Boston (trounced) and Oakland (complete game shutout by opposing pitcher Vargas) lost, so Boston remains a game ahead in the AL record chase (Boston will not be winning 100 games this year) and their magic # for the 1-seed is 4. Boston gets a Peavy-Chacin matchup while Oakland’s Straily gets to face ace Jered Weaver in each team’s respective series finale before their last off-day (and the A’s tangle with King Felix in Seattle on the Friday following, though they are throwing the in-more-ways-than-one formidable Colon to oppose, quite the matchup). Detroit guaranteed themselves October action with a win yesterday, but still has a magic # of 1 for the division title, what with Cleveland getting a SPECTACULAR WALK-OFF BLAST by Jason Giambi last night. With the Indians down to their last out and trailing by 1 with a man on, Giambi delivered for the umpteenth time in his career, and oh my, he hit that thing a long way to right. Baltimore was eliminated after Cleveland won and the O’s lost in extras to the Jays, while New York (tragic number: 1) and KC (2) were put on the brink with losses to TB and SEA last night coupled with Cleveland’s victory. Texas scraped a win in its game with Houston to stay 1 behind the Indians, who are 1 behind the Rays (the Rays win the tiebreaker with the Indians for home-field in the wild card, so the Injuns are effectively 2 back of TB as far as homefield for the wild card game goes). Cleveland has one more game at home with the White Sox today before going to Target Field for a 4-game season-closing set with the Twins; the Rays have two more with the Yanks, then three in Toronto; the Rangers have one more at home with the Astros and then 4 at home with the Angels (the Rangers will miss Weaver, presumably).
St. Louis (last night’s pitcher Wacha got 26 outs without giving up a hit, but lost it on a chopper by Zimmerman that barely eluded Wacha’s glove and generated a rushed throw by the shortstop) and Pittsburgh won (vs. the Nats and Cubs), while the Reds lost (to the Mets, ouch), so St. Louis’s division magic # is 3 (Cincy’s tragic # for the division is 2), and the Pirates look to keep homefield for the wild card game if St. Louis doesn’t let them tie (or somehow win) the division race. Atlanta won to stay half a game ahead (in the all-important loss column) of the Cards for NL best record…Atlanta has the tiebreaker advantage with St. Louis, so their magic # for the 1-seed is 4. The Dodgers won 2-1 over the Giants and are still in the best record chase, theoretically, though both Atlanta and St. Louis would have to tank pretty hard in the final days to earn the Dodgers the honor.
Games that matter today (which is still 80% of them):
Mets (Matsuzaka) @ Reds (Latos) 12:35 ET
Nats (Zimmermann, going for win # 20) @ Cards (Miller) 1:45 ET
Pirates (Liriano) @ Cubs (Arrieta) 2:20 ET
A’s (Straily) @ Angels (Weaver) 3:35 ET
White Sox (Axelrod) @ Indians (Salazar) 7:05 ET
Rays (Price) @ Yankees (Hughes) 7:05 ET
Brewers (Lohse) @ Braves (Maholm) 7:05 ET
Astros (Keuchel) @ Rangers (Perez) 8:05 ET
Tigers (Scherzer) @ Twins (Correia) 8:10 ET
Red Sox (Peavy) @ Rockies (Chacin) 8:40 ET
Royals (Santana) @ Mariners (Iwakuma) 10:10 ET
Dodgers (Nolasco) @ Giants (Zito) 10:15 ET