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.
Manny Ramirez became a Dodger, Ken Griffey, Jr. became a White Sox, and the Chicago Cubs completed a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers all within a matter of a long lunch today. The sweep was the perfect punctuation to a few key acquisitions made by Jim Hendry, weeks before today’s trade deadline. Jim Edmonds had 5 RBI including a grand slam, and Rich Harden continued his mastery of the NL, with 9 K’s, allowing just one run (as a Cub, Harden has 39 strikeouts in 24 innings with a 1.11 ERA).
I love it. Hoping to see an appearance from Manny at the game tonight (Dodgers v. Diamondbacks). Tomorrow I’m off to Lollapalooza for the weekend, with an afternoon at Wrigley scheduled for Saturday (
Zambrano Lilly on the mound). See you in Chicago?
I posted a nice long interview with James Joyner of Outside the Beltway at LAist. Other videos are going up (as well as more blog posts) on the Knight blog for the Politics and Cyberspace conference that I am covering for them.
Finally, if you’re in LA, drop me a line if you’d like an invite to a little BBQ I’m having this Saturday afternoon to celebrate the end of grad school.