MLB Week in Review (Sept. 25-Oct. 1)

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The MLB Postseason race is just about over with more teams finally clinching their spot to compete for the World Series.

The race is almost over with only a few teams left to take the last spots in the postseason.

This year’s postseason race has been an interesting one as it has created a bit of a pattern in the MLB.

Last year the Kansas City Royals broke a 28-year postseason drought with a run at the end of the season that pushed them to the postseason and eventually to the World Series.

It was the longest active postseason drought in the MLB and finally it was over giving the fans some October baseball for the first time in almost three decades.

When the Royals broke their postseason drought they were taken off of the active drought list but the next team up took the title that no franchise wants.

That next team was the Toronto Blue Jays who came into the 2015 season with the longest active postseason drought in the league.

Their last trip to the postseason was a great one and one that continued a period of success for the young franchise.

It was 1993 and the Blue Jays had come into the new year as the defending World Series Champions and had won their fourth division title since they were established in 1977.

They came into the 1993 season looking to continue their strong run through the league and they did just that.

They won their fifth division title and took home their second straight World Series title.

What nobody knew or expected was that it was the last time they would taste the postseason for more than two decades.

They had finally suffered the World Series hangover in 1994 and after that year, Gord Ash took over the team.

It was the worst era in Blue Jays history as Gord Ash made multi-millions dollar signings that never worked out and the attendance at the SkyDome fell off completely.baseball-sidebar

The rest of the 1990s saw the Blues Jays fall to the bottom of the division and the league and they could not climb out.

It was a tough time for a two-time champion to fall off immediately after they had just won the World Championship for two straight years.

It wasn’t until Alex Anthopoulos took over that things changed in Toronto and the team began making moves that helped them compete.

The first big shift was before the 2013 season when Anthopoulos made blockbuster trade after blockbuster trade.

They became World Series favourites but some of the moves did not work out and they missed the postseason again.

This year the off-season was similar with massive additions including Josh Donaldson and Marco Estrada.

They didn’t seem to be working out at the first half of the year but approaching the trade deadline Anthopoulos went to work again acquiring Troy Tulowitzki and David Price.

Since those trades the Blue Jays have been almost unstoppable and this week they finished a dream season off by clinching their first postseason berth and division title in 22 years.

It is now the second year in a row that the longest postseason drought in the MLB has been ended.

First the Royals and now the Blue Jays have taken their name off of the top of the list.

With the Blue Jays clinching the Seattle Mariners are the team that will try to keep the streak of breaking droughts.

The Mariners are currently in the midst of a 14-year drought that seemed to be coming to an end last year when they just missed the postseason.

There is still some baseball to be played in October but for some teams it is time to focus on next year and for the Mariners there is plenty of motivation watching both the Royals and the Blue Jays earn their postseason spots this year.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Change up Top
The Atlanta Braves have solidified their management structure as they announced that John Coppolella will take over as the General Manager for the team after making most of their recent moves from the Assistant GM role

Cespedes Questionable
The New York Mets have had a great run back to the postseason breaking a nine-year drought but a big part of the late push might not make an appearance as Yoenis Cespedes was hit by a pitch and suffered a bruise on his hand heading into the postseason

Harvey gets a Game
Matt Harvey has been another big reason for the Mets breaking their nine-year drought but after Tommy John the team is looking to limit his work and in the postseason he may only see one game as the Mets announced that he will only pitch Game 3 in the NLDS

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Key Series:
Chicago Cubs 3 – 1 Pittsburgh Pirates
– With the National League postseason picture solidified the Cubs and the Pirates were fighting for the chance to play at home in the wild card and despite the Cubs win they couldn’t gain enough games to take over the top wild card spot

Houston Astros 2 – 1 Texas Rangers
– The Astros had one last chance to take over the division title but they needed to sweep to gain enough games to move back into the lead and they couldn’t get it as the rangers took one to continue their time on top

Toronto Blue Jays 2 – 2 Baltimore Orioles
– The Blue Jays came into Baltimore on a mission to clinch their first division title since 1993 and with some help from the Boston Red Sox who were playing the Yankees, the Jays did just enough taking two games and the division title

Los Angeles Dodgers 2 – 2 San Francisco Giants
– The Giants were not going to make it easy for their division rivals as they extended the battle for the last NL postseason spot but in the end the Dodgers got enough wins to officially eliminate the defending champions

Upcoming Series:
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays [Oct. 2/3/4]
– The Blue Jays might have already won their division but they still have something to fight for as they hope to beat the Rays and go into the postseason with plenty of moment and the top spot in the AL as they try to extend their lead ahead of the Royals

Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins [Oct. 2/3/4]
– The Twins have plenty to fight for as they are still in the hunt for the wild card while the Royals will be playing to earn top spot in the league as they enter the weekend tied with the Blue Jays for home field advantage throughout the postseason

Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers [Oct. 2/3/4]
– The American League wild card is still up for grabs heading into the last weekend of the series and the Angels are in the hunt as they try to beat the Rangers who themselves are trying to clinch the AL West division title

Houston Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks [Oct. 2/3/4]
– The Astros still have a chance at the wild card and the division title as they are playing for plenty in their last weekend of action against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a series that could see the Astros finish anywhere from division champions to out of the postseason

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