It doesn’t get any more exciting, especially in a sport that often drags on and on for 5 1/2 months. But this year might see — for the first time ever — 2 (and possibly a third) one-game playoffs for the final two spots (the NL Wild Card and the AL Central Division Title) in the playoffs.
UPDATE: The Brewers beat the Cubs and the Marlins beat the Mets, so for the second straight year, the Mets have been shut out of the playoffs on the last day of the season. The Brewers will play the Phillies in the NLDS beginning Wednesday and the Cubs will host the Dodgers Wednesday in that NLDS. The White Sox must beat the Tigers in a make-up game Monday to face the Twins in a playoff Tuesday for the AL Central Crown and a spot in the playoffs vs. Tampa Bay (starting Thursday).
I’m listening to WGN Radio’s broadcast of the Cubs vs Brewers, where the crowd is decidedly split, but while the Cubs are starting one-time prodigy Angel Guzman (who after all these years is still 0-7 and awaiting his first major league victory), The Brew Crew sent out CC Sabathia for the third time in 10 days. I’m watching the scores on the Mets/Florida game very closely, as well as the Sox/Indians and Twins/Royals.
Here are the possible playoff scenarios:
AL Central: If the Chicago White Sox (86-74) and Minnesota Twins (87-74) are still within a half-game of each other after play is completed Sunday, Chicago must make up a rainout against the Detroit Tigers on Monday. If the White Sox and Twins finish with the same record, they would play a tiebreaker game Tuesday in Chicago.
NL Wild Card: If the New York Mets (89-72) and Milwaukee Brewers (89-72) still have identical records after Sunday, they would play a one-game tiebreaker Monday in New York.
Personally, I’m pulling for the White Sox (yes, I’m a die-hard Cubs fan who doesn’t root against the Sox) and I’d like to see the Mets and Brewers go to a playoff on Monday. Why? Because the Cubs will face either the Mets (if they win the wild card) or the Dodgers (if the Brewers take the wild card) on Wednesday. I have tickets for the Dodgers home games in the NLDS and NLCS… not sure if I’d rather see the Cubs v. Dodgers sooner (in a best-of-five series) or later (in a best-of-seven). The Dodgers are at the top of their game going into the post-season with a resurgent pitching staff and the return of a healthy Rafael Furcal, Jeff Kent, and Nomar Garciaparra. This is the best Cubs team I’ve seen in my life, and I’m loving it. Granted, come Wednesday, I’ll be nervous as hell. Last year’s flop against the D-Backs wasn’t too surprising but this year, I want to be able to forget about 2003 once and for all.
**Some game times have been announced:
Game Â Â Â Matchup Â Â Â Day Â Â Â Date Â Â Â Time ET Â Â Â TV
Gm 1Â Â Â LAD @ CHCÂ Â Â WedÂ Â Â Oct. 1Â Â Â 6:30 PMÂ Â Â TBS
Gm 2Â Â Â LAD @ CHCÂ Â Â ThuÂ Â Â Oct. 2Â Â Â 9:30 PMÂ Â Â TBS
Gm 3Â Â Â CHC @ LADÂ Â Â SatÂ Â Â Oct. 4Â Â Â 10:00 PMÂ Â Â TBS