In 22 seasons of wild-card-era zaniness, it has never happened. In 48 seasons of division play, packed with epic endings and crazy finishes, it has never happened. Never, ever, in all that time, has baseball had to break a three-way tie for any playoff spot. Let alone two.
This 2016 season could make history as The New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals battle for two wild card spots. Last night, the Mets and Giants both won 1 run games, the Cardinals didn’t play. There is a very good chance all 3 teams could end up tied. Imagine three teams, Two spots. Nine games left in each of their seasons. A three way tie? So, how would baseball break that tie? Thanks for asking.
Here is how:
First, let’s tell you, with 99.9 percent certainty, who would play whom and when.
Monday, Oct. 3: Mets at Cardinals. The winner would win the first wild-card spot and host the NL wild-card game on Oct. 5.
Tuesday, Oct. 4: Loser of the Mets-Cardinals game plays the Giants in San Francisco. The winner heads for either New York or St. Louis to play in the wild-card game the next day. The loser heads for the putting green .
Wednesday, Oct. 5: The survivors play in the NL wild-card game. The winner goes on to Chicago to play the Cubs in the NLDS. As for the loser, see above.
The three teams do not have any games remaining with each other, so those head-to-head records are final. The Mets and Cardinals have identical combined head-to-head records while the Giants lag. The Cardinals would have top priority among the three because of their superior intradivision record over the Mets and head-to-head-record over the Giants. Thus the home game vs the Mets.
Remember back in 2012 when on the last day of the season several teams had a chance for the AL wild card? There was a similar wild card tie breaker in play Evan Langoria’s late home run against the Yankees eliminated that chance. Wouldn’t it be fun to actually see this 3 way tie? With any luck, baseball fans get to see history made. And the winner gets rewarded with a series against the Cubs. Good luck with that.
Yoenis Cespedes swung hard, and the ball sliced through the September night, the Mets’ playoff hopes riding on every play at this critical time of the season. He jogged out of the batter’s box, and the crowd at Citi Field roared, thinking, like Cespedes and the entire Mets dugout, that he had clobbered a three-run home to erase a night of missed opportunities and mistakes.
Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte had another thought in mind. He raced back to the center-field wall. He jumped, reached up over the wall with his glove outstretched and then fell back to the warning track. He caught the ball. The cheering crowd was not quite sure how to react until Inciarte held up his glove with the trophy and pulled out the ball as proof. And with a catch that Inciarte called the best of his life, the Mets fell, 4-3, capping a woeful sweep at the hands of the Braves, whose play belied their lowly record at the worst possible time. Yes (Randy), the Mets were swept!
If the Mets (80-72) miss out on a playoff spot, remember last night. Most importantly remember how the Mets could not beat the struggling Braves in 2016, because they certainly will. They could have taken sole possession of the wild-card lead had Cespedes' shot cleared the fence (or they had not blown a 3-0 lead earlier), but they remain in a three-way tie for a pair of wild-card spots with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants after all three teams lost on Wednesday. The Mets are in a dogfight in the wild-card battle with 10 games remaining instead of secure in a postseason spot and flirting with the first-place Washington Nationals. Step it up boys, or step out of the way.
Robert Gsellman had another decent game on the mound Tuesday night as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Mets by a score of 5-4.
The third time around the order has been an albatross for Gsellman thus far. Since he became a starter, opponents are batting .250 against him their first two times through the lineup. The third time around though? They are batting .455 against him.
Gsellman escaped all troubles through the first five innings of the game. As the Braves though came to bat in the top of the sixth, the wheels began to fall off. They scored 2 in the 6th and his night was done. The bullpen takes over and the Braves score 3 in the 7th. The Mets do put up 3 in the 8th, but it’s another loss.
Gsellman’s final line ended with 5.1 innings pitched while allowing five hits and two runs. He walked two batter while striking out six. Both runs scored after Gsellman departed the game with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning, snapping his scoreless streak at 10.2 innings pitched.
Two things to note: In the eighth inning with runners on base and two outs, the Braves brought in a lefty to pitch to Bruce. In an unlikely scenario, Collins pulled Bruce and inserted Eric Campbell of all people. Soup though would come through, helping the Mets to pull within one run. In the ninth inning, with two outs and the tying run on second base, Yoenis Cespedes fell down swinging at strike two before missing on a curveball to end the game. Cespedes, who was hitless in four at-bats Tuesday, is batting just .203 with three HR and 13 RBI in 17 games during September.
The remaining schedule was supposed to be a strength for this Mets team, but that has yet to hold true. They have now dropped the first two games of this series and must win tonight to avoid being swept. The Cardinals and Giants won their respective games Tuesday night and we now have a three-way tie atop the Wild Card standings. It is sure to be an fascinating end to the season. If I’m a Met fan, I’d be worried. Oh wait… their always worried.
I think Joe Girardi is a pretty good manager. You wouldn’t have the Yankees in the Wild Card hunt, after you traded away some their big pieces if he wasn’t. But Joe has one glaring fault- he micromanages. Yes maybe over manages is a better word. He manages l every game like it is the 7th game of the world series. In the the last 10 games, he has pushed every wrong button and on every occasion it has blown up in his face, especially this past weekend.
The Yankees rolled into Fenway last Thursday just four games out of first and looking to transform themselves from AL East afterthought to 2016 postseason contender. Now, a mere four days later, the Yankees left Boston a broken team, outplayed, outclassed and embarrassed by the Boston Red Sox. Oh, and eight games out of first, and it’s on Joe. And to make things worse, This weekend marked the Red Sox’ last home series against the Yankees in David Ortiz’ illustrious career. But as one Yankee Killer gets set to retire, another is emerging. Look up Hanley Ramirez. That’s not Joe’s fault, or is it?
It seems like Joe looks in his book, processes the numbers and makes his decision. Over the weekend Joe pulled Tanaka too early, left CC in too late and way to often, went to a subpar bullpen, including his burnt out closer who has lost the ability to throw strikes or to throw to a base. The lineup he put out on Sunday night was a joke, even with the injuries. His handling of his pitchers has been dismal at best. Watching Joe, game after game, replace good pitching with wishful pitching is to watch rose bushes pulled and replaced with seedlings that — who knows? — could grow as weeds. Joe, it’s ok to manage with your gut on occasion. Maybe even use some common sense. Maybe even manage like it’s not the 9th inning of game seven.
The Buffalo Bills dismissed offensive coordinator Greg Roman Friday afternoon. And, after that process, Roman submitted a statement to The Buffalo News thanking the fans and the Bills organization. Roman did help engineer the top rushing attack in the league in 2015, orchestrating a unit that averaged 152 yards per game.
However, Buffalo’s offensive performance through two weeks this season left plenty to be desired in both the running and passing game, which ultimately led to his termination. Rumor has it Rex and Roman didn’t get along. Perhaps the team owners, the Pegula’s should consider firing Rex since the team has given up 50 points in 2 games and sits at the bottom of the NFC east standings. Haven’t heard a word out of the so call “defensive genius” windbag whose team is 0-2.
While the Giant offense was bumbling, and literally fumbling, its way through Sunday afternoon the defense kept marching back onto the field and turning Drew Brees and the Saints away. New Orleans punted on its first 5 possessions and 7 times overall, scored just one touchdown, and finished with 288 total yards of offense. Eli on the other hand, (aside from a fumble when he was sacked), was pretty good. He went 32-of-41 for 368 yards, and could probably have completed another half-dozen throws had he gotten help from his receivers. The one exception was rookie Sterling Shepard who had 8 catches, for 117 yards.
It wasn’t pretty, but they won. And now were 2-0 (the first time in 8 years). It’s too early to call next weeks game against the Redskins a Big game, but wouldn’t it be nice to be 3-0?
That loud noise you heard at the end of last night’s Yankee game was the coffin slamming shut. While the team went 3-10, Joe Giardi went to his inept bullpen way too man times and the Yankees were kicked out of the Wild Card race, highlighted by a four-game sweep at Fenway Park. In each game of the Boston series the Yanks took a lead and the inevitable happened. A walk, a big hit, a crucial error or a home run and it was game over. They lost all of them.
The infusion of youth at the trade deadline gave the Yankees a jolt that unexpectedly carried a disappointing, listless team back into playoff contention. For the fans it was a view into the future. It was fun, but now it’s over. Now at least looking toward 2017 we have HOPE!
Back at the end of July I was a Yankee fan in full support of trading away veterans to bring up young prospects to rebuild for the future. One of the trades I didn’t support was the trading of Andrew Miller. I thought Dellin Betances should have gone instead. I saw Betances on too many occasions get himself in trouble and then having to pitch himself out of trouble. For the most part he was able to get the save, but things have recently backfired for the sometimes over used closer.
Betances has worked a lot recently, including pitching back-to-back-to-back days several times this year (he did it as recently as last week), and that’s something he very rarely did from 2014-15. Betances took the loss Wednesday after a kinda stupid inning with two errors and one hard-hit ball. Thursday’s crushing 7-5 loss was a full blown meltdown. Either Joe Girardi has gone to the well too often or Betances luck has run out.
The Yankees had a 5-2 lead in the 9th. In came Betances, and four of his first five pitches were out of the zone. Dustin Pedroia drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. Then a stolen base, a, double steal. Three steals within his first seven pitches. Brutal. (They were actually scored defense indifferences, but come on.). Then he gets Xander Bogaerts to hit a chopper back to the mound for the second out, then he fell behind in the count 3-1 to David Ortiz and allowed a run-scoring single. Then Mookie Betts pulled a 1-1 pitch through the left side to score another run and put the tying run on third. Bad. Bad bad bad. Betances was obviously fatigued and only half of his 16 pitches had gone for strikes. Fewer were actually in the zone. (He got some chases off the plate.) Then Hanley Ramirez steps up to the plate.
The at-bat against Ramirez was classic bad Betances. He fed him nothing but breaking balls, fell behind in the count 3-1, then tried to throw a fastball by him when his back was up against the wall. Hanley was ready for it and launched a bomb to centerfield. A three-run walk-off home run, game over!
Two disastrous losses in a row. Too many stranded runners, a wasted performance by starter Tanaka, an exhausted Betances , a bad Betances or poor decisions by Giardi. Not sure where the blame is but losses like this remind you this team just isn’t good enough. Hasn’t been all year.
The NFL on Tuesday released its “Color Rush” jerseys, which feature bold colors designed to pop on the screen as you enjoy the league’s Thursday night tilts through a new and exciting prism!
OK, so these are new jerseys are solely designed to make money ( some of the money is going to charity) and give you incentive to watch that dumb Thursday game you don’t really care about unless you have fantasy players in it or money on it.
It’s all about perspective. Remember last year’s Bills-Jets game? That was a preview. I felt for those who are colorblind. The league claims “Color Rush” is back and improved for 2016!
No matter how you look at these uniforms, it’s fair to say most of them are bad. That is why I, a fashion maven who has purchased approximately 40 percent of his clothing including three pairs of cargo shorts from Old Navy this past summer, can’t fairly comment on fashion. I can tell you that 6 teams — Houston, Cleveland, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the New York Jets — won’t wear their special dark jerseys because their opponent is already wearing theirs and it would be bad for TV. It seems like Nike and the NFL could have coordinated this better, but what do I know? I shop at Old Navy.
After dropping back-to-back games the last two days, the Yankees rebounded with an emphatic win Tuesday night, reminding everyone they are still in the damn postseason race. The Yankees beat the Dodgers by the score of 3-0 in the middle game of the three-game series. The Orioles won and the Tigers lost, so the Yankees are now tied with Detroit two games back of the O’s for the second wildcard spot.
It was the combination of baby bombers and a veteran that got it done. Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius came off the bench and hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning. Gary Sanchez added a leadoff home run in the eighth, and CC Sabathia pitched three-hit ball for 6 1/3 innings as the Yankees helped their unexpected playoff push by winning for the eighth time in 10 games.
The once big rivals play the rubber match this afternoon at the stadium. Although the rivalry's significance arose from the two teams' numerous World Series meetings, the Yankees and Dodgers have not met in the World Series since 1981. The Dodgers occupy 1st place in the NL West while the Yankees continue their surprising post season run. Wouldn’t it be something if they got a chance to do it again as World Series combatants? Yeah, I know it’s a stretch to believe the Bombers would even make the playoffs, never mind the series but I for one can dream. Today the Yanks face some guy named Clayton Kershaw in an almost must win game. Lets borrow one from the Met’s enduring slogan and say “Ya Gotta Believe”
Of all the Week 1 NFL stories—Trevor Siemian besting Cam Newton, Jack Del Rio burning the coaching rule book in New Orleans (and winning because of it), the precocious play of so many kid quarterbacks, four 1 point games, and - the Patriots winning in the desert without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and their two tackles, with a quarterback who’d never played but one down, has to be the the biggest. Yeah, the the first game of the season, the first game of the Brady ban, the first start of Jim-MEE’s career, against the top offense in football last year, with the cast intact … I never saw this coming. you didn’t either.
Im not a huge fan of Brady, Belichick and the Pats., but you have to give them credit. Everything, every situation seems to come out gold (well with the exception of 2 super bowls against the Giants). They pull supposedly washed up players off the junk heap and make them productive players, they make 8th round draft picks superstars and when one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the game is banished, they rally behind a North Dakota State low draft pick and win a game they should have never won, and it’s on the coach.
Bill Belichick insists on eliminating all the crappola that affects his team’s chances to win. He insists on execution and he insists on his players giving their best. He is, arguably, the greatest coach of his generation. Though I doubt history will put him on the same level as innovators Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh or Joe Gibbs, he’s surely one of the five best coaches in history and could retire with the most Super Bowls of any coach. Sunday’s game was just another example of him “getting it done”. Most of his success has been with the help of Tom Brady. When you sit back and think about what Belichick and Brady have accomplished together, it's almost mind-blowing: Not only have the two been to 10 AFC title games in their 15 years together, but they've also led the Patriots to a division title in 12 of the past 13 years, and of course 4 Super Bowl wins.
My point here is that he may not be a good guy, andmaybe he is a cheater, but he is a great coach. And maybe the season doesn’t go as well as game 1, but my gut tells me he, Tom and the rest of the Pats will be in the thick of things come December.
The opening Sunday of the 2016 NFL season delivered a string of fantastic finishes. Yet there wasn’t one upset. Both New York area teams were in nail biters, the Giants winning and the Jets losing. Each by a point. The Giants exorcised a number of demons in their heart-stopping 20-19 season-opening victory over the Cowboys. The Jets lost to the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium 23-22.
The Jets lose a close one to the Bengals because, well. there are a few becauses. For one Darrelle Revis allows A.J. Green a 10 catch, 180 yards, 1 TD day. Nick Folk had a 22 yard chip shot field goal blocked and Ryan Fitzpatrick was too erratic. This was one of those games where you'd probably feel like he was good enough had the Jets won, but they didn’t.
The Jets should be kicking themselves over this loss. This was a golden opportunity to get a home win, and they squandered several opportunities. This team isn't talented enough to lose many games like this. This is not a roster that is likely to rip off ten wins in a row. They need to get things turned around in a hurry because uncle Rex and the Bills await on Thursday.
Down in Dallas the Giants finally get an opening day win because the much-maligned offensive line didn’t stink like so many predicted they would. They protected Manning well enough, surrendering two sacks and generally giving him enough time to throw. Victor Cruz is back with game-winning 3-yard touchdown catch, and a 23-yard catch to help set up an earlier touchdown. Four catches in all for 34 yards. And last but not least, a defense that bent but did not break. They forced three long drives to end in field goals and did just enough at the end, giving Big Blue the 1 point win.
Nothing profound here, but good things happened for the Giants on Sunday. Eli played well enough to win, they ran the ball and they got plays in the passing game from lots of sources not named Odell Beckham — including Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Larry Donnell. This was a good way to start the 2016 season.
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It's a somewhat tongue in cheek OPINIONATED sports blog that promises to cover baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and any other stupid, and absurd STORY related to sports.