September Game Thread

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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The Tigers play their last home game tomorrow, so it might be a little surprising he didn't hang around for another 24 hours, but he had the food poisoning and it doesn't look or sound like he was enjoying things. It's a little chilly in Detroit this weekend, but Gardenhire looked like he showed up for ice fishing last night. Granted, I've never been a fan, but I think most agree that being an old school curmudgeonly asshole has always sort of been Gardy's thing. I think the COVID version of MLB has been wearing on him. He was grumbling that he always looks forward to the annual postmortem meetings with the players, but found out they're being replaced by email this year. Doesn't surprise he wasn't going to deal with a final road trip.
 

jon abbey

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Clayton Kershaw leads all of MLB in WHIP, just 41 baserunners in 54.1 innings (33 hits, 8 walks), a 0.75 WHIP and a 2.15 ERA.
 

jon abbey

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Kershaw has always looked mediocre against the Sox. I wonder if he just tires by the end of the season or if his #s are just better against the NL.
They’ve never faced him in the regular season, only the two 2018 WS starts. BOS steamrolled everyone that year but also Kershaw has always had postseason issues. He went to Driveline last winter to try to maximize what he had left and he is back to regular season dominant this year, the postseason you never know until you get there.

 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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The White Sox have to be encouraged by the results Dylan Cease has gotten this year, but he still goes through stretches where he can't put it over the plate. In today's loss he put together the unusual line of 3 ip, 3 er, 0 h, 7 bb, 5 k. Over his last two starts he's walked 12 in 7.2 innings. Only 57.5% of his pitches this season have gone for strikes.
 

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current first-round matchups

AMERICAN LEAGUE
No. 1 Rays* vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 White Sox* vs. No. 7 Indians
No. 3 Athletics* vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Twins* vs. No. 5 Yankees*
NATIONAL LEAGUE
No. 1 Dodgers* vs. No. 8 Reds
No. 2 Cubs vs. No. 7 Phillies
No. 3 Braves vs. No. 6 Cardinals
No. 4 Padres* vs. No. 5 Marlins

But the final spots in the NL are a train wreck of epic proportions waiting to happen -- 6 teams bunched within 1.5 games for the final 4 spots
 

jon abbey

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I imagine there have been some entertaining conversations between Angels fans and their young kids, as they attempt to explain that the Angels actually have two players named Anthony Rendon and Anthony Bemboom, and no, no one is messing with them.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the Marlins have made the playoffs. Major fail by the Phillies to be unable to beat them in the standings this year.
 

DeadlySplitter

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meanwhile the White Sox are freefalling and have a very real chance now to finish 3rd. Which is probably where they do belong talent-wise, but still a brutal final week when they could have clinched the division.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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The White Sox will be in 3rd by the end of the night. Cleveland dominated them this season and owns the tiebreaker, so they simply need to have the same record. The Twins own the tiebreaker over Cleveland so they would be difficult to pass, but I'm not sure what the tiebreaker is between the Twins and White Sox since they split their 10 games.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Things just got weird in Chicago. Javier Baez batted left-handed against 2B/P Yolmer Sanchez and doubled. Then he got doubled off because apparently he just didn't care on a pop-up that deflected off Sanchez's back and was caught by the third baseman.
 

E5 Yaz

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The White Sox will be in 3rd by the end of the night. Cleveland dominated them this season and owns the tiebreaker, so they simply need to have the same record. The Twins own the tiebreaker over Cleveland so they would be difficult to pass, but I'm not sure what the tiebreaker is between the Twins and White Sox since they split their 10 games.
Anything that allows the Twins to avoid the Yankees in the first round
 

Ale Xander

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meanwhile the White Sox are freefalling and have a very real chance now to finish 3rd. Which is probably where they do belong talent-wise, but still a brutal final week when they could have clinched the division.
they're going to dominate the division for the next few years with their young talent
 

DeadlySplitter

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both the Padres and White Sox are a bit ahead of schedule. I am looking forward to the Padres/Dodgers division battles this decade.

the White Sox really need Kopech to pan out.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Remember the concern that Charlie Blackmon could hit .400 this year? He's currently at .308. An 0-for-7 finish would drop him to .299. It's unlikely anyone hits .360 this season.
 

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Wild Card Series (begin Tuesday)
Best-of-three format, with higher seed serving as the home team for all three games
AL matchups
No. 8 Blue Jays vs. No. 1 Rays
No. 7 White Sox vs. No. 2 A's
No. 6 Astros vs. No. 3 Twins
No. 5 Yankees vs. No. 4 Indians
NL matchups
No. 8 Giants vs. No. 1 Dodgers
No. 7 Reds vs. No. 2 Braves
No. 6 Marlins vs. No. 3 Cubs
No. 5 Cardinals vs. No. 4 Padres

WHO IS NEXT: The Cardinals and Giants can each clinch a postseason spot either by winning two more games or any combination of a victory and a loss by the Phillies and Brewers.

 

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DeGrom is throwing the hardest of his career today going for his third straight Cy, 9 100+ pitches in the first including a 102.2 to Soto.
 

jon abbey

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AL Central, 2 games to go. All three teams will make the playoffs, the top 2 will have home field.

MIN 35-23
CLE 34-24
CWS 34-24

Tiebreakers:

MIN/CLE tie: MIN
CWS/MIN tie: CWS
CWS/CLE tie: CLE
All three teams tied: MIN/CLE/CWS would be the final order.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Win or lose, it's looking like a good night for Minnesota so far tonight. Cleveland's Civale threw BP to the Pirates... it's over in the 4th inning. It's also not looking good for the White Sox after Dunning gave up a Kris Bryant grand slam. Twins up 3-2 in the 4th, but both teams' bullpens are going to get a lot of work tonight.
 

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Win or lose, it's looking like a good night for Minnesota so far tonight. Cleveland's Civale threw BP to the Pirates... it's over in the 4th inning. It's also not looking good for the White Sox after Dunning gave up a Kris Bryant grand slam. Twins up 3-2 in the 4th, but both teams' bullpens are going to get a lot of work tonight.
Lester gave it all back and the White Sox are looking good tonight
 

shawnrbu

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Still a chance for the Reds/Cardinals/Brewers/Marlins/Giants to finish 30-30. One team wouldn’t make the playoffs (I think the Giants would be eliminated if I am following the tiebreakers correctly).
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Mookie left tonight’s game after getting hit by a pitch on the hip. He stayed in to run but came out right after that. Had a noticeable limp walking in the dugout.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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If all those teams finish 30-30...

Marlins would be in automatically (2nd place finish).

I think...
St. Louis won head-to-head vs. Cincinnati
Milwaukee won head-to-head vs. St. Louis
Cincinnati won head-to-head vs. Milwaukee
...so that doesn't get us anywhere.

Intradivision...
St. Louis: 21-19
Cincinnati: 21-19
Milwaukee: 20-20
San Francisco: 19-21

So yeah, Giants out and I presume the NL Central standings finish with the Cardinals 2nd, Cincinnati 3rd and Milwaukee 4th, but I'm really not sure about that part. If they had placed "Last 20 games" ahead of intradivision for tiebreakers then St. Louis would be out, so that's quite significant. Personally, I think they should have made COVID protocol the number #1 tiebreaker -- send St. Louis home for screwing up so many other team's schedules.

Meanwhile, the Astros are locked into the AL's 6th seed even if they have a losing record.
 

jon abbey

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AL Central, 1 game to go. All three teams will make the playoffs, the top 2 will have home field. the 2, 4 and 7 seeds respectively.

MIN 36-23
CWS 35-24
CLE 34-25

Tiebreakers:

CWS/MIN tie: CWS
CWS/CLE tie: CLE

So any of the three can still finish 2nd and play the 2nd team in the AL East, either NY or Tor. It is close to mathematically impossible even in a short season that with just one game remaining, NY could still play any of four different teams in the first round (those three or TB if they end up the 8 seed).
 

jon abbey

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We are going to end up with a bunch of intra-divisional series in the first round in the AL, 3 out of 4, it looks like (1/8, 2/7, 3/6), like a conference tournament before October Madness.
 

jon abbey

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The Twins are a ridiculous 24-6 at home and NY is 11-18 on the road, I think they are the team I’d least like to draw of those four. Any will be tough but I guess I would pick CLE if given the choice as the other two lineups are so much better.
 

jon abbey

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Best OPS in the AL is up for grabs tomorrow:

Nelson Cruz: 1.004
DJ LeMahieu: 1.004
Jose Abreu: .994
Mike Trout: .993
Jose Ramirez: .977
 

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Wild Card Series (begin Tuesday)
Best-of-three format, with higher seed serving as the home team for all three games
AL matchups
No. 8 Blue Jays vs. No. 1 Rays*
No. 7 Indians vs. No. 2 Twins
No. 6 Astros* vs. No. 3 A's
No. 5 Yankees vs. No. 4 White Sox
*Seed locked-in
NL matchups
No. 8 Brewers vs. No. 1 Dodgers*
No. 7 Reds vs. No. 2 Braves*
No. 6 Marlins vs. No. 3 Cubs*
No. 5 Cardinals vs. No. 4 Padres*
*Seed locked-in

WHO HAS CLINCHED: The A's became the first team to clinch a division title on Monday, followed by the Braves and Dodgers on Tuesday, the Rays on Wednesday and the Cubs on Saturday. Other teams to lock up postseason berths are the Astros, Reds, Marlins, Blue Jays, White Sox, Twins, Yankees, Padres and Indians.
WHO IS NEXT: The Brewers can clinch a postseason berth with a victory over the Cardinals. The Cardinals can clinch a postseason berth with a win over the Brewers. The Giants can clinch the No. 8 seed in the NL with a win over the Padres and a loss by the Brewers. The Phillies can claim the No. 8 seed with a win over the Rays and losses by the Giants and Brewers.

HERE'S A LOOK AT SEEDING SCENARIOS:
In the AL, the eight teams are set but only two (TB and HOU) have clinched seeds:
1 = TB
2/3 = MIN, CWS or OAK
4 = MIN, CWS or CLE
5 = NYY or TOR
6 = HOU
7 = CWS or CLE
8 = NYY or TOR
In the NL, only 6 teams have clinched but the top four have clinched seeds:
1 = LAD
2 = ATL
3 = CHC
4 = SD
5/6 = STL, CIN or MIA
7/8 = STL, CIN, MIL, SF or PHI

 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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The White Sox are going to have a harder time coming back today, down 6-0 in the 2nd (including a Billy Hamilton steal of home). However, it may not matter with the Indians down 2-0 (sadly, that's typically an insurmountable deficit for them). Pirates rookie Ke'Bryan Hayes is killing them this weekend... as is Carlos Santana, who created the first run for Pittsburgh by crashing into the 2B on an easy pop-up.
 

jon abbey

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NY backs into the 5 spot with a TOR loss, so 4 of the AL spots are set now as is one series (TB/TOR):

1) TB
5) NY
6) HOU
8) TOR

MIN will win the Central but need to win today to get the 2 seed over OAK.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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The Indians with a 4-run comeback victory to wrap up the #4 seed and host the Yankees.

(I'm assuming the White Sox don't make a late 8-run comeback)
 

jon abbey

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10-5 now, CWS still batting and Marquez finally pulled. Not a good debut for the kid.