The Yankees and Rays clinched their playoff berths last night. The last 4 games of the season will decide who is the Division Champ and who is the Wild Card. Since the Rays won the season series, if they finish with identical records, the Rays will be awarded the AL East Championship. So the Yankees need to go 4-0 while the Rays go 3-2 in order to win the division.
Playoffs are playoffs.
The Reds also clinched last night, with a walkoff homer by Jay Bruce. What's especially interesting to me, as I started following the minor leagues closely around 2004-2005, how often Phil Hughes, Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey were talked about together (other big names included Tulowitzki, J Upton, D Young, Gallardo).
The NL West/ Wildcard are the only races still running. Since my pre-season picks look unbelievably bad (at least I got the Phils and Twins), I'm rooting for the Giants to take the division and the Braves to take the Wild Card, because I love the Giants' starting pitching and I'm a sucker for the sentiment of seeing Bobby Cox lose one final playoff season.
I didn't think about this last night, but the Yankees scored 6 runs without recording an RBI. If that happened in the postseason, it would either be a sign of the Yanks' selfless grittiness and will to win or it would be a sign of massive chokerism, depending on whether the Yanks won or lost the series.
Am I wrong that both ALDS series look the same this year, and that only the NL gets the short series/ long series choice?
Joe Girardi claims he hasn't started thinking about his ALDS rotation. Probably because there's nothing to think about: Sabathia, Hughes/ Pettitte, Sabathia, All Hands on Deck. If the Yankees are on the road for games 2 and 5, I'd start Hughes, who will be helped by not pitching in front of the Yankee Stadium short porch.