A new day, some coffee, and a check of the RIOT number site has told me that the San Diego Padres were eliminated from postseason contention last night after San Francisco beat Pittsburgh. How so? Buckle up, we're going for a journey into the seamy side of the NL West.
Here are the current NL West standings:
The key number here is 74. That's the maximum number of wins that the Padres can get.
Los Angeles and Arizona have one game left against each other. For this example, let's say Arizona wins giving the Dodgers and Diamondbacks both 72 wins.
Colorado has three games left with the Dodgers and six with Arizona. San Diego can't have Colorado win every one of those games because it would put the Rockies over 75 wins. So let's say the Rockies win just two of three from the Dodgers and four of six from the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks would have 74 wins, the Dodgers would have 73, and the Rockies would have 73. You can divide the wins up differently so the Dodgers could get to 74 and the Diamondbacks to 73, but still all the teams don't go past the Padres theoertical maximum of 74.
Ahh, but then there are the San Francisco Giants. The Giants play the top three teams in the NL in 16 of their final 21 games. So if we go with the scenario in the above paragraph, the Diamondbacks would have to lose all seven of their remaining games against the Giants. That pushes the Giants to 68. The Dodgers would have to lose five of their remaining six against the Giants, which puts the Giants at 73. And then the Giants have three left against Colorado.
Right now, the maximum number of wins for the Giants and Rockies is at 73. And with three games between the two teams, one of the teams has to win at least two games. Which means someone in the NL West will get to 75 wins. And the Padres won't.