Wednesday’s required viewing

In the National League, the Washington Nationals can clinch the senior circuit’s number one seed with a victory over the Phillies at 1:05, but to do so they’ll need to get through Cliff Lee. Hey, remember when Lee said he picked the Phillies over the Yankees because it was where he had the best chance to win multiple rings? Yeah, how’s that working out for ya? If the Nats falter, Cincinnati can swoop in to take the top spot with a victory over St. Louis. That game gets underway at 8:15 P.M. Want real craziness? With a Cardinals’ loss and a win over the Giants, a team that’s already set in the third seed and is focused on getting ready for the ALDS, the Dodgers can force a one game playoff for the N.L.’s second wild card spot tomorrow, with the winner merely getting the right to play in Friday’s official wild card game in Atlanta. I’m not exactly sure where that game would be played, but how would you like to have to play for your life in Los Angeles on Thursday, then turn around and do the same thing in Atlanta the very next night? I know what I’ll be rooting for tonight! (The Dodgers, of course, lost last night, so all of that was moot as the Cardinals have already clinched the second wild card spot. This is what I get for spending all of that time committing the various playoff scenarios to memory last night).

Of course, if you’re worried about the Yankees you’re focused on the American League playoff situation, and just like the N.L., there are three games that are relevant to you here. The Rangers and A’s will finish their season in the most meaningful of fashions: With the A.L. West crown on the line. That game also has implications for the Yankees’ pursuit of the top seed in the A.L., as a Texas win means that they merely need to win the A.L. East in some fashion to get the top spot, with an Oakland victory means that they have to win tonight’s game against Boston to get that honor. There’s apparently no national television coverage of this game scheduled, though I would assume that MLB Network would have a generous number of live look ins of the game at the least.

As for that A.L. East race, both of those games will start a little after 7:00 P.M. EST, and be covered on the ESPN family of networks. The Yankees and Red Sox will be on the mothership, unless you’re in the New York or Boston markets, and the Orioles and Rays can be seen on ESPN2, unless you’re in the Mid-Atlantic or Tampa areas. You know the score there: a Yankees’ win clinches everything for the Bombers, while a loss opens up the possibility of a 163rd game for the division title tomorrow night.

Obviously there’s a lot of potential stress that you can feel as a baseball fan this time of year, and it’s magnified relative to what Yankee fans are used to this year, but remember: October only comes once a year, and it’s the absolute best time to be a baseball fan. So try to enjoy it while it’s there, especially until we get past all of that Mayan business at least.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

6 thoughts on “Wednesday’s required viewing

  1. lazlosother

    Dodgers are out. Too bad, I wanted to see Donnie Baseball in the post season.

    • Yeah, I just realized I did that. So focused on what could happen to force games tomorrow, I totally forgot what happened outside of the A.L. East east night. Doh!

  2. jay_robertson

    Am I the only one kinda baffled/amazed/dumbfounded that they could play 161 games, and have it all come down to one last game? I agree with Tex that it is cool to have it work out this way – but sheesh – if I'd known that going in, I could have had an extra 600+ hours in my life, over the last few months. Its stuff like this that makes me watch NASCAR on my DVR – I'm sure there are intricacies and strategies, but the winner is determined in the last lap.

    With all that has gone on this season – to have it all on the die roll of one game – really – isn't tonight the equivalent of the play-in game, to avoid the play-off game, to determine who is in the Wild Card single game play-in?

    Here's hoping that Pedroia's broken finger plays up and the O's rest their starters.

    • It’s the journey, not the destination.

  3. brian

    This season has just been an absolute thrill ride… lot of guys have stepped up… even the guys who probably weren't happy with the season they had still contributed..

    I go back and forth on Girardi… hated tex cleaning up… turned out to be a disaster…

    but i also wouldnt have pinch hit for the locked in nunez right there, he did, and it worked to perfection…

    i guess that's why he manages and i watch

  4. brian

    And watching the way the yankees just flat out compete year in, year out… coupled with what's gone on in Boston….

    it's just given me a new appreciation for Jeter's leadership of this ballclub… I was never one of the morons incorrectly screaming about how he wasn't a good Captain… but I don't even think I realized just what a great leader he truly is until this season!!!

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