MLBbro Bo Porter (Former player, manager, executive and current Director of Coaching for MLB) tells the story of his greatest MLB playoff moment as a player for the Oakland A’s facing his idol Dr K back in the 90s.
#MLBbro Ellis Burks had a stellar 18-year MLB career in which he swatted 352 homers and had a career batting average of .291.
He also knows a thing or two about rivalries having played for the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants. Burks joins Mark Gray on “The Pushback” to talk 2021 MLB Playoffs.
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.
With seven games or less remaining for every Major League team, the 2021 MLB playoff picture is finally taking shape.
While some races are just about wrapped up, there are several key matchups remaining that will be heavily effected by the MLBbros still in the hunt for postseason glory.
The Chicago White Sox were the first team to clinch their division, and superstar shortstop Tim Anderson made sure they did so in dramatic fashion.
Anderson came up huge with his squad on the verge of their first division title since 08, slapping two opposite field bombs against Cleveland to help deliver the Central Division crown in a 7-2 win.
The victory cements the White Sox in the 3rd seed, where they are most likely to face Michael Brantley and the Houston Astros.
The Sox dropped the season series to Houston 5-2, but took two of three from the Astros in August on the south side.
As for Dusty Baker and the Astros, only a collapse from the Tampa Bay Rays could propel them from the third seed to the top spot in the American League.
However, in what seems to be a scripted twist of fate, the Astros host the Rays for three games this week in H-Town. If there was ever a time for Michael Brantley and the gang to catch fire, any opportunity to clinch the one seed should be more than enough motivation.
Houston will clinch its division this week, but that won’t eliminate the playoff hopes of their AL West rivals the Seattle Mariners. J.P Crawford and the Mariners are 7-3 in their last 10 games and look poised to swipe the final wildcard spot.
Seattle has the easiest path to a playoff spot, with five games remaining against the Angels and three games against the Athletics.
The Yankees are locked in a battle with the Boston Red Sox, and the winner of this series will leave with the wild card lead. Once they finish in Boston, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have to run the gauntlet, with their two final series against the Blue Jays and Rays.
The final week of the National League is set up for a dramatic finish. Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been on fire for the bulk of the second half, yet still trail the San Francisco Giants in a battle for the NL West crown.
One reason the Dodgers haven’t been able to catch the Giants is the late inning heroics of LaMonte Wade Jr.. Wade is hitting .320 in his last 7 games, but its his 12 hits in 19 ninth inning at-bats.
San Fran has been able to weather the storm down the stretch, but with both teams having a light schedule down the stretch this could really go either way.
Fortunately for us, no matter how the NL west ends, there’s still an opportunity for a Dodgers/Giants divisional round, seeing as though whoever wins the NL West will be the number one seed in the National League. So once the wild card.
Jack Flaherty and the St. Louis Cardinals are in the midst of a historic run toward October, winning 15 straight on their way to a commanding 5 game wildcard lead.
The Cards have completely lapped the field in the wildcard, forcing Andrew McCutchen and the Philadelphia Phillies Into a Division Title or bust scenario heading toward October.
The Phillies have their destiny in their own hands this season, as the upcoming three game set against the Braves will more than likely determine the division champion.
If they manage to escape with the division crown, they slot for a battle with Lorenzo Cain, Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Milwaukee Brewers, who’s current magic number sits at two games.
With so much uncertainty headed into the final week, it will be interesting to see what Bros step up to solidify their teams status headed into October.
The Milwaukee Brewers are running away with the National League Central as the season nears an end.
Lorenzo Cain, a veteran and former World Series champion, will be a key player as the Brewers head into the postseason.
This is his 12th season and fourth with the Brewers and he has some more left in the tank.
Having a player on your team who has won a World Series is big because he knows what it takes to win.
And Cain has put up some good numbers lately.
HOME RUN LORENZO CAIN!!!
BACK TO BACK NIGHTS FOR LO!! pic.twitter.com/NKq4jyUsYy
— Reviewing the Brew (@ReviewngTheBrew) September 2, 2021
The 35-year-old is hitting .300 with two home runs, six RBI, and five runs scored in his last seven games.
On the season he’s batting .245 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.
Throughout his career, Cain has been a player who’s been able to get it done at the plate and in the field.
This season has been a tough one for the former two-time All-Star. The injury bug has affected his playing time.
Even dealing with those injuries, Cain made sure that he put the time in to make a full recovery and get back out there.
Cain’s veteran leadership has helped the Brewers win games and compete from the first to the last inning.
Lorenzo Cain just BARELY puts one over the wall to give the Brewers an insurance run in the 9th! pic.twitter.com/wXRfjGm53L
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 2, 2021
“Sometimes, you just have to go out there and grind out at-bats and find ways to put the ball in play consistently,” Cain told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after a win over the San Francisco Giants. “We all did it in a bunch of different ways tonight and scored six runs, and that was enough tonight.
It’s going to be an exciting end to the season, seeing how things will shake out in both the National and American League.
One thing that Cain has is that playoff experience. It’s invaluable.
When you make the postseason, it’s a different element and you need experienced bulldogs like Cain to get over the hump.
He played a big role in 2015 when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, and now he’s looking to do the same with the Brewers.
Keep a close eye on our MLBbro over there in Milwaukee. The Brewers already have a talented team and when Cain is healthy, he makes the team a tougher out.