BY REED SHALLUE
Over the last few weeks there has been an enormous urgency for MLB teams to step up to the plate and fight their way into the postseason. A few teams have exceled but others have fallen off the wagon causing this last week to be crucial.
Recently, the Milwaukee Brewers had one of the most historical slumps in the history of baseball. The Brewers lost their comfortable first place footing to the St. Louis Cardinals after winning only four games out of 20. When the Cardinals came to town in early September, the Brewers ended up losing the series three to one and by this point, they were in a major downfall. Falling to mediocre teams such as the Cubs, Marlins, Reds and the Padres pretty much derailed the Brewers chances at winning the NL Central which seemed impossible on July 1 when the Brewers held a 6.5 game lead.
However, the Brewers as of this writing still have a chance, albeit slim, to playing fall ball.. With only a week to go, the Brewers will need to play nearly perfect baseball as well as receive a little help from the “baseball gods”. If the Brewers somehow pull off reaching the post season, this will end up going down in history as one of the ugliest yet most fortunate events to happen in baseball. Personally, I think it is little too late for the Brewers to grab a spot for the postseason. Pitching has become an issue down the stretch and the Brewers are counting on Triple-A players to carry them into the postseason, which in all honesty will not happen.
Along with the Brewers, many other teams are taking their last shot at making it into the postseason. Currently, the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals ,Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers are the clubs to have a confirmed spot in the postseason. Three races in particular: AL Central, along with the AL and NL Wild are quite tight.
In the American League, the AL Central crown will possibly come down to the final strike. The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals are the clear contenders for the AL Central title. Particular intrigue lies on the Royals who have not made the postseason since 1985. The good news though for KC is that if they fall short in the division they have one of the AL Wild Card spots to fall on.
The Oakland Athletics aim to hold onto the other wild card spot, while their division rival, the Seattle Mariners lurk closely behind. However, I believe the Athletics are a better team than the Mariners and will hold their spot as the last AL team to make it into the postseason.
Out West, two archrivals have been jockeying for an NL division crown all season long; the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Over the course of the entire season, the Dodgers pitching has been excellent while the Giants pitching certainly has been inconsistent. The bats for the Dodgers have also pushed their game to new heights and as long as Yasiel Puig continues to be an X-factor, the Dodgers will go far into the postseason. Obviously I like the Dodgers to take home the NL West Division title warding the Giants off and making them settle for a Wild Card berth.
This postseason might well end up being one of the most memorable in the history of the nation’s pastime. The expected drama on the diamond will keep baseball fans around the country on their toes as the quest for the World Series title begins.