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Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

Sep 29, 2013, 8:51 AM EDT

scott kazmir getty Getty Images

Well, this is it. The final day of the 2013 regular season. And there are still things to be decided.

The Indians stayed hot and beat the Twins on Saturday behind a dominant Scott Kazmir, clinching at least a tie in the American League Wild Card race with a current record of 91-70. The Rangers topped the Angels with a big day of offense and the Rays lost their second game in a row to the out-of-contention Blue Jays. Which has both Texas and Tampa Bay at 90-71 heading into Sunday.

There would have to be tiebreaker games on both Monday and Tuesday in the event of a three-way tie. If we finish with a two-way tie for the second Wild Card spot, there would be one tiebreaker game on Monday.

In the National League, the top postseason seed is still up for grabs. The Cardinals cruised past the Cubs to move to 96-65 and the Braves lost to the Phillies, falling to 95-66 on the year. If the Cards win their season-finale on Sunday against Chicago, they’ll play the winner of the National League Wild Card Game (Reds or Pirates) in the five-game NLDS. The Braves would then get the Dodgers in their five-game NLDS. If the Cards lose on Sunday and the Braves win, the Braves claim that top spot because they had a a better head-to-head record against St. Louis this season. Got all that?

Your Saturday box scores and recaps:

Angels 4, Rangers 7

Indians 5, Twins 1

Pirates 8, Reds 3

Rays 2, Blue Jays 7

Padres 9, Giants 3

Athletics 5, Mariners 7

Brewers 4, Mets 2 (10 innings)

Cubs 2, Cardinals 6

Red Sox 5, Orioles 6

Royals 5, White Sox 6

Phillies 5, Braves 4

Yankees 2, Astros 1

Tigers 1, Marlins 2 (10 innings)

Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 0

Rockies 1, Dodgers 0

  1. steelers88 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    See Yinz in Pittsburgh on Tuesday!

  2. aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    This season just flew by for me (a product of getting older and being insanely busy with work, I’m sure…)

    And what an enjoyable season…so many surprises and twists and turns, so many wonderful, unexpected success stories, so many sublime pitching performances…

    The playoffs should be equally fun.

  3. chill1184 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Whos ready for some Game 162 chaos?

  4. steelers88 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Aceshigh11
    I know! The season flew by it feels just like yesterday that it was opening day. It’s kinda sad how the summer and the baseball season flew by.

  5. dondada10 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    The Mets, with their loss yesterday, clinched at least the 10th worst record. That’s huge because they’re not going to have to give up their first round pick if they sign a free-agent who received a qualifying offer.

    • paperlions - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      It is….but is that really a huge concern for the Mets? There won’t be many qualifying offers made…and are the Mets really in a financial or competitive position to spend the money necessary to sign a guy that is good enough to turn down a qualifying offer?

      • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Oh, look, you got a whole post on the Cards clinching. Funny that.

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        Again, whining about local coverage on a national blog is always poor form….I hate when Cardinal fans do it, and I roll my eyes when other fans do it. The “our team is awesome and doesn’t get enough coverage at the national level” thing is tired.

        You don’t see me whining about the Cardinals not getting a post about their excellent selection of goggles during their celebration do you?

      • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        Aaaaand you still miss the point. I’m doing the told-you-so dance anyway.

        Do you guys have cool goggles? Be honest.

        Now, if y’all got some with red “feathers” coming off the sides…

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Dance away….but you are still just whining.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        I’m not whining. I never whined. You objected to someone else “whining” and I called you on it. My prediction was correct. FYI, it is not whining to expect a post that you clinched your division. It would be whining not to have a host of smaller things covered (which sometimes gets covered anyway), but winning your division is actually national news. It means you’re going to the playoffs. That’s big enough for a full post…unlike a player’s dad showing up to a game (which we did get a post about – smh).

  6. natstowngreg - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    -*/

    There’s a good chance this won’t be the last day of the regular season. The tiny little voice of rebellion in my head wants me to root for a 3-way tie, and a rainout Monday and/or Tuesday.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Don’t know what those characters at the top of my comment came from. Maybe it was a subliminal message from an alien culture; roughly translating into “Edit Function!”

  7. lyon810 - Sep 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    I originally thought that the second Wild Card was too much of a gimmick, but it does make for some great baseball right up to the very end.

    Now all they need to do is push the trade deadline back to mid-August and we’re set.

    • paperlions - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      I’m not sure if that is true or not.

      Imagine the importance of the Reds-Pirates series with only 1 WC, they would have been playing for their post season lives, instead they both knew they were in and were just playing for home field.

      Imagine the AL race with only 1 WC, 3 teams for one spot is just as good as 3 teams for 2 spots. I don’t think the 2nd WC has much effect but to push the drama down one place in the standings.

      • spudchukar - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        What I do like about the 2nd WC is the penalty. Using up your #1 before entering the Divisional Championship is huge. However, MLB lessened that penalty with the ridiculously long time before the championship begins. 3 days for the NL is too long.

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Good point. I agree that winning the division should come with a clear advantage….avoiding the play-in game in which you need to use your ace and have all hands on deck is huge.

    • cohnjusack - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      Really? I thought it made this last week pretty boring when it became evident the Cardinals had the division the the Reds and Pirates both had the wild card.

      This season could have ended with the top 2 wild card contenders playing 6 of their last 10 games against each other for the final spot. Instead, these games didn’t really matter since we knew they were going to have a one game playoff regardless of what happened in those series.

      You know what would be more fun? Get rid of the fucking wild card entirely. I’d go with the Bob Costas suggestion: division winners go, best record skips divisional series. This will never, ever happen.

  8. pastabelly - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Second wild card added drama to AL and killed it in NL. It served a decent function in that it helped maintain interest in more markets deeper into the season. Nice for cities like KC to get more meaningful games. I don’t consider these wild card games to be playoffs as much as play ins. It’s like the NCAA tourney where #64 plays #65 for a chance to get in.

  9. proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME BASEBALL?

    The Indians have had the weakest schedule this month and have done what they had to do in finishing with a flourish. The Rangers have played very well against the Angels who had been hot. Tampa Bay plays in the toughest division and finished the season against Texas, Baltimore, New York and Toronto. The Jays have the worst record of those teams and their best hitters are all hurt, still they have played very well against the Beasts of the East this month. In the last 2 games they out pitched The Rays. Today, Todd Redmond faces his home town team with a chance to knock them out of the playoffs. Surprisingly, Redmond has been Toronto’s best pitcher this month.

    It is the last day of the regular season and there are still meaningful games to watch. I most certainly will be glued to today’s games.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      It’s going to be a long, hard off-season for you Jays fans if you knock out the Rays. Behold the Wrath of Burgie!!!! I’m a little afraid for you…but kinda excited to see her let y’all have it. Where’s my leftover Doom Watch popcorn?

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        The off season will not be as difficult as some media types think. Injuries were the big problem The major question is pitching and the Jays have several internal candidates for the final 3 spots in the rotation including Morrow, Happ, Redmond, Drabek, Hutchinson, Jenkins, Rogers, Romero and Stroman. They have a surplus of hard throwing relief pitchers that could be part of a package for a #3 type starting pitcher. Goins at second base has solidified the infield. There are several free agent catchers who could be signed to challenge Arencibia.

        I have been cheering for Tampa Bay this season and Moore is on my fantasy team, but today, I will still cheer for the Jays

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        I’ve been catatonic since last night. I came out of this morning. My hands were actually shaking a little before the game started. Why, why, why do my boys need to have such a flair for the freaking dramatic? Game 162. All down to today. Procrastinators.

        There really is a family of blue jays living in the tree outside of my apartment. They were really having fun this morning, flitting from branch to branch so gaily. I GLARED at those little shits today.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        Wow, it’s a good thing you won. Now you don’t have to decapitate any of those little shits and mail them to cur, proudly & nb.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Aw, I could never hurt them… the birds, I mean.

    • Old Gator - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      With popcorn.

      The Feesh have played the Tiggers tough – I think mebber Jim Leyland really peesed them orf with his insinuation that playing them was a waste of his team’s time the other day.

      Of course, that had nothing much to do with Joaquin Benoit’s Steve Blass impersonation last night. Benoit said the predictable thing about how it was better to get a glitch out of his system last night than it would be next week, and this would be true if not for the evasiveness behind the statement. Benoit’s been on a schneid for a week now.

      In the meantime, the Feesh have been looking a bit more against the Tiggers like some of us thought they would look when the season began, an essentially punchless team riding its peetching and the bat of the Iron Giant to eke out a win here and there. It just hasn’t happened often enough, due in large part to the Iron Giant’s own injuries and struggles at the plate. I predicted at the beginning of the season that the Giant would have a tough year, injuries notwithstanding – a learning year, I called it. I speculated that opposing pitchers would pitch around him and that he would either discipline himself and take a lot of walks or that he would become impatient with the steady diet of garbage he was being served and expand his strike zone to try to “get to the ball” to his own detriment. And that’s exactly what happened. I suppose the Giant figgered that if he didn’t carry the team, no one would. Right, again. No one has. Last night, Tommy Hutton speculated on what the big guy has to do to get his head right – on one hand, he needs some real protection in the lineup, but that’s out of his hands.

      Unfortunately, the hands it’ll be in, Scrooge McLoria’s, are totally incompetent. The Feesh have doubled down on Tweeter yet again, still hoping – praying, if you think Scrooge believes in a God who should be held to account for having the poor taste to create him the first place – that the guy with the bare boob allergy and debilitating case of mantideophobia would finally emerge as a go-to guy at the plate. Na-na-na-nope, but the Feesh’s Clemente Award candidate does show great promise as the future head of some charitable foundation for horrible children. He has, as the team’s PR releases insist, been “giving back to the community.” What the community gave him in the first place has never been made especially clear. It’s a cinch he’s not “giving back” the four billion irremediable dollars in construction bond interest that the Chihuahua suckered the community into committing to in order to build Macondo Banana Massacre Field.

      On the brightest side, the outgone Larry Beinfest did manage to stock the team with some terrific young peetchers, the most prominent among whom is, of course, this year’s putative ROY, El Keed. However, the three other young guns behind him – Nate Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Jacob Turner – all look like they have the potential to mature into a helluva starting staff. Kevin Slowey and Tom Koehler behind them, in turn, show occasional signs of excellence as well.

      We look forward to watching them all ripen into trade bait.

      • NatsLady - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        I don’t see the Fish improving much next season, since you have exactly one starter, one reliever, and one position player… They’re all good, but…

        I don’t see the Fillies improving much either, clearly Papelbon is cooked, I mean, if they even need a closer.

        The Mets could improve.

        Heaven only knows what will happen with Atlanta… they could totally disintegrate in a puff of cartoon smoke, or they could be a good team agains, they aren’t old.

    • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Redmond apparently still feels some loyalty to his old hometown. Good man.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        I am sure that you are feeling much better right about now. Congratulations to the Rays.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Uh uh. No congrats.You take that back. This game is not over yet. I take nothing for granted. There are still 6.5 innings to play and this is far from a blow-out right now. Moore has been shaky with his control (3 walks and a near wild pitch) and the Jays are capable of closing that gap quickly. They have proven they are playing to win.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        I told you it was too early for congratulations. Jays threatening, 7-4.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        7-6. Jesus.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Scared you!

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        I need a drink.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Enjoy a cold one. I am just going to have tea with honey.

      • Shayna - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        Burgie, I’m sorry that your nerves are being frayed to the last neuron. But I have to love that my Jays are playing tough down to the last out in the bottom of the ninth. Your guys will have to earn this win. Good luck all around in the 9th and, if necessary, beyond.

      • indaburg - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Good lord, your boys played tough today. If I had some benzodiazepines, I would have taken them. Your team showed a lot of heart today. Damn them to Hades! :-)

  10. historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    It’s been a busy weekend for yours truly, trying to get things wrapped up before playoff baseball begins. I made it home last night just in time to catch what game excitement there was. Another blown save — sigh. I was hoping for an easy sweep, even if I wasn’t invested in the series. It was annoying when the Feesh tied it up then — and very scary when Reed hit Solano in the head with a wild one. It appears that the kid is okay, but sheesus, that was a bad moment. I don’t know how you come back from throwing one of those accidentally and try to deliver anything with steam. Well, really, what you do it throw one that Stanton can knock a run in with. The Feesh mobbed the field like they’d clinched a playoff spot. If Tommy were a fountain, there woulda been some splashin’ to do. As an aside, are some of those Feesh kids 12? Man, I wouldn’t think a couple of them were 18. It’s like a juicy-juice clubhouse there.

  11. johnnysoda - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    And That Happened: Saturday Edition

    Rangers 7, Angels 4; Indians 5, Twins 1; Blue Jays 7, Rays 2: Indians loss. Rays and Rangers win. Let’s make it happen, guys.

    Pirates 8, Reds 3: Six home runs for Pittsburgh- including two from Neil Walker- ensures that the Pirates will host at least one postseason game. Considering their strong home record and Francisco Liriano’s ability at home, this bodes well for them.

    Yankees 2, Astros 1: Andy Pettitte’s career couldn’t have ended better (9 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). Especially enjoyable was how the Houston crowd was pulling for him in the ninth inning. It wasn’t Mo on Thursday, but enjoyable nonetheless.

    Mariners 7, Athletics 5: Oakland rallied late, but it wasn’t enough, ensuring Boston home field advantage in every round of the playoffs. The Athletics will start the ALDS at home, at least.

    Cardinals 6, Cubs 2: The Cardinals used six pitchers to shut down the Cubs. That’s one of the fun parts about games late in the year- the ridiculous number of pitchers used in each game.

    Orioles 6, Red Sox 5: A two run double from Steve Pearce in the eighth gave Baltimore a late lead they would not reliquish. Doesn’t really matter, as the Sox were already assured of hosting the wild card winner in round 1.

    Padres 9, Giants 3: The Giants finally lose a Yusmeiro Petit start, as the Padres put up a four spot in the ninth to put this game to bed.

    Brewers 4, Mets 2: Donovan Hand blew the save in the bottom of the ninth for Milwaukee, but the Brewers bailed him out with two in the top of the tenth. The Mets also had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth, but couldn’t come through.

    Marlins 2, Tigers 1: Anibal Sanchez clinches the AL ERA crown with a great performance over five innings. Unfortunately, Joquian Benoit blew it for him in the ninth. The Tigers now boast the wins leader and the ERA leader, yet there’s a chance neither of them will start game 1 of the ALDS. I know Verlander’s been great in the past and all, but if you’re starting the postseason on the road, you gotta start the best to begin it. Of course, Verlander will probably throw a no-hitter tomorrow or something to undermine my claim.

    White Sox 6, Royals 5: The White Sox manage to ensure they will not lose 100 games. Which is something, I guess. All 11 runs in this game scored on seven home runs.

    Phillies 5, Braves 4: The Braves mounted a ninth inning rally, but Jimmy Rollins made a great play at short to end it and put the Braves’ chances of having home field in the NLCS at slim. For a team that struggled on the road this year, not good.

    Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 0: A loss for the Diamondbacks eliminates their chance of a winning season. For a team that was up by 4.5 games in the NL West at one point, ouch.

    Rockies 1, Dodgers 0: A slew of Rockies pitchers shut out the Dodgers on three hits. This ain’t gonna work in the postseason, guys.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      It is the last day of the season Johnny and it is time for you to reveal your position on the great Cake or Pie debate. Hint: The correct answer is Cake.

      • Old Gator - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        My investigations have revealed that he is a bread pudding marrano.

      • nbjays - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        Pie… and it ain’t even close.

      • Shayna - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Yorkshire pudding, you sugar freaks. Savory is flavour-y.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Johnny jus doesn’t seem to be a Yorkshire Pudding type.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Leyland might start His Heterochromianess on Friday — just to give V full rest, you know. Imagine Scherzer & Sanchez in Oakland and Verlander (and maybe Fister ;) ) in the D to finish it. Realistically, V will pitch in Oakland, so I’m hoping it’s like his April performance instead of his August one.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        V 2.0

      • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        He wasn’t bad today.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        He’s just waiting to revert to form. — TMcT

      • historiophiliac - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

        I see you are feeling better…back to your ol’ trolly self.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        Hee-hee – I’m getting there. Very stir crazy but happily inundated with sports entertainment.

        4 weeks already since injury & another 6 weeks of zero weight – bearing. I miss my chianti, sister-woman.

  12. proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Alex Gordon deked out everyone in the stadium last night in Chicago. It was one of the funniest plays I have seen this season.

  13. jwbiii - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Updated playoff percentages:

    
    Team     FG    Cool   Schedule
    Cle*   96.3    96.9   1 @Min
    Tex    47.5    57.3   1 LAA
    TBR    56.2    45.8   1 @Tor

    Baseball Prospectus had a glitch this morning (Rangers at 100%, Rays at 11%), so I’m going with Cool Stangings.

    Things just got a little more interesting. Or maybe a little more nerve wracking if you are a fan of one of these teams.

    In the result of a three way tie (Indians lose, Rays and Rangers win: 13%): The Indians would host the Rays on Monday, with the winner earning one of the berths. The Rangers would then host the loser on Tuesday with the winner taking the other berth. As for who would host the Wild Card Game on Wednesday, that’s enough meat for another comment and I’ll write it if necessary.

    Two way ties for the #2 wild card berth (All win, all lose, or Indians win and both the Rays and Rangers lose: 38%): On Monday, the Rangers would host the Rays.

    Two way ties for the #1 wild card berth (Indians lose, one of the Rays or Rangers wins: 19%): No Monday game (Boo! Who wouldn’t want to see a game like the 2008 Twins/White Sox or 1978 Yankees/Red Sox?). In the Wild Card Game on Wednesday, the Rays would host the Indians or the Indians would host the Rangers.

    No ties (Indians win, one of Rays or Rangers wins: 30%): Indians host the winner in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday.

    Percentages are GameW% = W% – OppW% +/- .042 (home field) + .500. The formula doesn’t know about starting pitchers, current roster construction, whether Nelson Cruz is as rusty as the undercarriage of my 20 year old pick up, etc.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/playoff-tiebreaker-rules?ymd=20130904&content_id=59527184&vkey=news_mlb
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA200809300.shtml
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS197810020.shtml

    Elimination news: The Rangers stay at 2 and the Rays join them there, which is irrelevant at this point.

    The White Sox won and will not lose 100 games this season. However, the combined losses for the White Sox and Cubs this season, 192 and counting, bests (leasts?) the Chicago baseball futility record of 191 losses in 1949. Of course, teams played fewer games in 1949, so the ’49ers have the current edition bested (leasted?) by a couple of permillage points, if that’s what you prefer.

    *Holds wild card berth

  14. proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    There were an impressive 37,199 fans in Houston watching Andy Pettitte play his last game. A good send off for him. I also enjoyed watching the lone Houston run scored by Mighty Mouse He scored from second base on a ground out to shortstop. That was a nice piece of thievery by Altuve. The error by Houston’s catcher that allowed a Yankee run was indicative of some of the things that went wrong for the young Houston team.

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