Early Action With Teams That Still Matter

If you’re like me, baseball games that don’t involve your team’s well-being are mildly interesting, but don’t compare to the real thing. That changes around this time of year as teams are in dogfights for a spot in the October tournament. Now you get exciting games with little or no emotional stake in the outcome! How fabulous is that?

So at 12:05 ET/9:05 PT, KC/CLE both continue pursuing that 2nd wild card spot. At 12:35/9:35, CHC/CIN with the Reds trying to escape the play-in and triumph over STL and PIT (the Pirates recently clinched a winning season for the first time in two decades)–the two Central teams among STL/CIN/PIT that don’t win the NL Central will almost certainly play each other for the wild card entry (unless the Nats get white-hot). Finally at 2:05/11:05, TEX/PIT with both teams chasing their own division title/wild card slot. Texas in particular has a lot to lose as the AL is collectively bunched up fairly close behind them, and if they continue to freefall, they could be caught and passed for even the wild card game.

Also: Boston’s magic number to clinch division: 10. Boston’s magic number to clinch home field advantage throughout playoffs: 14 (Oakland is currently 2nd). 16 to play.

7 comments… add one
  • KC goes up 3 on Cleveland in the 1st, but Shields gives 2 of them back almost immediately on a 2-out single by Michael Brantley.

    Devine September 11, 2013, 12:36 pm
  • KC has pulled away and Shields is kicking ass. 6-2 after 8, Shields up over 100 pitches now.

    Devine September 11, 2013, 2:44 pm
  • KC won (expected given pitching matchup), Cincinnati won (expected given Reds vs. Cubs), and Pittsburgh has responded to a recent 2-run inning by the Rangers to take their lead back to 4. 6-2 in the 7th as the Rangers look to be swept at home by the formerly lowly Pirates.

    Devine September 11, 2013, 4:30 pm
  • Old friend A.J. Burnett pitching for the Pirates!

    If the Pirates finish as a wild card I hope they win the play-off, so that their fans get to see a real postseason series after all these lean years.

    Though the Pirates announcers really annoyed me last year (or was it 2011?) when we played there and they went on and on that with the DH and all the AL variety was not really baseball. You can prefer pitchers batting as much as you like, but that was a bit rich coming from a franchise who hadn’t had a winning season in 20 years. At least the losing baseball they got to see war “real” baseball.

    And, by the way, no 8 batter Will Middlebrooks getting IBB’d twice to get to the pitcher during one game of the series in San Francisco also was a great example of the superior excitement delivered by NL baseball.

    pale blue eyes September 11, 2013, 4:41 pm
  • According to MLB gameday Jurickson Profar (what a name!) on first and second for the Rangers at the same time. Deal with that, Abbott & Costello.

    pale blue eyes September 11, 2013, 4:45 pm
  • Totally agree RE: Pirates, pbe. Fans deserve a real postseason and not just a Game 163. Down with the Cardinals! Down with the Reds!

    Man, Texas won’t die, but Pittsburgh hasn’t stopped scoring either. 7-5 Pittsburgh going into the bottom of the 8th.

    Devine September 11, 2013, 5:15 pm
  • Still 7-5 headed to BOT 9.

    Devine September 11, 2013, 5:39 pm

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