost unfathomably rough rotation. That’s because they’ve been able to ride an outstanding bullpen all year.
- Meanwhile, the Giants continue to try their best to blow their playoff spot. Don’t worry, though, Gordon Beckham is here to save the day.
- A Yankee fan proposed to his girlfriend last night, in what was surely the most nerve-wracking and potentially wonderful moment of his life. Then, he lost the damn ring. In front of everyone.
- Drew Pomeranz wasn’t guaranteed to be part of Boston’s playoff rotation, but now he definitely won’t be after being scratched from his final regular season appearance on Thursday.
- The Braves have released their all-Turner Field team, which seems super necessary after playing there for approximately 20 minutes.
- Here are some rule changes to mull over with the CBA negotiations right around the corner.