Cubs-Reds Preview (The Associated Press)

The Chicago Cubs' chances of hosting the NL wild-card game may be slim, but it's not out of the realm of possibility - especially if their offense continues to produce like it did Wednesday. Chicago seeks its fifth straight victory and a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday at Great American Ball Park. St. Louis clinched the NL Central with a victory in the nightcap of its doubleheader with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, locking Chicago (93-65) into next Wednesday's wild-card game against the Pirates (96-63).

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Nationals-Braves Preview (The Associated Press)

It came far too late to keep Washington's season going beyond this weekend, but Stephen Strasburg has been brilliant in recent starts. The Nationals right-hander will try to close out his injury-shortened campaign with another double-digit strikeout performance Thursday night against the Atlanta Braves. Strasburg has totaled 50 strikeouts in 30 1-3 innings in his last four starts and gone 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA and 0.57 WHIP in his past three.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Cespedes' fingers bruised by pitch in Mets' loss to Phils (The Associated Press)

Yoenis Cespedes and the New York Mets felt they'd caught a lucky break - no broken bones for the slugger. Cespedes wound up with bruises on two fingers of his left hand after he was hit by a pitch Wednesday night in a testy, 7-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. X-rays were negative on Cespedes, struck on the ring and middle fingers.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Disaster Averted: Yoenis Cespedes hit by pitch, suffers bruised fingers (Big League Stew)

After clinching their first division title since 2006 over the weekend, the only thing that could go wrong for the New York Mets this week would be an injury to a key player. On Wednesday night in Philadelphia, things very nearly went catastrophically wrong, as star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was struck on the left hand with an 89-mph fastball from Phillies right-hander Justin De Fratus. [ Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today! ] Fortunately, the Mets star avoided a major injury. X-Rays were taken and no broken bones were revealed. Cespedes was diagnosed with contusions to two fingers, meaning he should be good to go again in a couple days.   Update on @ynscspds . X-rays came back negative. He has a contusion of left middle and ring fingers. #Mets — New York Mets (@Mets) October 1, 2015 Needless to say, the hearts of Mets everywhere immediately went to there throats when Cespedes was hit. The one offensive piece they could absolutely not afford to lose this close to this postseason was down in a heap and in obvious pain.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Disaster Averted: Yoenis Cespedes hit by pitch, suffers bruised fingers (Big League Stew)

After clinching their first division title since 2006 over the weekend, the only thing that could go wrong for the New York Mets this week would be an injury to a key player. On Wednesday night in Philadelphia, things very nearly went catastrophically wrong, as star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was struck on the left hand with an 89-mph fastball from Phillies right-hander Justin De Fratus. [ Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today! ] Fortunately, the Mets star avoided a major injury. X-Rays were taken and no broken bones were revealed. Cespedes was diagnosed with contusions to two fingers, meaning he should be good to go again in a couple days.   Update on @ynscspds . X-rays came back negative. He has a contusion of left middle and ring fingers. #Mets — New York Mets (@Mets) October 1, 2015 Needless to say, the hearts of Mets everywhere immediately went to there throats when Cespedes was hit. The one offensive piece they could absolutely not afford to lose this close to this postseason was down in a heap and in obvious pain.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Baseball-Mets slugger Cespedes hit by pitch, no bones broken (Reuters)

(Adds details, manager's quotes) * Cespedes suffers bruised fingers * Manager relieved injury not serious Sept 30 (Reuters) - The New York Mets got a scare when slugger Yoenis Cespedes was hit by a pitch on his left hand and forced from their game against Philadelphia on Wednesday. Cespedes fell to the ground after being struck by pitcher Justin De Fratus during the third inning and stayed there for a few moments before being replaced in the lineup. The Mets announced that X-rays for broken bones were negative.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

LEADING OFF: Angels-Rangers series starts, Price's tuneup (The Associated Press)

A look at what's happening around the major leagues Thursday:

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Mets rookie Steven Matz scratched from Thursday start (The Associated Press)

New York Mets rookie left-hander Steven Matz has been scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies because of a back injury, putting his playoff availability in question. Matz had been slated to pitch in Wednesday's game, then was pushed back a day when he woke up Tuesday with a sore back following a poor night's sleep. Manager Terry Collins said Wednesday the back issue was lingering.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Mets slugger Cespedes hit in hand by pitch, fingers bruised (The Associated Press)

New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes was bruised on two fingers of his left hand after being hit by a pitch Wednesday night against the Phillies. X-rays were negative after Cespedes left the game, which later turned testy. The NL East champion Mets said Cespedes was bruised on the middle and ring fingers.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015

Dodgers finally secure third straight NL West crown (The Associated Press)

Andrew Friedman arrived at Chavez Ravine last October and built the big-spending Dodgers' $285 million roster to win championships, not merely division titles. The Dodgers haven't reached the World Series since winning it all against the Oakland Athletics in 1988. Clayton Kershaw went down the list of proven veterans like Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley added by Frideman, the club's new president of baseball operations, to boost the Dodgers' depth this year, then the left-hander mentioned the reliable rookies Joc Pederson and Corey Seager.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on September 30, 2015