MLB Pennant Race 2021: Three Teams Clinch Spots, While One Continues to Sink
The first three postseason berths are clinched, but one team's October hopes continue to fade away
We are just two weeks away from the end of the 2021 MLB season. Two short weeks! It seems like yesterday that the full 162-game season began, but what is usually a marathon has went by like a sprint, and we are in the depths of the home stretch. Time is running out for a lot of teams looking to get into the postseason, and speaking of time, let's not waste any more of it and get to the main storylines.
This past week saw the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angles Dodgers become the first two teams to clinch berths in the 2021 MLB postseason. The Giants were first, winning 9-1 over the San Diego Padres on September 13 to lock in their spot, doing so after entering the season with an overall 9% chance of making it to October baseball. The rival Dodgers clinched a day later with their 8-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, meaning they are officially in title defense mode. With the way the National League's Wild Card standings look, it's clear that who ever finishes as the West's runner up will be the #1 Wild Card, making this race very important. The Giants lead the NL West by one game, and if the two teams end up tied after 162 games, their Game 163 will be in the Bay Area due to the Giants winning the season series 10-9.
What's Next: The Giants will spend this upcoming week on the road: three in San Diego followed by three in Denver. The Dodgers will also be on the road this upcoming week: three in Denver followed by three in Phoenix.
The Milwaukee Brewers joined the Dodgers and Giants in this year's postseason, leaving just two spots left in the entire National League. This past week, however, was not good to them. The Brewers entered this past week with a magic number of five to clinch the NL Central. After losing three of the five games played, their magic number only went down to just three. Even so, clinching the NL Central is an inevitability for Milwaukee. Regarding the NL's best record, however, that's another story--they are too far behind the Giants and Dodgers.
What's Next: The Brewers will be at home for the entire week, but lucky for them, they start with a four-game set against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are the only team who is mathematically alive for the division, and with the magic number being three, a 2-2 split in the series will give the NL Central crown to the Brewers.
WARNING: The following statements are expressions of frustration, disappointment, and anger from a Yankees fan.
So I read an article just a few hours after the New York Yankees' 11-1 loss, where Aaron Boone, the Yankees' skipper since 2018, said that he had no problem with the team's effort as of late. Let me see if I'm crystal clear on this. Since the Yankees' 13-game winning streak, the team is 7-15. Swept at home by the Blue Jays in a four game set (never led the entire series). Blown out in back-to-back games at home by an Indians team who had been no-hit four times (counting the seven-inning game). The offense is not gelling, the pitching is not gelling, and the manager doesn't have a problem with the effort?!
I, as a Yankees fan, feel betrayed. I feel like I've been duped. I stood up for Boone for his entire tenure, especially the last two years. I saw him as a vast improvement over Joe Girardi, who made many missteps during his last few seasons as Yankees skipper. Even Girardi wouldn't make a statement that is so tone deaf. No manager of any team should say things like this in September while the team is struggling, especially the manager of the New York Yankees--MLB's perennial "World Series or Bust" team!
What's Next: The Yankees are behind the playoff line; a full game and a half out of a playoff spot, and barely ahead of the A's. The team will host the Rangers for three games, before playing six very vital games in Boston and Toronto.
To end this on a very positive note, the St. Louis Cardinals are on a roll. They've won eight straight games, and nine out of ten overall, and as a result of this, the Cards have moved up to the #2 Wild Card position. This is a team who is used to coming back from the dead; we remember ten years ago, when the Cards went from being leagues out of a playoff spot in September, to winning the World Series over a month later.
What's Next: The Cards have a three game lead for the remaining Wild Card spot, and their magic number is eleven. They will head to Milwaukee for four games against the Brewers, and that is followed by four games in a three-day weekend at Wrigley. The way I see it, the Cards have a good chance to really whittle that magic number down to size.
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Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy