We have arrived at the final week of the regular season - well, half-week, anyway.
- Yesterday was a spot-locking-up kind of day in the American League, with the Yankees, Orioles and Rangers clinching post-season berths. The former remains tied with the Yankees atop the AL East (as you'll recall, each desperately wants to avoid the one-game Wild Card playoff, so winning the division remains of paramount importance), and the latter has a two-game lead in the AL West over the A's, who currently hold the second Wild Card spot by two games over the Angels, and three games over the Rays. The Tigers have the AL Central by three games over the White Sox. So, with just three games left in the season, barring a miracle, you can bank on the AL Playoffs shaking out with the current leaders making the cut.
- In the National League, the divisions are set, with the Giants winning the West, the Reds winning the Central, and the Nationals (all-but) winning the East. The Braves have the top Wild Card spot locked up, and the only teams remaining in the running for the second Wild Card are the Cardinals, who lead by two games, and the Dodgers.
- With their win yesterday, the Atlanta Braves have won 23 straight games started by Kris Medlen. The run, which broke a record shared by some old guys named Carl Hubbell and Whitey Ford, dates all the way back to May 2010 (which makes one wonder whether the streak could be a cool 50 games by now if the Braves had just let him keep starting). Naturally, when the Braves take on the second Wild Card team in a one-game playoff later this week, they'll send Medlen to the mound. And, if baseball is gonna be baseball, the Braves will lose.
- In her swan song at Baseball Nation, Wendy Thurm looks at some of the more interesting facts, figures, and story lines from the 2012 baseball season. Perhaps the best tidbit? Phillip Humber's flukey perfect game, which he's followed with 87.2 innings of 107-hit, 73-run ball.
- This weekend, Mike Trout became the youngest member of the 30/30 club, hitting his 30th homer off of Yu Darvish. The club, itself, isn't all that exclusive, even if Trout's inclusion at age 21 is noteworthy. He becomes the 37th player to pull off the feat, and his 30/30 season is the 60th in baseball history.
- The Padres' Everth Cabrera did something slightly more rare yesterday: he stole four bases without recording a hit. That one's been pulled off just 11 times in MLB history. Cabrera walked twice, and stole second and third each time, in case you were wondering how he got there.
- Chipper Jones says goodbye to Turner Field.