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MLB announces postseason schedule, eliminates off days

Aug 10, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

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Except for travel days, there will be no off days in this year’s postseason schedule.  MLB announced the postseason dates today, with the ALDSs beginning on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by the NLDSs on Saturday, Oct. 1.

In order to best separate the games for TV coverage, MLB had previously scheduled certain divisional series with extra off days.  Now all four series are set to play their five scheduled games over seven days.  That means that Oct. 1 and 4 are scheduled to feature four games apiece, though Oct. 4 would have fewer games if either ALDS ends in a sweep.

All Divisional Series games are scheduled to air on TBS.

The Championship Series games are scheduled to run from Oct. 8-17.  The ALCS will air on FOX, while the NLCS will air on TBS.

The World Series will air on FOX and is scheduled to begin Oct. 19.  If the series requires seven games, it will conclude on Oct. 27.

It will be the earliest conclusion to the World Series since at least 2008.  Last year, World Series Game 1 was played on Oct. 27.  The season ended with Game 5 on Nov. 1.  In 2009, the season ended on Nov. 4.

  1. vanquish0916 - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Woo hoo!!

  2. kopy - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Interesting. No 3-man rotations unless a team wants a pitcher to go on 3 days’ rest. Considering bullpen usage, teams are going to need more pitching depth.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Doesn’t make a bit of difference to the Phillies…with the big 4, they should be just fine no matter whether they get the off day or not. This just makes it easier for Uncle Cholly to pitch Oswalt for game 4 instead of having to decide between Doc and Oswalt.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Phillies hate…I love it. Woo Hoo!!! I can’t wait for Playoff time. Only problem is that it is another 51 days away.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Oh, but sadly, there will be no room for any derp derps in the 2011 Playoffs. So maybe they can go investigate people who hurted their feelings by saying they was goin to throw at their wittle heads!!!! WOOOOOOOOAAAAA!!!!

      • sportsdrenched - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:35 PM

        and except that after that there will be this dark abyss called the off season

    • adowding3 - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      Really? Oswalt rocks a 4-7 record, (1-7 in his last 8 decisions), a huge DL stint and you’re still calling it the big 4?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        He will be the best game 4 starter in the baseball playoffs. So yeah, I’ll call them the big 4.

      • adowding3 - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        Oh, glad its the baseball playoffs. I thought he was gonna lead the WNBA in scoring. Now it makes sense.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        I’m not trying to be a dick here, but I seriously don’t understand what you mean by that. Are you saying that he isn’t the best #4 starter in baseball?

      • dcbassguy - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        The “Vanimal” makes it the “Big 4” even if Oswalt isn’t back in form this year.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        Roy Oswalt is one of the best starters in baseball. He has the pedigree to prove it.

      • spudchukar - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:47 PM

        Who you callin’ a dog? Ruff year maybe. But that’s no reason to put that tag around his neck.

    • spudchukar - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Don’t look now “O Champion of the Invincible”, but if the Braves falter a bit, guess which teams are next in line for Wild Card Spots. Arizona, and Milwaukee/St. Louis. Know what all three of those teams have in common? Winning records vs. the Phils. Worry.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        You are slightly misrepresenting things a tad. They have only played 1 series with Arizona and Milwaukee. Besides all those games occurred BP….before Pence.

      • spudchukar - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:11 PM

        Misrepresenting? Small sample size I admit, but Misrepresenting? Losing is Losing no matter how you cut it. Know what else? Those 3 teams rank 1,4,6 in Runs, 1,2,6 in OPS, 1,2,5 in HRs, and 1,3,5 in RBIs. Notice a trend? I do. Trouble with teams that can hit.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        Using a small sample size to prove the point you are trying to make there is a misrepresentation of the stats. So, yes—you are misrepresenting the facts.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        They also have a winning record against Rockies, Reds, and Mets…all teams that are up there in runs scored. And yes, you are using small sample sizes to misrepresent.

      • spudchukar - Aug 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        The facts are: The Phils have a losing record against St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Arizona. That is what I said. It is in no way “misrepresenting”. Small sample size? Yes, but unless reading comprehension is skipped in Philly schools, that is exactly what I indicated.

        Sorry Ut, usually your analysis is spot on. It would be “misrepresenting” if I offered a prediction, or drew some over-arching conclusion from those stats, but if you read closely you will see that what I said is simply those three teams have beaten the Phillies more often than they have beaten them, and that what they have in common is they are among the elite offensively in the NL. No matter how you twist it, those FACTS are real and properly represented.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 10, 2011 at 6:58 PM

        Misrepresentation also takes intent into account. Yes, you state that they have winning records. But you don’t stipulate that the season series are not complete.

        The Phightins are 1-2 against the D-Backs, but have three games remaining (starting Tuesday) at the Bank—and they just wrapped up a 9-1 road trip.

        They are 2-3 against the Cards in St. Louis and have four remaining in mid September at the Bank.

        They are 1-2 against the Brewers, and have four remaining in early September in Milwaukee.

        Anything can happen there. Admittedly, the Cards games could prove problematic record-wise, depending on how the division is going—if they have it wrapped up, it might be the Iron Pigs, but who knows?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:04 PM

        “Those 3 teams rank 1,4,6 in Runs, 1,2,6 in OPS, 1,2,5 in HRs, and 1,3,5 in RBIs. Notice a trend? I do. Trouble with teams that can hit.”
        That isn’t an overarching conclusion?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:05 PM

        Potatoman, do you really think as a Phillies fan, I am more nervous about the Diamondbacks, Brewers, or Cardinals more than the Braves? L.O.L. I would love to see the Braves fall out of contention because they, along with the Phillies and Giants are the only teams with a shot to make it to the World Series because of their starting staffs. So you can dream about the Cardinals making it…and about the Brewers or somebody beating the Phillies. But if you really want to root against the Phillies, you better hope the Braves make it into the playoffs.

      • spudchukar - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:36 PM

        Ut, you are a smart guy. Correct I did not mention the series are not complete. But most baseball fans know, or should know that if you are playing other teams in your league that are not in your division, that you must play at least 6 games against those teams. Thought that was understood and did not need to be indicated.

        Fior, If you believe the Braves are your toughest competition, then have at it. Since you have handled them fairly easily this year, one might conclude that should continue. I only hope the Phillie players are as overconfident as those Phans I read here daily. I hate losing. No matter how good I might think my team is, I always fear the worst. And I try to prepare for it. If a team had defeated me more in the current season and I see a match-up possibility in the Post Season, the first thing I would consider is why. If the only 3 teams I have a losing record against, and all three teams are among the best offensively, it might give me pause, and perhaps even rethink who it is I hope to face.

      • thecapedbandito - Aug 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        The Phillies have a winning record against the Boston Red Sox and have a 2.00 ERA against them. Are they good at hitting?

    • joecool16280 - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM

      Didn’t the Giants beat your bought team- who no one gave a chance in hell vs that pitching staff- last year to go win the WS? Oh yeah, we beat that Lee guy in the series too. Shut up idiot who relishes being hated. SCOREBOARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:14 PM

        You realize that it is not 2010 anymore, right?

        And that it took Opera Man to avoid a four game sweep in Frisco? And that the Pirates just pistolwhipped the Giants in two of three games to win that series? And that the Giants are 5-11 since the series in Philly?

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:17 PM

        By the way, those two Pirates wins? They doubled the Bucs win total in the same time frame (plus a day earlier, since it was the first of the series with the Braves) to 4-13.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:20 PM

        joe, it’s all cool. You are right…the Giants beat the Phillies in 2010. Or should I say Cody Ross beat the Phillies. Because if he didn’t do his best Babe Ruth impression, they would not have won the series. But he did and they did so congrats to the 2010 World Champion Giants.

        Now to the present. The Giants are fighting for their playoff lives with one of the worst offenses ever. And the big piece they traded for is nothing but a DOG.

        If they fail to make the playoffs, it will only be the proof that last year was a flash in the pan. But I am hoping they do because I want revenge on Cain and Timmay!!! Besides, the Giants fans are great to debate with…I don’t even know a single Diamondbacks fan…are there any of them around??

      • crpls - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:44 PM

        Keith Law jokes about there being no Diamondback fans anywhere in Arizona all the time. They’ll be around if they make October, though.

        As for the Giants, apologies for the annoying idiot above, but let’s be honest, most teams loudest fans are the obnoxious ones.

        Anyway, only point I’d make about this whole “they’re barely hanging on!” stuff is that last year we only made the post-season on the last day of the season, so we’re still ahead of where we were.

        And I don’t think anyone is seriously worried about the D’backs, though they could easily surpass us the way we’re playing.

        I think we’ve proven you can win with solely pitching (and timely hitting…and lots of luck) so I don’t think last year counts as a “flash in the pan.” If we had gone out and lost 90 games this year, maybe.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

        right now, i’m more concerned about the Giants even making the playoffs. thank goodness there are still 30+ games to play.
        i am loving the budding rivaly between philly and SF. i hope they meet up in the postseason again. that will be some great drama. with timely hitting, great pitching, and solid defense, the team has a shot.
        been very dissapointed with the Beltran trade. i hope sabean goes out next year and gets a stud like jason wer…um, nevermind. i just hope they add some big bats.
        philly fans, the 2010 WS title is our FADING “ace-in-the-hole” fact. Giants fans will ride that horse till the last possible moment. i know i will. heck, i’ll be talking about that season for the rest of my life.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        The baseball realist in me is begging for AZ to win that division and not have to see Timmay, Cain, Bumgardner, et. al. in a short series. The fan in me wants the Giants to be there. I love debating Giants fans because they bring the same passion that their team does.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 11, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        good points. SF is definitely a more “sexy” team (somehow?…:)) than AZ. and will make for better ratings.
        Giants fans, such as myself, remind me of the 2004 Red Sox fans, in that, we were/are so hungry for a very long time…just starving for success. and when it came, we are now just ODing on the spotlight, excitment, and glamour of being the champs. and of course with success, the fair-weather fans come out…eh, i’m okay with it. baseball needs all the fans it could get.

        I have been to Philly several times. great city…ate at several cheesesteak places, had a great pizza there (wasn’t expecting that), jogged up the “Rocky” steps, stayed at the beautiful cylinder-looking embassy suites, did the whole tourist thing checking out Liberty Bell, etc…, maybe the best show on TV takes place in Philly (Sunny), and they have good passionate fans with the phillies, eagles, flyers, and sixers. I guess my point about Philly is I tip my hat to the fans…while farting in the general direction to fans/teams in Florida (Marlins/Rays). hehe.

  4. rcali - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Finally a little common sense from the league with this issue.

  5. clydeserra - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    This is great news. Teams will have to either go on short rest or use 4 pitchers.

  6. alphabetazeta - Aug 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Go Cubbies!

  7. scatterbrian - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:04 PM


  8. nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 10, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Excellent! And I know it might be a bit much to ask MLB to make more than one positive change in one year, but can we also get a couple of day games during the World Series so that East Coast kids can see more than the first three innings?

  9. manu4rob - Aug 10, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    Thankyou!!!! Finally!!!

  10. havlicekstoletheball - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Excellent move. November baseball blows big donkey dicks. Unless it is the Ariz fall league or Santo Domingo.

  11. rusty416nail3 - Aug 10, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    All games prior to the World Series should be one game events. Also, the season is to long. Bring back all double-headers on weekends and not use them for rainouts.

  12. royalsfaninfargo - Aug 10, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    This is good news. Most teams play at least 5 games in 7 days anyway, so they did a good thing.

  13. bigleagues - Aug 10, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Wow. Should I heap praise on Selig for restoring some sensibility to the post-season schedule? (especially since this is almost certainly a pre-cursor to the 1-Game Wild Card Play-off coming to a league near you).

    If I’ve got to have a 1-Game Wild Card Playoff shoved down my throat in order to get MLB to do this, then I’ll take it.

  14. girardisbraces - Aug 11, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    I think the two teams that this change affects most are the Yankees and the Red Sox. Neither team has had a ton of stability beyond their top two starters (and for the Yankees, beyond CC.) Sure, both teams have prolific offense, but as my daddy always told me, “good pitching beats good hitting”…

    As for my Yankees, I suppose a case could be made for Nova as the #2 or #3 guy the way he’s been pitching, but throwing a rookie unproven in the postseason can be like tossing raw meat to a pack of hungry wolves….

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