Two and a half weeks. That’s all we have left for the 2022 Major League Baseball season. It flew by, didn’t it?
Or has? I am convinced that every baseball season has a paradox for those of us who live and breathe it every day.
On the one hand, it’s easy to say something like “it seems like only yesterday was the vernissage!” I have no strong arguments against. I remember back in March when I was really worried that the season might be shortened, perhaps even drastically. It seems that just recently the deal was finally made and the owners ended the voluntary lockout of the players. We rejoiced.
Like I said, this hasn’t happened in a long time.
Then againClayton Kershaw should have been removed. ? Doesn’t it feel like centuries ago? This is really for me. It looks like oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo for a long time. It was April 13th. By the end of the World Series, the start of the season will seem exponentially pushed back.
It’s a routine that goes by quickly, and such a statement only makes sense for those of us who are still paying close attention. If you know, you know.
Due to limited time remaining in the regular season, here are the top nine series with playoff implications for both sides. We will focus on games where both teams can win something. as well as there’s a lot to lose, so you won’t find teams like the Dodgers or the Astros on the roster. (The episodes are listed in chronological order.)
1. Meeting at the brewers, September 19–21. – A doubleheader against the Giants on September 8 seems to have put the Brewers back on track. Now they pose a major threat to the Padres and Phillies because of the wildcard space. And the Mets, well, they fight to the end with the Braves. Great here to start the week.
2. Blue Jays in the Phillies, September 20-22. – Apparently, both teams perform well in the tournament, but either of them can be doomed to failure, and there is a struggle for seeding in wild cards. The Jays can look up too, and we’ll get to that in a second.
3. Guardians at White Sox, September 20-22. – The two teams have only three games left against each other. The White Sox desperately need to damage the Guardians before the Clevelands end their six-game streak at home against the hapless Royals.
4. Braves in the Phillies, September 22-25. “It’s not head-to-head in the sense that they’ll be fighting for the same spot, but the Phillies could hurt the Braves’ chances of taking the NL East, while the Braves could force the Phillies out of playoff position. Offending an opponent is always fun, right? And both need to keep winning in their own way.
5. Blue Jays at Rays, September 22-25. – This is a four-game series, so while it looks like both teams will safely grab the wildcard spots, there’s always a chance that a sweep here will open the door for the Orioles to get back into the picture.
6. Yankees – Blue Jays, September 26-28 – It may be over by the time this series is played. However, the Yankees may not be entirely safe. Now the advantage is 5 1/2 games. If the Blue Jays can play four or five games and then beat the Yankees, then it’s a race to the finish line.
Royals at Tigers, September 27-29 – I’m just joking. Two bad teams and I certainly didn’t expect the royals to ever take notice unless their team made the playoffs. I can’t move on from their brand.
7. Rays at the Guardians, September 27-29. This is the last time the White Sox can get help – and they desperately need it – with the Guardians playing a worthy opponent. In addition, the Races may be in contention for either a playoff spot or the AL East crown. At the very least, seeding will make a difference, and it could end up being exactly the same match in a wildcard round on a quick turn.
8. White Sox at the Padres, September 30-October. 2 – The White Sox can be eliminated by this series, but if they’re breathing down the back of the Guardians’ necks – or somehow leading AL Central – that’s a big problem. The Padres could also deal with the Brewers and/or the Phillies for a final playoff berth. Maybe do-or-die games for both teams? It would be fun.
9. Meeting at the Braves, September 30 – October. 2 – Like this. The best baseball series left. Assuming he stays this close (🙏), it will be something like a playoff series. Of course, the loser will still make it to the playoffs, but the stakes are high. Can we become greedy? Let’s be thirsty. Please gods of baseball let these two teams tie. We don’t ask you for much!
Obviously, these aren’t the only series worth watching, and there are plenty of possible playoff previews (e.g., the Races and Astros battling twice, and the Dodgers playing the Cardinals).
The point is that while the routine is winding down and the playoffs seem imminent, there are still plenty of regular season episodes worth our attention.
Biggest driving forces
From the 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics to the 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers, the franchise has had six 100-win seasons. Since then, there have been four attempts with 100 wins from five full seasons.
The Astros are likely to join the Dodgers in four years with 100 wins from the last five full seasons. There used to be only *one* in this franchise.
I have NL Rookie of the Year voting this season and I’m happy to keep track of the top two. Looks like a fight to the end.
It’s easy, and yes, it’s obvious that the Mets have to pay for being swept at home by the Cubs in the midst of a furious division race. But the Braves barely made them pay for it! Mets could actually dodge a bullet before going straight into the hapless pirates.
We’re officially in “watch every Aaron Judge record” territory. I mean, you should have been doing this the last few weeks anyway, but now it’s as serious as it gets. Plus, in addition to homers, he’s hitting .701 now. No one has hit .700 in a full season since Barry Bonds in 2004 (.812 which is… lol).
There was so much focus on Albert Pujol chasing 700 homers and then last week, rightfully so, Adam Wainwright and Yadya Molina setting an MLB record for most games along with a battery, that Paul Goldschmidt’s unreal season was a bit of a back burner. . The MVP leader is still within striking distance of the first NL Triple Crown since Hall of Famer Joe “Ducky” Medwick in 1937.
The failure of that game on Sunday severely damaged their chances in the AL East.
It’s great to see Shane McClanahan return, but it’s even better to see five scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.
It’s been six outings since Josh Hader had his last crash. He struck out seven in six innings with only one walk and three hits in that span. Juan Soto had two hits, including a home run, also on Sunday. Maybe things…