What’s happening right now in the Majors must be better than anything what the schedule planers or the commissioner have imagined before the start of the season. Although the Phillies clinched the NL East division title yesterday there are still two playoff spots up for grabs and it seems that this will be a very close affair right until the end. This really reminds me of what’s happening in the German Bundesliga at the end of each season with the European cup qualification or the relegation. But there we only have 34 days and games and in baseball it’s 162. To think that it all boils down to the last game of the season is really exciting. How frustrated does it have to be for the players of the losing teams?
Today the White Sox (against the Indians) and the Twins (against the Royals) fight it out for the AL Central title while the Mets (against Marlins) and the Brewers (against the Cubs) compete for the NL Wild Card. The Twins have a very slim .5 game lead over the White Sox and the Mets and the Brewers are tied for the Wild Card. Yesterday the both AL teams wasted chances against their opponents, the Twins losing their game at Kansas City and the White Sox going bust against Cleveland with a horrible 6-run 5th inning. In the NL New York tied the race with a brilliant performance by their ace Johan Santana who pitched a complete game 3-hit shutout against Florida in a 2-0 win, while the Brewers were held hitless by Cubs starter Ted Lilly through the first six innings and were sunk by a 9th inning 2-run homer by Kosuke Fukudome.
What’s making those games interesting is that there are so many stories behind those respective teams. The Mets play their last season at Shea Stadium and would like to extent there stay there a little longer before moving across the street to their new stadium. Chicago is thrilled about the possibility of an intra-city World Series which might end the 100-year championship drought of the loveable losers from the south side. The Brewers haven’t made it to the postseason since 1982.
So most of the playoff matches are still uncertain. All we know right now is that the Red Sox will play the Angels in the ALDS. Tampa Bay still waits for their opponent. In the NL the Cubs, the Dodgers and the Phillies still don’t know who they will play in the NLDS. things are getting interesting and I am really looking forward to October. I still haven’t made up my mind about who I will root for, but since I have a heart for underdogs my sympathies lie with the Rays, I guess. I’d really like them to go far.