Normally, I wait until all the games are done for the day, but all of the relevant games are done, so here goes.
The Phillies are now the NL East champions. There are two playoff spots left: the NL Wild Card and the AL Central.
Magic numbers don't matter now. You just need to win and hope and wait.
In the NL Wild Card, the Mets and Milwaukee are in a tie. A flat-flooted tie at 89-72.
Tomorrow, the Mets will send Oliver Perez (10-7, 4.25) to the hill against Scott Olsen (8-11, 4.23) in the Shea Stadium regular season finale. That game is scheduled to start at 10:10 am PT.
Over in Milwaukee, the Brewers will start CC Sabathia (10-2, 1.78 ERA with the Brewers, 16-10, 2.80 overall) against Angel Guzman of the Cubs (0-0, 7.04). Originally, Carlos Zambrano was penciled in to start this game on three days rest, but Zambrano felt he would be better served for the postseason by throwing a bullpen session. That game will start at 11:05 am PT.
If the Brewers and Mets can't decide things Sunday, there will be a playoff Monday between the two teams at Shea Stadium. And then that game could be the last regular season game at Shea.
In the AL, it is, slightly more complicated. The Twins lead the White Sox by a 1/2 game. The Twins have lost two straight at home to the Royals after sweeping the White Sox to take the lead. The White Sox have lost five straight games.
The White Sox are scheduled to start their game five minutes before the Twins (11:05 am PT and 11:10 am PT respectively).
At US Cellular Field, Brian Bullington (0-1, 5.59) will start for Cleveland in place of Cliff Lee who has a stiff neck. The White Sox will counter with Mark Buehrle (14-12, 3.87), who will be on three days rest after throwing 121 pitches in a loss to the Twins.
At the Metrodome, Brandon Duckworth (3-2, 5.06) will pitch for the Royals, who are 18-7 in September. The Twins will counter with Scott Baker (10-4, 3.59).
If the Twins win and the White Sox lose, the Twins win the AL Central. Any of the other three permutations of wins and losses (both teams lose or both teams win or the White Sox win and the Twins lose) occurring means that the White Sox would have to play their Game 162 on Monday afternoon against Detroit. Gavin Floyd is the tentative starter for the White Sox in that game and Detroit would start Freddy Garcia. Then if that game is played and the result forces a tie, there would be a one-game playoff for the AL Central on Tuesday in Chicago.
The Division Series will start on Wednesday with three games, one in the AL (Boston at Los Angeles) and two in the NL (Los Angeles or New York at Chicago and Milwaukee or Los Angeles at Philadelphia). The series between Tampa Bay and either Minnesota or Chicago will start Thursday. Here is the tentative schedule. Starting times have not been set.
The Race to #30
Washington sneaked back into the top or bottom spot in the race for the worst record. The Nats will finish tomorrow afternoon against a group of Phillies reserves most likely. The Mariners play at home against Oakland. It should be scintillating!
Sunday's action is scheduled to conclude with the second game of day/night doubleheader between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway. But the 2008 regular season isn't going down without a fight.