Sep 19, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT
The division races are secondary right now. Let’s go with the wild cards first:
AL Wild Card: Unless you’ve been living under a rock or (worse) watched football all weekend, you know that Boston leads Tampa Bay by a mere two games now after dropping three of four to the Rays. What you can be somewhat more reasonably excused for not knowing, at least if you’re on the east coast, is that the Angels are only four games back of the Sox themselves. And then you look at the schedule and you see that, with their margin shrinking, the Red Sox will trot out Kyle Weiland, John Lackey and an arguably healthy Erik Bedard in the next three games and you wonder if this thing isn’t going to be all tied up soon.
NL Wild Card: Atlanta leads St. Louis by 3.5 and — surprise, surprise — the Giants by four. Big surges by both St. Louis and San Francisco here, along with awfulness by the Braves. Obviously I have my rooting interest and that won’t flag on a personal level, but let’s be objective about this, shall we? As things currently stand, wouldn’t the Braves be the worst team to make the playoffs if they hold on? From the perspective of “do you actually want to watch them play baseball games in the playoffs,” wouldn’t you prefer the Giants or the Cardinals?
As for the divisions:
AL East: The Yankees 4.5 lead seems pretty darn safe. Boston’s struggles also mask the fact that the Yankees are playing some pretty uninspired ball themselves.
AL Central: Congratulations on the clinch, Detroit. Now let’s all join forces to fight the “Verlander for the MVP” wave that I feel is building this morning. Or, if we can’t fight it, let us at least remind its backers that Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila and the rest of the Tigers team isn’t chopped liver.
AL West: Rangers by 4.5, which means it’s almost over.
NL East: Congratulations on the Phillies clinching. Everyone was so worried about that.
NL Central: Brewers by 6.5. All done but the paperwork.
NL West: Dbacks by 5. Kudos to them for not crumbling as the Giants surged. It would be the wackiest thing ever if two NL West teams made the postseason dance, wouldn’t it?
- Pineda and pine tar: baseball is, once again, sending mixed signals about cheating 90
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 56
- Clayton Kershaw cleared to begin rehab assignment on Friday at High-A Rancho Cucamonga 2
- Michael Pineda ejected in second inning for pine tar on neck, facing a 10-game suspension 150
- Mark Trumbo diagnosed with stress fracture in foot 11
- Josh Lueke is a rapist. How often does that bear repeating? (200)
- Benches clear in Pittsburgh after the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez bat flips a third-inning triple (183)
- “They Don’t Know Henry” (169)
- Michael Pineda ejected in second inning for pine tar on neck, facing a 10-game suspension (150)
- Chipper Jones chimed in on the Carlos Gomez incident (111)