It was all up to the Cardinals as to whether or not there would be extra games played on Monday, as the St. Louis club inched towards a postseason berth and several different combinations of wins and losses might mean a double-header would need to be played against the Detroit Tigers to decide their fate for the season.
But the team managed a win on Sunday against the Brewers (I know, Cubs fans aren’t cheering and many would have relished a chance to see more Cards losses), and the win locked in their place in the 16-team postseason, no extra games needed.
Now with the records in place and the brackets aligned, it’s time for us to get ready for one of the most truly bizarre postseasons in baseball history.
Let the (literal) games begin on Tuesday.
- We might know the outcomes now, but it’s still fun to read Jay Jaffe’s analysis of Sunday’s high stakes matchups.
- Here we go, a complete breakdown of the postseason brackets, courtesy of ESPN.
- David Schoenfield takes a look at all the reasons this will be the wildest postseason ever.
- With the new postseason bubbles, home field advantage doesn’t matter. Tyler Kepner wonders if it ever did.
- The regular season sped by, but it’s just the beginning for the 16 teams hoping to take home the World Series this year, writes David Sheinin.
- Jared Diamond takes a look at how much the schedule might impact who wins in October.
- Jayson Stark has already chosen his 2020 winners (and losers) for all player categories. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Shane Bieber has won baseball’s pitching Triple Crown. Story by Matt Loede.
- This video gives a whole new meaning to “tearing it up at Miller Park.”
- Bill Shaikin looks at how much it would cost the Angels to leave Anaheim. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot.
- The Padres traded for the skill of Mike Clevinger, but now Jay Jaffe reports the team might face a postseason without the pitcher.
- We saw multiple games paused this season due to drone interference. Bill Shea talks about how MLB teams are demanding stronger drone laws, now. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Over at Bless You Boys this week I broke down the most-played commercials I have been seeing during this season on MLB TV.
- Devin Williams’s changeup has helped make him one of the best relievers in baseball, writes Matt Martell.
- Ben Pickman shares the story of two-time cancer survivor Eric Orze’s journey to the New York Mets.
- Salvador Perez has had a red hot season, but Ben Clemens takes a deeper dive into what’s happening with the Shadow Zone (and yes, this gets very, very analyticsy, but it’s a good read.)
- Sam Miller wonders how empty parks might shape the postseason.
- Charming and a little weird, Hunter Pence has always been a delight, and this weekend he announced his retirement from baseball.
Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball.— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) September 26, 2020
Forever thankful and Gr8ful. pic.twitter.com/XoYTsLkOlu
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.