The playoff picture is a little clearer than it was yesterday…
Going into yesterday there would have been a one game playoff whose outcome would determine BOTH National League Division Series match ups… and Red Sox fans had some hope.
Well going into the final week of the season, three teams can clinch a playoff spot on Monday. Actually the Phillies already did clinch a spot today, but if they win tomorrow or the Braves lose tomorrow, it will be their 4th straight Division Title. (They have bigger fish to fry.)
If the Cardinals lose to the Pirates, then the Reds will be the NL Central Champs.
And if the Yankees win or the Red Sox lose, the Yankees will clinch at least a Wild Card spot. I have a feeling their celebration will be muted.
No doubt the Giants, Braves and Padres will continue to jockey for position. The Rockies will need a miracle. (Don’t give them any ideas!)
Let’s look at the current match ups.
has home field advantage over
TEXAS RANGERS (AL West Champion)
MINNESOTA TWINS(AL Central Champion)
has home field advantage over
NEW YORK YANKEES (AL Wild Card)
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (NL East Champion)
has home field advantage over
SAN DIEGO PADRES (NL Wild Card)
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (NL West Champion)
has home field advantage over
CINCINNATI REDS (NL Central Champion)
Keep an eye on the Cubs/Padres series and the Marlins/Braves series. Both the Cubs and Marlins had bigger aspirations for the 2010 season. Will they relish the spoiler role?
The last week is always fun.
So many things went right this weekend…
The Sox won the series and avoided elimination…
The Sox knocked the Yankees out of first place…
The Sox showed some grit and resolve…
Jon Lester won #19…
Dice-K was great…
Rivera was vulnerable…
And yet it ended with such a bad taste in my mouth.
A bases loaded walk off walk?
I never understood how those are possible.
LOB IT DOWN THE HEART OF THE PLATE!
It was Juan F**king Miranda for Christsake!
Of course it shouldn’t have gotten that far. Papelbon was dreadful and the “Papelbon or Bard” debate will rage in the off season. And as much as I love Paps, I am not sure which side I am on.
So the end is either a Yankee win or a Red Sox loss away…
And with that win or loss will mean the end of the tally… which I will dutifully continue and soon you will see why!
April 10 – 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 – 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 – 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 – 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk’s 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 – 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre’s bases loaded walk.)
April 26 – 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 – 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 – 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 – 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia’s 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
May 5 – 3-1 win against the Angels. (Papi and Beltre homer and the Sox hang on despite squandering many potential rallies.)
May 6 – 11-6 win against the Angels. (Dice-K puts the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole before they even bat. The Sox bats respond.)
May 10 – 7-6 win against the Blue Jays. (Sox blow an early 2-0 lead, take advantage of some errors and hang on.)
May 18 – 7-5 win in New York. (Sox climb back from a 5-1 hole. A day after hitting a walk off homer, Marcus Thames drops a fly ball to start the winning rally for the Sox.)
May 25 – 2-0 win in Tampa. (Big Papi supplies all the offense as Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam.)
May 29 – 1-0 win against Kansas City. (Zack Greinke holds the Sox to one run, but they make it stick)
June 2 – 6-4 win against Oakland. (Dice-K puts the Sox in a 3-0 hole before they come to bat, but come back thanks to Papi’s homer.)
June 20 – 2-0 win against the Dodgers. (Dodgers blow an early bases loaded scoring opportunity and allow Buchholz to settle down for the win.)
June 26 – 4-2 win in San Francisco. (An injury running the bases takes Buchholz out in the second, but the bullpen and Mike Cameron’s bat and glove win the game.)
July 2 – 3-2 win against the Orioles. (Wakefield gets the win and J.D. Drew homers twice, but it is Nava’s 2 out 8th inning bloop that landed between three fielders that breaks the tie.)
July 17 – 3-2 win against Texas. (Youk ties the game in the 9th off of Cliff Lee and wins it in the 11th with a sacrifuce fly)
July 19 – 2-1 win at Oakland. (Beltre homers and Dice-K holds on to the win.)
July 22 – 8-6 win at Seattle. (Lackey lost a no hit bid in the 8th and the Mariners scored 5 in the 9th to tie before the Sox won in 13)
July 23 – 2-1 win at Seattle. (Bill Hall’s barely fair homer gives the Sox the win on Beckett’s return.)
July 27 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (Jed Lowrie’s 2 run 7th inning double gives the Sox the lead and makes a winner out of John Lackey. )
July 31 – 5-4 win against Detrout. (Big Papi hits a 3 run walk off double to crush the Tigers in the 9th.)
August 1 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Sox blow a 3 run 9th inning lead but the Tigers throw away a 9th inning sacrifice bunt to give the Sox the win.
August 9 – 2-1 win in Yankees Stadium. (Marcus Thames’ bid for a game tying homer hits the top of the wall as Lester, Bard and Papelbon hold on for the win.)
August 14 – 3-1 win in Texas. (Lester wiggles out of jams and a botched hit and run play kills a potential 9th inning Texas rally.)
August 18 – 7-5 win against the Angels. (The Sox fell behind 5-2, but came back with Beltre’s homer, a wild pitch, a hit by pitch and some great Nava defense)
August 21 – 5-4 win against Toronto. (Jed Lowrie hits a walk off 11th inning homer, masking a come back rally by the Jays against Dice-K.)
August 23 – 6-3 win against Seattle. (Scuatro drives in the go ahead runs and Lackey throws a gritty 8 innings)
August 25 – 5-3 win against Seattle. (Beckett throws a shutout into the 7th and the Sox rally for 4 in the 6th in the rain and fog, including a strange RBI single off the pitcher by Beltre.)
August 27 – 3-1 win at Tampa Bay. (Victor Martinez homers twice and Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam as Lester out duels David Price.)
September 1 – 9-6 win in Baltimore. (A 6 run seventh inning uprising turns an early Orioles lead into a Sox win.)
September 2 – 6-4 win in Baltimore. (The Sox score 5 in the second and hang on for dear life.)
September 12 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (J. D. sparks a comeback win and Beckett gets the win.)
September 14 – 9-6 win in Seattle. (The Sox come back in the 8th thanks to Ortiz’s 30th homer.)
September 24 – 10-8 win in New York. (The Yankees rally from down 10-1, but Cano strikes out as the tying run in the 9th)
April 7 – 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson’s 10th inning homer)
April 9 – 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)
April 17 – 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can’t score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th… lost it in the 12th.)
April 17 – 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)
April 25 – 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)
April 30 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)
May 1 – 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)
May 2 – 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.
May 12 – 3-2 loss against the Blue Jays. (The Sox rally in the 9th comes up a run short and Kevin Gregg gets an ugly save.)
May 15 – 7-6 loss in Detroit. (The Sox blow a 6-1 lead and lose it on a 2 out bases loaded walk in the 12th.)
May 17 – 11-9 loss in New York. (The Sox come all the way back from a 5-0 first inning hole to take a 9-7 lead in the 9th… but Papelbon lets up a 2 run game tying shot to A-Rod and a 2 run walk off shot to Marcus Thames.)
May 21 – 5-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Big Papi’s bid for a game tying 9th inning grand slam is caught at the warning track.)
May 27 – 4-3 loss to Kansas City. (Dice-K walks the go ahead run in and lets another score on a wild pitch as the Royals no name bullpen shut down the Hot Sox.)
May 28 – 12-5 loss to Kansas City. (Sox blow a 3-0 first inning lead to be blown out in Fenway.)
June 3 – 9-8 loss to Oakland. (Sox lose a slugfest where two Boston runners are thrown out at home.)
June 6 – 4-3 loss in Baltimore. (Sox rally to tie the game in the 9th only to lose it on a small ball rally in the 11th.)
June 10 – 8-7 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow an early 5-0 lead and then after rallying in the 9th to take the lead coughed it up with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th)
June 13 – 5-3 loss to Philadelphia. (Sox 9th inning rally comes up short)
June 22 – 2-1 loss in Colorado. (The Sox waste a solid Lester start and twice leave the bases loaded.)
June 23 – 8-6 loss in Colorado. (The Sox batter Ubaldo Jimenez around but Papelbon lets up 2 homers in the 9th to lose it.)
June 25 – 5-4 loss in San Francisco. (The Sox strand 11 runners in the last 4 innings wasting a solid Wakefield performance.)
July 5 – 6-5 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox spoil a 5-1 lead and 2 homers by Eric Patterson when Dice-K and the bullpen couldn’t hold down the Rays.)
July 6 – 3-2 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox bats go dead and Kevin Youkilis goes down to injury.)
July 7 – 6-4 loss in Tampa Bay. (Matt Garza comes out of the pen, shuts down a late rally as the Rays sweep the Sox.)
July 10 – 9-5 loss in Toronto. (The Sox give Lackey an early 5-3 lead that he couldn’t hold.)
July 18 – 4-2 loss to the Rangers. (Lester loses a rare game at home that included a Rangers steal of home.) July 20 – 5-4 loss in Oakland. (The Sox go up 4-0 after 2 but don’t score again and lose it in the 10th)
July 21 – 6-4 loss in Oakland. (Buchholz can’t hold on to an early lead as the Sox lose the series.)
July 24 – 5-1 loss in Seattle. (Lester’s perfect game is foiled and the Red Sox bats die.)
July 25 – 4-2 loss in Seattle. (Okajima misplays a sacrifice bunt and the Mariners rally in the 8th to win.)
July 30 – 6-5 loss to Detroit. (Papi’s grand slam makes it a 1 run game in the 9th but Cameron strikes out looking with the winning runs on base.)
August 2 – 6-5 loss to Cleveland. (Beltre drives in 5 runs by himself but the Red Sox leave the tying run on base with Big Papi on deck.)
August 12 – 6-5 loss in Toronto. (The Jays score 4 in the 9th inning to avoid the sweep.)
August 13 – 10-9 loss in Texas. (Beckett can’t hold an early 8-1 lead as the Sox lose in 11.)
August 15 – 7-3 loss in Texas. (Young’s homer breaks open a tight game.)
August 25 – 4-2 loss to Seattle. (The Sox knock out King Felix but can’t score on the bullpen.)
August 28 – 3-2 loss in Tampa. (Buchholz was wonderful but Upton’s homer in the 8th tied it and Dan Johnson’s homer in the 10th was the winner)
August 29 – 5-3 loss in Tampa. (Dan Johnson once again sinks the Sox with a late game RBI single)
September 4 – 3-1 loss to Chicago. (Manny acts contrite, Konerko gets 3 hits and Danks shuts down a lifeless Sox team.)
September 4 – 3-1 loss to Chicago. (Nope, it isn’t a typo. They lost twice in the same day by the same score.)
September 5 – 7-5 loss to Chicago. (Papelbon implodes as the Red Sox blow a 5-3 lead in the 9th thanks to 5 ninth inning walks.)
September 11 – 4-3 loss in Oakland. (Lackey pitches well but the A’s rally in the 7th, highlighted by a Rajai Davis triple just out of Ryan Kalish’s reach.)
September 17 – 11-9 loss to Toronto. (Lackey gets pounded and the Red Sox rally falls short.)
September 18 – 4-3 loss to Toronto. (Ryan Kalish is picked off first in the 9th inning with the big bats coming up.)
September 20 – 4-2 loss to Baltimore. (The Red Sox tie the game in the 6th only to let the Orioles rally the next inning.
September 26 – 4-3 loss in New York. (Both Rivera and Papelbon blow saves but Okajima walks Juan Miranda with the bases loaded to end it.)
Down to +2.
Yeah I knew it was a long shot… but when Papelbon was on the verge of closing out the game, I was still “doing the math.”