MLB Week in Review (September 28-October 4)

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The MLB season finished up this week and once again it would go to the final day, plus one more, to figure out the postseason picture. The MLB season is a 162 game marathon that takes a full 6 months to finish and can be a real grind on players and on fans. There are points in the season where the long grind gets to players and fans in the Dogs Days of Summer. These days can make or break a team and the ones who come out of the other side are the ones who get a boost of energy by making the postseason. Even with a 6 month season 162 games is sometimes not enough for teams to get their postseason spot. With two wild card spots available this is becoming more common for the MLB as there are more spots and more teams fighting for them. The extra spot in the postseason means more chances for teams to make the postseason which in turn means more teams available for the battle. Before the extra spot was created many of the postseason races would finish before September making the last month of the season. It would make for a boring end to the season and every now and then the race would go down to the final days but more often than not the last half of the month would not be very exciting. The addition of the second spot has made the race for the postseason more exciting and has extended the race until the last week of the season. This year would be the same as the fight for the postseason would go down to the last week and one fight would take an extra day in the season to figure out. The National League playoff picture was not nearly as much of a battle as the American League. The NL would find out their postseason teams in the middle of September but that would end the race. The NL Central would come down to the last week of the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals fighting it out to win the division. In the end the Pirates would lose the battle and stay in the wild card game while the Cards would what to see if the Bucs or Reds would be joining them in the NLDS. The game would be a statement one for the Pirates as they would show why they would host the wild card game and why they were battling for the division title. The Pirates would win 6-2 against the Reds and would extend their season of accomplishments for at least the rest of the week. The Bucs had their first winning season in 20 years and with that came their first postseason appearance in 20 years. Now they sit in the Division Series taking on a team they saw plenty of throughout the season taking on a team that has had their fair share of postseason appearances in the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile in the American League the postseason race would extend to a 163rd game in the season. With most of the postseason spots secured the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers would fight for the last wild card spot. With only one week left in the season the Texas Rangers had slipped out of the playoffs altogether while the Rays were hanging on to the last wild card spot. Neither team was playing their best baseball down the stretch so as the Rangers began to recover from a long slide that put them from division leaders to out of the postseason the Rays were having a tough time against the Toronto Blue Jays. Losing two of the three games to the Blue Jays would push the Rays into a tie with the Rangers for the last postseason spot. In game 163 for both teams the Rays would ride David Price for 9 innings to a 5-2 win and would become the last team to clinch their spot in the postseason. After the tiebreaker the Rays would take on the Cleveland Indians and would have another dominating pitching performance to win 4-0. The postseason has begun in earnest with the Divisions series all started up and 8 teams all looking to make their mark on the 2013 postseason. The battle for the postseason was a great one and if the postseason follows suit the fans could be in for a great ride.

 

Extra Innings:
(Thoughts on the past week in the MLB)

How to Close out a Season
The Miami Marlins did not have a great season finishing at the bottom of the league but they would finish on a high note as Henderson Alvarez would throw a no-hitter on the last day of the season against one of the best offensive teams in the league in the Detroit Tigers

Baker Don in Cincy
The Cincinnati Reds had a fairly good season making the playoffs and entering the wild card game but they would lose this game and for the Reds it marked a time for change as Dusty Baker would lose his job after the loss

163 Games to Clinch
The season would go down to the wire for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers but this day was meant for David Price who would show why he was the 2012 Cy Young Award winner dominating the Rangers for 9 straight innings

 

MLB Postseason 

NL Wild Card:
Pittsburgh Pirates 6 – 2 Cincinnati Reds
– The Bucs would get what they had wanted for years as they would host the wild card game in front of a crazy crowd that was seeing postseason baseball for the first time in 20 years and they would make the ticket prices worth it winning the game and moving into the NLDS

AL Wild Card:
Tampa Bay Rays 4 – 0 Cleveland Indians
– The Rays barely made it in playing one more game that the Indians but that would not stop them as they would as another dominant pitching performance highlighted the AL Wild Card with Alex Cobb shutting out the Indians

 

NL Division Series:
Pittsburgh Pirates 1 – 1 St. Louis Cardinals
Game 1: STL 9 – 1 PIT
Game 2: PIT 7 – 1 STL
Game 3: STL @ PIT (Sunday October 6th; 4:30 pm ET)
Game 4: STL @ PIT (Monday October 7th; 3:00 pm ET)
Game 5: PIT @ STL (Wednesday October 9th; 5:00 pm ET)

Los Angeles Dodgers 1 – 1 Atlanta Braves
Game 1: LAD 6 – 1 ATL
Game 2: ATL 4 – 3 ATL
Game 3: ATL @ LAD (Sunday October 6th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 4: ATL @ LAD (Monday October 7th; 9:30 pm ET)
Game 5: LAD @ ATL (Wednesday October 9th; 8:30 pm ET)

 

AL Division Series:
Tampa Bay Rays 0 – 1 Boston Red Sox
Game 1: BOS 12 – 2 TB
Game 2: TB @ BOS (Saturday October 5th; 5:30 pm ET)
Game 3: BOS @ TB (Monday October 7th; 6:00 pm ET)
Game 4: BOS @ TB (Tuesday October 8th; 8:30 pm ET)
Game 5: TB @ BOS (Thursday October 10th; 5:30 pm ET)

Detroit Tigers 1 – 0 Oakland Athletics
Game 1: DET 3 – 2 OAK
Game 2: DET @ OAK (Saturday October 5th; 9:00 pm ET)
Game 3: OAK @ DET (Monday October 7th; 1:00 pm ET)
Game 4: OAK @ DET (Tuesday October 8th; 5:00 pm ET)
Game 5: DET @ OAK (Thursday October 10th; 9:00 pm ET) 

*Game Played if Needed

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