Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 10/3/12
Tomorrow is game 162 of the regular season, the last game of the year. And it will mean something for these teams. -The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics. After the A's won 3-1 last evening, the two teams are deadlocked at the top of the AL West with identical 93-68 records. Whoever wins today will win the division, while the loser will head to the wild card game to take on either the Yankees or Orioles. -The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees. The Yankees can clinch the AL East with a win today against the Red Sox. If they lose, the Orioles can force a one-game tiebreaker with a win over the Rays. -When it comes to the playoff matchups in the American League, here's how things look... -If the Yankees win tomorrow no matter what, they'll face the wild card winner and the AL West winner will face the Tigers -If the Yankees lose, the Orioles win, the Yankees win the divisional tiebreaker game, and the Rangers win the West, the Yankees will face the wild card winner and the Rangers will face the Tigers -If the Yankees lose, the Orioles win, the Yankees win the divisional tiebreaker game, and the A's win the West, the A's will face the wild card winner and the Yankees will face the Tigers -If the Yankees lose, the Orioles win, the Orioles win the divisional tiebreaker game, and the Rangers win the West, the Rangers will face the wild card winner and the Orioles will face the Tigers -If the Yankees lose, the Orioles win, the Orioles win the divisional tiebreaker game, and the A's win the West, the A's will face the wild card winner and the Yankees will face the Tigers -In regards to the wild card game, the Orioles must win today to host the game. The Yankees will host the game if they lose today and lose to the Orioles in the AL East tiebreaker game. Whoever loses today's A's-Rangers game will host the game if the Orioles lose today -The Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. Neither team knows who they'll be playing in the NLDS quite yet. Both teams have identical 97-64 records, and it'll go down to the last day to determine which team gets to face the wild card playoff winner, and which team gets to face the Giants. The Nationals clinch the top spot with a victory, while the Reds can only clinch with a win and a Nationals loss, due to the Nationals' holding the tiebreaker advantage by winning the season series with Cincinnati. -The St Louis Cardinals don't care about tomorrow. They backed into playoffs despite falling 3-1 to the Reds after a 4-3 Dodgers loss to the Giants last night gave them the second wild card berth in the National League, setting up a matchup with the Braves. It's the last day of the season, and all we know in regards to scheduling is that the Braves will be hosting the Cardinals in a Wild Card playoff game on Friday. We don't know what time it is...but we know there will be baseball at Turner Field on Friday. Game of the Night: Yankees 4, Red Sox 3 (12 innings). Yeah yeah yeah, typical Yankees-Red Sox nonsense. The Red Sox had the chance to do the Orioles a big solid, and led 3-1 going into the ninth. Of course....Andrew Bailey happened. The oft-injured closer allowed a single to Curtis Granderon to lead off the New York ninth, and followed it up by allowing a game-tying two run homer to Raul Ibanez. Bailey would then proceed to load the bases before Mark Melancon got out of his mess with no further damage. The Red Sox didn't put up much of a fight in the three extra innings, but in the 12th, the Yankees made some noise against Andrew Miller. Miller set down the first two Yankee hitters in order before walking both Francisco Cervelli and Granderson to bring up Ibanez once again, who singled in Cervelli to send the Yankees to a walkoff win and put them in prime position in the AL East. Pitching Lines of the Night: There was a pitching duel in St Pete, and the better man was on the losing end. James Shields allowed one run on two hits in a complete game for the Rays, walking none and striking out 15. He was saddled with a 1-0 loss though, because Miguel Gonzalez threw 6 1/3 shutout innings and allowed just two hits of his own, walking two and striking out seven. Jacob Turner turned in a great start for the Marlins, but their 4-3 win over the Mets was overshadowed by Adam Greenberg. But anyway, Jacob Turner: 7 2/3 innings, three hits, one run, two walks, four strikeouts. Jake Peavy pitched well for the White Sox in their 4-3 loss to the Indians, allowing three runs on three hits over eight innings, walking one and striking out eight. Hitting Lines of the Night: Aaron Hill put the finishing touches on a fantastic year for the Diamondbacks in their 5-3 win over the Rockies, going 3/5 with a double and a walkoff three-run homer. Phillies rookie Darin Ruf went 2/4 with a pair of solo homers, providing their only offense in a 4-2 loss in Washington. Adam LaRoche on the other hand, went 2/3 with two runs, a walk, a double, and a homer. Alcides Escobar had a good game for the Royals in their 4-2 win over the Tigers, going 3/4 with two RBI, a stolen base, and a homer. Other Games: Not that any of them matter, but the Blue Jays beat the Twins 4-3, the Pirates beat the Braves B-Team 5-1, the Astros shut out the Cubs 3-0 for the second straight night, the Brewers beat the Padres 4-3, and the Mariners beat the Angels 6-1. Today's Games: Here's what matters...AJ Griffin vs Ryan Dempster in Oakland for the AL West title. Cliff Lee vs Edwin Jackson in Washington and Homer Bailey vs Adam Wainwright in St Louis for the joy of getting to face the wild card winner this weekend. Chris Tillman vs Jeremy Hellickson in St Pete and Daisuke Matsuzaka vs Hiroki Kuroda in the Bronx for the AL East title. Everything else is just gravy. Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone...and maybe we'll be seeing each other again tomorrow. [follow]
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