Expect the unexpected with MLB’s Playoffs
October 5, 2007
Filed under Archives
Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs are always a wild ride with some expected things, like the Yankees winning playoff games, and some unexpected, like the earthquake that struck the 1989 World Series. This year’s seem to have the possibility of the unexpected, given the teams that are in the playoff picture.
This season provided many surprises in the playoff race. In the American League (AL) East, the Yankees haven’t seen first place since April with the Red Sox dominating the division from early on. But the Yankees held in and kept fighting, and had recently had been slowly catching up to the Red Sox for the division lead. But on Sept. 28, the Red Sox won the division for the first time since 1995.
In the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians are the surprise of the division, taking over the lead in the last few months by stealing it from last year’s AL Champion, the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers were recently eliminated from the playoff picture last week after an up and down season.
In the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim faced little competition within their division this season, despite the Seattle Mariners chasing in July and part of August. The Angels took the title after a great season.
In the National League (NL) East, the New York Mets held a lead over the division with little worries or concerns. But in the season’s waning weeks of the, the Philadelphia Phillies came out of nowhere to take the championship. The Mets lost their seven-game lead in the last 17 games of the season, allowing the Phillies to make the best comeback in Major League history. The Phillies took the division for the first time in 14 years.
In the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs, who spent $300 million dollars upgrading their roster in the off-season, took the crown, despite many believing that the Milwaukee Brewers would clinch the title. But the Cubbies rode the bat of Alfonso Soriano, whose salary accounted for $136 million of the $300 million salary pool, and his 14 home runs in September to win the division title. Last years’ World Series Champion, the St. Louis Cardinals, on the other hand, fell apart at the seams due to injuries and the death of their pitcher Josh Hancock.
In the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers led the division for a good portion of the season. Then, their fabled youth movement couldn’t keep up anymore, and the Arizona Diamondbacks came up to take the advantage and the crown. The San Diego Padres and the red-hot Colorado Rockies were left only a game back, raising for the Wild Card position.
The NL Wild Card was up for grabs on Monday, Oct. 1, with the Padres and Rockies facing off in what many consider one of the best do or die games. The Rockies came from down by two in the top of the 13th inning, and scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to win the Wild Card and to see their first postseason action since 1995.
The playoff’s Division Series feature the Indians vs. the Red Sox, the Yankees vs. the Angels, the Cubs vs. the Diamondbacks, and the Ph