Nine of those spots have been decided. Heaney has allowed only four runs in 17 innings over his last three starts, including two outings against postseason contenders, the Astros and Twins. But the beauty of baseball is its unpredictability. Ichiro’s probably going to be back next season, so it’s not like this will be his final game or anything.
So the math could be very simple. Trying to do too much and forcing things is what got the Astros in their current problem.
Trailing 6-3, the Astros got a three-run homer from Chris Carter, his 24th of the season, in the sixth inning to draw even. Rasmus’ blooper off Danny Farquahar (1-7) over a drawn-in infield scored pinch-runner Jonathan Villar in the seventh to give Houston the lead.
But that evaluation isn’t all that simple either. And remember, the Astros are just 31-47 on the road this year. However, with eight games left, it’s not as sure a thing as the statistics make it sound. Those two players have had better seasons than any Astros hitter – by far.
Los Angeles has already lost the opener of their 4-game series with Texas. Should they fail to win the division but earn the second wild card their trip could be a Seattle to Phoenix, to New York to Toronto excursion. The final two games become wildly insane but if your Twins win out, they are playing Game 163s and maybe 164s.
Then, of course, there are the tie-breaker scenarios. They finish out the year against the Rangers with a four-game set, and are three games back of them at this time. But if LA beat Minnesota, they’ll play on the street towards the victor of Texas/Houston on Tuesday.
Who will the Yankees play in that wildcard game? St. Louis has the best record in baseball; however, the next two best teams (Pittsburgh and Chicago) just so happen to play in the same division.
Houston (85-75) is clinging to a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins as it enters Chase Field for the final three regular-season games.
The moral of the story here is that once you’ve punched your ticket to the postseason, whatever happened previously is largely irrelevant. It’ll all sort itself out.
No excuses. Just need to win.
While Texas sends Lewis to the mound in Monday’s series opener, the Tigers will send a capable pitcher of their own in Justin Verlander to the mound. They’ll need help from Arizona. If the Cubs are within one game by Sunday – they’re 2 1/2 games back going into Thursday’s action – this one bears watching. This isn’t Little League, where every team gets a trophy for participating. The Yankees offense, especially against lefthanded pitching, has taken a powder since Teixeira went out for the season with a fractured leg. Sunday could be a day of elation at Target Field, or it could be a total buzz-kill. So, you know, drama. Which is what makes the ride so enjoyable. If that scenario played out the galaxy would likely burp us all up into deep space, but after a short regrouping period, there’d be quite a bit of baseball to play. The weekend forecast looks more forgiving, but the club could face the specter of playing a weekend doubleheader to preserve home field advantage in the first round.