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Cupcakes, clinchers to decide the NL Wild Card

Sep 21, 2012, 9:16 AM EDT

Horse race

File this under Deep Thoughts, I guess, but I’m struck by the remaining schedules of the NL Wild Card contenders:

Cardinals: Cubs, Astros, Nationals, Reds;
Brewers: Nationals, Reds, Astros, Padres;
Dodgers: Reds, Padres, Rockies Giants

The Cards seem to have the easiest go of it, with two cupcake teams and two teams that have clinched the playoffs and will either be resting their players or, at the very least, may not quite have that eye of the tiger you’d see if they hadn’t clinched.

That Padres series for the Brewers is sorta dangerous, as San Diego is in Play for Pride mode. I mean, yes, I suppose the Cubs and Astros are too, but the Padres at least have talent to make such an inspiration meaningful.

Schedule often doesn’t matter that much in baseball, but it’s interesting to see just how much the Astros are affecting everything, what with beating the Phillies last week and then having so many games against the contenders late.

Down the stretch they come.

  1. rooney24 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    I bet the Reds will still want to stick it to the Cards and all the NL West teams will want to beat the Dodgers (possibly while they still can if the Dodgers keep up their freespending ways).

  2. urdoingitwrongreds - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    I’d be surprised if the Reds rest many players. Yesterday’s line up was a direct result of them stating they wont have the ability to rest since so many other teams are still in the race. Dusty and crew have been fairly consistent on respecting the integrity of the game. Unwritten rules or something.

    • contraryguy - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Don’t know about the unwritten rules; I think you had it right with the first part: they have no more room for rest.

      The Reds finish by hosting the Dodgers and Brewers, then on the road vs Pirates and Cards. There isn’t a game in that stretch where they’ll want to have a B lineup on the field, except maybe the getaway day on Thurs vs Brewers (Sunday’s Dodger game is a prime timer followed by a day off). Dusty will be forced to rest a player or two at a time, but I doubt he’ll pull the rug out and do what Speier did last night.

      • urdoingitwrongreds - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Speier didnt do anything that wasnt already planned though.

      • urdoingitwrongreds - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Speier didnt do anything that wasnt already planned though.

  3. indaburg - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    You lost me at cupcakes. Mmmmmm, cupcakes.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      By that I suppose you mean: you stopped reading the post and started fantasizing about cupcakes.

      • indaburg - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        Oh, yeah. Red velvet cupcakes. The South does get a few things right. It is moist deliciousness with a whipped cream frosting…

        What were we talking about? Baseball? Good for the Astros to have some relevancy this late in the year, even if it negatively affecting your Phillies. (Btw, thanks for busting up my stereotype of Phillies fans as jerks. Seriously. I’m normally a pretty open minded person when it comes to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation (my best friend is Republican, crazy), but when it comes to baseball team affiliation, I can be as prejudiced as a clansman in a black church. I guess baseball prejudices are just as stupid as any other kind of prejudice.)

  4. Francisco (FC) - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    BTW If you’re going to start a title with the word Cupcake, you have to put some pastry as the picture.

  5. Utley's Hair - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    I refuse to be sucked in to this cupcake debate. Take THAT masterbaiter!!!

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      In this case wouldn’t Masterbatter be more appropriate?

    • cur68 - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Utley’s Hair(t): how nice of you to join us. You sir are a fascist apologist! (now call me one so I can be one too).

      • natstowngreg - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Nothing brings out the crowd like the great Cake vs. Pie debate.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        Sorry, Seisenta. I think frankvzappa is the only one who can do that. Otherwise, they’re just empty words.

  6. natslady - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Nats aren’t going to be “resting” until the Division is clinched. Davey made that clear. Chien-Ming Wang is starting on Sunday because of the doubleheader. Davey wants the rotation on regular rest and the bullpen to keep to their regular roles. Also, no one here wants to get beat by Nyjer Morgan. Mathematically, the Nats can’t clinch even if they sweep the Brewers and Atlanta gets swept. Nats will clinch on the road—Please, please, please let it be against the Fillies!!!!

  7. Lukehart80 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I should think the Nationals, Reds, and Giants would continue to play hard in an effort to finish 1st or 2nd and secure home field (though I suppose home field in the LDS this year is relative, since the better team is on the road for games 1 and 2).

    • natstowngreg - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Where positioning stands at this momen, with each team having 12 or 13 games left:
      #1: Nats lead Reds by 0.5, Giants by 4.5, Braves by 5.5.
      #2: Nats or Reds, barring one or more miracles.
      #3. Giants lead Dodgers by 10.
      #4: Braves lead Cards by 6.
      #5: Cards lead Brewers by 2.5, Dodgers by 3, Phillies by 4. Pirates and D-backs don’t count, as they’re under .500.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        Wait…the Pirates are under .500? But…but…but…I thought Chad Qualls was supposed to put them over the top…???? :P

      • natstowngreg - Sep 21, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        See, this is what you’ve been missing. And it was Wandy Rodriguez who was supposed to be the decisive piece of the Pirates’ playoff puzzle.

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