|By Marvin A Azrak|
Hello Chaos, meet your next victim in the 2021 AL Wild Card race. That’s where we stand as eight of the 10 postseason spots have been locked down, and the other races are just about over(Aside from the NL West, but even that feels inventible given the way the Giants have refused to lose as of late. They’re up by two games with three left over the Dodgers). The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves clinched their respective divisions on Thursday with Houston clinching their fourth title in five years, and Atlanta overcoming the losses of ace Mike Saroka superstar Ronald Acuna JR, and free-agent acquisition Marcelo Ozuna to to claim the title of “Beasts of the East” for a fourth straight year. So where do we stand with three games remaining? Let’s get into it.
1. New York Yankees 91-70
2. Boston Red Sox 91-70
3. Toronto Blue Jays 90-71
4. Seattle Mariners 89-71
Notes: Tampa Bay Rays beat the Yankees in the Friday Night and Saturday Afternoon Game with The Yankees, Boston Defeated Washington Nationals Saturday afternoon.
As of Saturday night the Red Socks and Yankees are tied with the same record
After a sweep in Boston, the Yankees went north of the border for the first time in two years to face the Jays in a season-defining series. With the Red Sox in Baltimore, and the improbable surging Mariners sweeping the now eliminated Oakland A’s, the Bronx Bombers knew they had to do damage, and take the set if they wanted to continue holding all the cards as they embarked back to the states for the final weekend of tue regular season. The Jays meanwhile saw this as an opportunity to make a dent in the competition, for they were just two games back of the Yanks, and one back of the suddenly reeling Bosox for the first and second wildcards respectively.
In game one, the Jays struck quicky off Yankees starter Jamison Tallion who allowed an RBI single to Bo Bichette before departing in the third due to an ankle injury. After an Aaron Judge oppo-taco bomb the opposite way off of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Corey Dickerson laced an RBI double off of Micheal King to put the Blue Jays on top 2-1. The Bombers would use small ball to rally back, as a one out single by Gio Urshela, and a walk to DJ LeMahieu, set up a game-tying RBI knock by Anthony Rizzo, and a sac fly by Aaron Judge, bopping New York into the lead for the first time of the evening after five innings of play. Looking for insurance in the seventh, the en fuego Giancarlo Stanton walloped a three run blast to left field putting some distance between the two division rivals in this contest, before a Gio Urshela solo job in the ninth put the icing on the cake of a 7-2 Yankees victory. This win was also due in large part to the bullpen trifecta of Clay Holmes, Chad Greeb, Luis Severino, and Wandy Peralta who collectively nailed down the final four innings.
In game two, the Jays pounced on Gerrit Cole’s fastball, and blitzed the Yanks for a quick 4-0 lead, as Marcus Semien went deep for a two run bomb in the first, George Springer singled a tally home in the second, and Bo Bichette went deep to extend the Jays lead. However, despite facing an early deficit, and getting perfected game’d through 4.2 innings by Jose Berrios, the Bombers struck back. A two out double by Gleyber Torres, and hits by Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner brought them to within 4-2. Some miscommunication by Joey Gallo, DJ LeMahie, and Gio Urshela led to another Toronto run, but the Yankees would respond in the sixth and seventh, as an Aaron Judge sac fly, and a two out RBI single by Kyle Higashioka tied the score at five runs apiece. But in the eighth, Bo took Clay Holmes deep the other way which ignited the raucous Rogers Centre crowd, before Joey Romano locked down the save to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 series-evening win.
Against presumptive CY Young award winner Robbie Ray, New York only managed a first-inning 450FT moonshot to deep center field by Aaron Judge that hit the restaurant high up in Rogers Centre, before Robbie retired 13 straight from innings 2-5. Meanwhile, Corey Kluber allowed RBi doubles to Corey Dickerson, and Vlad Guerro JR that gave the Jays a 2-1 lead. But once again sensing the moment in the sixth, the Yankees erupted against Ray, homering thrice with Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, and Gleyber Torres(2run HR) all delivering knockout blows. A Brett Gardner bomb in the ninth gave the team insurance, before Aroldis Chapman locked it down to seal the 6-2 win putting the magic number at two.
2021 POSTSEASON FIELD
Teams to clinch a postseason spot:
1. Giants, 9/13
2. Dodgers, 9/14
3. Brewers, 9/18
4. Rays, 9/22
5. White Sox, 9/23
6. Cardinals, 9/28
7. Astros 9/30
8. Braves 9/30
Two spots left
1. New York Yankees 91-70
1. Boston Red Sox 91-70
2. Toronto Blue Jays 90-71
3. Seattle Mariners 89-71
Last three games of the season:
Rays(98-61) @ Yankees
Red Sox @ lowly Nationals
Mariners host 75-84 Angels
Blue Jays host Orioles
Scenarios for Yankees as per Ken Davidoff of the NY Post:
The magic number is two.
The Easy Way
One win assures the Yankees of at least a spot in a Monday tiebreaker and eliminates the Blue Jays from catching the Bombers.
At least two wins gets them the top wild card, meaning they’d host the wild-card game.
The Hard Way
One win and a loss by either the Red Sox or Mariners assures the Yankees of hosting the wild-card game.
If the Yankees get swept by the Rays, they’d host the wild-card game only with the Mariners losing at least one, the Blue Jays losing at least once and the Red Sox losing at least two.
If they get swept, they’d secure the second wild card, serving as the road team on Tuesday, with a Mariners sweep, a Blue Jays sweep or the Red Sox winning two.
The Yankees would need to play in a Monday tiebreaker if 1) they win one and the Red Sox and Mariners both sweep; or 2) they get swept, the Red Sox and Mariners each win two and the Blue Jays sweep.
The Yankees’ season would end Sunday if they get swept and the Red Sox and Mariners both sweep.
AS OF NOW:
If the season ended today, the Mariners and Red Sox would play game 163 at Fenway with the winner facing the Yankees in the Wildcard game.