Cleveland exited the scene even though they won their fourth straight game as the White Sox administered the death blow with a win at Kansas City.
There could be a whole lot of clinching going on Saturday. The Cubs will clinch the NL Central with either a win at home against St. Louis or a Milwaukee loss in Cincinnati. Those games will be played at the same time.
In the AL, Tampa Bay's magic number for clinching a playoff spot is 1. The Rays will clinch a spot with a win over Minnesota. If the Rays lose, they can still clinch a playoff spot if the White Sox (at KC) and Yankees (at home against Baltimore) both lose.
Boston can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Toronto and losses by ew York AND either Minnesota or Chicago.
And the Mets have reclaimed the lead in the NL East over the Phillies, although the stumbling Brewers are making that race a bit less intense. The Marlins have won 9 straight games but are still 4 1/2 out of the wild card, tied with Houston.
Here are the magical numbers:
Cubs (NL Central) - 1 (Cubs and Brewers both lose)
Dodgers (NL West) - 6 (Dodgers and Diamondbacks lose)
White Sox (AL Central) - 7 (White Sox win and Twins lose)
Rays (AL East) - 9 (Rays and Red Sox win. Rays magic number to clinch playoff spot is 1. If the Rays clinch a spot this weekend, then the magic number to win the division will drop one more as the Rays own a tiebreaker edge for the division over Boston with a 10-8 season series edge.)
Mets (NL East) - 9 (Mets win and Phillies lose to switch places)
Wild card leaders
Red Sox - 2 (Red Sox win and Twins lose. Yankees now join equation.)
Phillies - 7 (Mets win, Phillies lose, and Brewers lose)
Is this the end of Rico?
Toronto can be eliminated tomorrow. But that can only happen if the Blue Jays lose at home to Boston. The Yankees can be eliminated if they lose AND the Red Sox win.
There's No Place Like Home
The Angels will clinch home field advantage throughout the postseason with a combination of wins and losses by Tampa Bay that adds up to 8. Tampa Bay would get home field against the Angels in case the two finish with the same record. The team with the best record in the AL will get the option of picking which Division Series schedule to follow, one of which will start on October 1 and the other on October 2. The tentative schedule can be found here.
Games to be Played if Necessary
Cubs at Houston, Detroit at White Sox, both on September 29. Oakland and Baltimore also could make up a game on September 25. These are looking less and less necessary.
The Race to #30
Remaining games left:
Washington (8) - 2 vs San Diego, 3 vs Florida, 3 at Philadelphia
San Diego (8) - 2 at Washington, 3 at Los Angeles, 3 vs Pittsburgh
Seattle (9) - 2 at Oakland, 4 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Oakland
The big game in the titantic San Diego-Washington series at Nats Park went to the Padres, 11-6 in 14 innings. However, the Mariners doggedly refuse to win a game.
Saturday's Games of Note
Milwaukee (Sabathia) at Cincinnati (Cueto), St. Louis (Pineiro) at Chicago (Lilly), Philadelphia (Blanton) at Florida (Sanchez), New York (Martinez) at Atlanta (Campillo), Arizona (Davis) at Colorado (Cook), San Francisco (Hennessey) at Los Angeles (Kuroda), Baltimore (Burress) at New York (Aceves), Boston (Lester) at Toronto (Halladay), Minnesota (Slowey) at Tampa Bay (Kazmir), Chicago (Floyd) at Kansas City (Davies)
Tampa Bay (10) - 2 vs Minnesota, 4 at Baltimore (includes doubleheader), 4 at Detroit
Boston (9) - 2 at Toronto, 4 vs Cleveland, 3 vs New York
Chicago White Sox (9) - 2 at Kansas City, 3 at Minnesota, 3 vs Cleveland, 1 vs Detroit if needed
Minnesota (8) - 2 at Tampa Bay, 3 vs Chicago, 3 vs Kansas City
Philadelphia (8) - 2 at Florida, 3 vs Atlanta, 3 vs Washington
New York (9) - 2 at Atlanta, 4 vs Chicago, 3 vs Florida
Chicago Cubs (10) - 3 vs St. Louis, 4 at New York, 3 at Milwaukee, 1 at Houston if needed
Milwaukee (8) - 2 at Cincinnati, 3 vs Pittsburgh, 3 vs Chicago
Los Angeles (8) - 2 vs San Francisco, 3 vs San Diego, 3 at San Francisco
Arizona (9) - 2 at Colorado, 4 at St. Louis, 3 vs Colorado