The unfortunate thing about being the Cubs this late in the season is this:
Cubs have observed a lot of clinching celebrations lately. Braves, then Pirates and tonight, Cardinals.
— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) September 28, 2013
This is sad but expected, as the Cubs post-fire sale weren’t going to be that good anyway even though they did make progress from last year record-wise. At some point we may find out if the Cubs get a new manager or not, but in the meantime, we wait for Sunday when the other clinchers will be revealed…or else we might have some tiebreakers to sort out. Check out the American League wild card situation now:
Indians win. So it’s TEX one back of CLE and TB for two wild card spots. Two games left. Chaos.
— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) September 28, 2013
If the Rangers lose and one of the Indians/Rays win on Saturday, then the Rangers have a last gasp at the wild card assuming the other one loses on Sunday to force a playoff. If both the Indians and the Rays win and the Rangers lose, then it’s all over. There’s a really complicated spiel on how the tiebreakers work but I’m too lazy to dig it up.
On the flip side, the division winners (Tigers, A’s, Red Sox) can still jockey for position. The A’s are currently winning and the Tigers lost earlier, so the Tigers can no longer fight for homefield advantage through the AL playoffs. The A’s best hope is to win tonight and for Boston to lose their final two games to force a tiebreaker, but I think the Red Sox have the better intradivisional record so they might have clinched homefield anyway. Since the American League won the All-Star Game, the AL pennant winner will host the first games of the World Series (THANKS SELIG). Not much to look at here, though I guess Detroit and Oakland can still jockey to see who gets homefield in their ALDS matchup.
The Braves have the same record as the Cardinals but should hold the tiebreaker. The Cubs could still play spoiler and force STL to face the Dodgers in the first round rather than the wild card winner between the Pirates and Reds. The Reds are one loss away from having to travel to Pittsburgh for the play-in.
Two more games to go, and then we’re on to October baseball. I wish it didn’t have to end, it’s going to be a long winter again.