Well, the picture might be a bit overstated, but I am so pumped to see these wild card races come down to the wire like this. Boston did win the second game of their double header to stay up late last night, and the Cardinals did what they are expected to against the Cubs. So, here we are three days to go in the season, and the wild card lead is down to one in both leagues.
In the National League, the Cardinals get to finish up with the hapless Astros. Or the AAAstros, as one novelty jersey would have them. I'm sure Houston is just ready to get this season over with. They might like to play spoilers, but they'd probably be just as happy to see Lance Berkman get another crack at the playoffs. The very-slumping Braves get to finish off with the Phillies, who are a bit of a wild card themselves. Charlie Manuel says they owe it to the league to keep playing it just as they would any other game. It's easy to say that in early September, though. I'd want to to get my world-class rotation in order if I at all could if I were managing the Phillies. As with the Canucks this past hockey season, they don't give you a trophy for finishing first in the regular season.* So, the wild card seems to be in the hands of one Mr. Charlie Manuel. My gut says the Cardinals will get this done.
*Well, actually, yes they do in hockey. But I'm sure teams would trade any number of Presidents Trophies to get another year with the Stanley Cup.
In the American League, the Red Sox make a return trip to Baltimore. The Orioles haven't been much this year, disappointing pretty much everybody. But they proved to be awfully tough on the Sawks last week. I do think the Orioles are relishing a chance to play spoiler. The Rays get to host the Yankees, who would probably also love to see the Red Sox miss the playoffs, and have the excuse of having nothing to play for. My gut and my brain says this works out for Tampa Bay.
Braves, Rays, and Red Sox all start at 7 tonight. The Cards get going at 8. I'm sure there will be some scoreboard watching going on all over, but especially in St. Louis given the later start. I at this point don't know who the free game is for MLB.TV, but hopefully somebody relevant. If not, I'm sure MLB Network will giving many, many looks-in* this evening.
*I'm not sure if that's how that should be made plural, but I fairly arbitrarily decided look-in should be