Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Playoff Chase

The playoffs seemed pretty cut and dried on Labor Day, but there's a couple of sizzling races heading for the wire.

The final NL berth comes down to the the Milwaukee Brewers or New York Mets, both teams stumblin' and bumblin' their way to the finish line.

CC Sabathia starts at home against the Cubs in what could be a preview of the NLCS matchup. The Cubbies are starting *snicker* Angel Guzman, 0-0 with a 7.04 ERA.

The Cubs, wisely, opted to rest Carlos Zambrano, the scheduled starter, and save his arm for the upcoming playoffs.

The Mets play the last regular season game in the history of Shea Stadium, with Ollie Perez starting for New York against Scott Olsen of the Marlins. The Mets start an hour ahead of the Brewers, so expect some serious scoreboard watching by the players and fans alike at Miller Field.

If the Brewers and Mets are still tied after today, they will play a one-game tiebreaker at Shea Stadium on Monday with the NL Wild Card berth to the winner.

If the Mets win and the Brewers lose, the Mets win the NL wild card and will travel to Chicago to face the Cubs in the Division Series. The Phillies would then host the Dodgers in the other series.

If the Brewers win and the Mets lose, the Brewers win the NL wild card and will travel to Philadlephia to face the Phillies in the Division Series. The Cubs would then host the Dodgers in the other series.

In the AL, the Twins retain a half-game lead over the White Sox. Scott Baker gets the call against Kansas City's Brandon Duckworth in today's game at the Metrodome.

Mark Buehrle will try to keep Chicago's hopes alive as the probable starter at home against Cleveland's Bryan Bullington. And whoever thought Bullington would be involved in a meaningful MLB game on the last day of the season?

He's 0-1 since being called up, with a 5.59 ERA. Bullington's pitched 9-2/3 innings for the Tribe in two appearances, one a start. Cliff Lee was scratched from his scheduled start because of a stiff neck, and BB got the nod to replace him.

Chicago may have to make up a rain out against Detroit. If the White Sox and Twins are still within a half-game of one another following today's games, the Tigers would play the White Sox on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Following that game, if the Twins and White Sox are tied, the teams would play a one-game tiebreaker on Tuesday at Chicago for the division crown and a postseason playoff date with Tampa Bay.

The Angels host the Bosox in the other opening AL playoff series. And that should be a tremendous set of games.

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