One. More. Game.
In what seems like a gift from the Baseball Gods, the American League wild card will come down to the final game of the season.
Last week, it looked like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Staton and the slugging New York Yankees had put the rest of the league on notice.
Fueled by a monster weekend at Fenway by Stanton that included three bombs and 10 RBI, New York surged to the top of the wild card race with just two series left to play.
But as we sit here seven days later, the Yankees are on the brink of guaranteeing a chaotic final day of the MLB season.
After dropping two straight games to the Tampa Bay Rays, The Yankees are now tied with the Boston Red Sox with just one more to go. A loss on the final day of the season could set off a chaotic chain of events.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was brutally honest about his team’s performance after their loss Saturday, and everything that Sunday means for this ball club. “We got embarrassed,” said Boone. “We’ve got to get over it quickly. [Sunday] we’ve got to take it and punch our ticket.”
Still In Control
Despite their recent losses, the Bros in the Bronx still control their own destiny. Winning Sunday guarantees them at least a place in the play-in game, and the team with the best head-to-head record amongst the three will host the winner of the potential game 163.
Car Jams & Road Blocks
The remaining teams vying for that final wild card spot would be:
Toronto Blue Jays
The MLBBros across the Border, Toronto, Blue Jays sluggers Marcus Semien and scorching hot George Springer.
The Blue Jays currently sit at 90-71 with one game remaining, and Springer has had alot to do with their final playoff push.
While Semien has struggled of late, Springer has hit .467 in his last 7 games, racking up 14 hits, three home runs and eight RBI along the way.
With only one game against the Cedric Mullins and the last-place Orioles, Toronto looks poised to do their part to make Sunday even more interesting.
“I honestly don’t know how it all works out or how it would work out,” Springer said Friday. “I just know what we need to do as a team. We can only control what our team can control.”
The final team in this Wild Card scenario has an added incentive to making the postseason.
The Seattle Mariners, led by West Coast MLBbro J.P Crawford, currently hold a distinction that no team wants; the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.
The Mariners haven’t reached the postseason since 2002, and until their 12-game win streak in September, the streak looked likely to continue.
Now, with two games remaining as of Saturday, the Mariners must stay hot against the Los Angeles Angels and win their final games.
The Mariners playoff odds sat at just 10 percent heading into Saturday night’s game, but don’t tell that to Crawford.
JP Crawford Comes Of Age
The Mariners leadoff man and Gold Glove shortstop has been a major catalyst for his squad, hitting .414 and compiling 12 hits compared to just 4 strikeouts over his last 7 games.
“J.P., after getting off to a slow start, has been phenomenal getting on base,” Mariners Manager Scott Sevias said when discussing his shortstop. “He’s shifted the field and how he hits in his approach to hitting, and he’s really matured.”
Unfortunately for J.P. and the Mariners, they will need more than Crawford’s maturity and silly smooth fielding to make the playoffs.