The 97 wins ties the 1977 Red Sox for the most wins ever by a third-place team, and this is the first time since divisional play began that the best three records in baseball all belong to one division.
WHITE SOX 4, TIGERS 3: At Chicago, Leury Garcia singled home the winning run in the ninth as Chicago beat Detroit and avoided finishing last in the AL Central. Epstein, the president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer painstakingly rebuilt the entire organization after Chicago bottomed out just three years ago with 101 losses. Their misfortunes against Pittsburgh’s scheduled starter, Gerrit Cole, were well-documented here yesterday, but, as we saw last season with Bumgarner and the Giants, a dominant pitcher can change the course of the entire postseason – and I’m not talking about Cole.
The Pirates held on to a two-game lead with two games left in the regular season. But Chicago failed to gain ground in its bid to host the wild card contest after the Pirates beat Cincinnati 6-4 in 12 innings in Pittsburgh. 238 on the season which is well below the National League average of.250. New York, however, holds the tiebreaker because it won the season series. The team has not returned to the World Series since.
Cubs: Maddon wasn’t going to get Arrieta out of his routine even though the Cubs had already clinched a playoff berth, so having his ace skip his start was not an option.
Chicago ended the regular season with a three-game sweep in Milwaukee.
The Brewers got a run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a monster shot by Khris Davis to right-center field off of Trevor Cahill. Meh.
But there’s no shortage of camaraderie or confidence with this team, a tone that is undoubtedly set by Maddon but is willingly soaked up by a bunch of guys who are too young to remember – or care – about what happened in the past.
But first, they need one win to stay alive.
I’ll also post separate threads for other postseason games, beginning with the American League wild-card game Tuesday between the Astros and Yankees. The Astros were playing in Arizona later Friday night, and were up 6-1 in the fourth inning when the Rangers finished their game (see full recap).
It was in 1984 when Ryne Sandberg hit two game-tying home runs off of Bruce Sutter and the Cubs won 12-11.
Sure, the Cubs did not get their first hit until the third inning.
Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson (6-4) appeared in his fourth consecutive game.
Pujols followed with a soft single to left field on the next pitch.
The last game of the season for the Brewers was Rodney Jones’ first game of the season.