So after all the questions of if the San Diego Padres were for real and could hold onto the division lead they had controlled all season, fate would have it that they would lose in the final game to not qualify for the postseason.

While stellar pitching carried them all year, it was the anemic lineup that eventually did them in. No surprise there. Pitching dominates the game and you need it to win, but as the Padres would prove—you need at least some kind of competent hitting to win as well. The Giants also have the pitching, matching the Padres in Sunday’s game while their offense was able to muster just enough (which they’ve been doing all year) to scratch out some runs for the 3-0 victory and the NL West division title after trailing San Diego almost the entire season.

The Giants victory coupled with the Braves 8-7 win over the Phillies meant my dream of a three-team tiebreaker playoff was not to be. Oh well, it has to happen one of these years sooner or later I suppose. So it’ll be Giants-Braves and Phillies-Reds. I’ll have a full preview of these series tomorrow, but the Giants could be a real dark horse to come out of the National League. They may be the only team that can match the Phillies pitching starter for starter. And hey, two of my surprise teams ended up making the playoffs!

Over in the junior circuit, the Red Sox played spoiler against the Yankees and kept them from winning the AL East crown, which goes to the Rays at 96-66 for their second division title in franchise history. Who would have thought the Yankees would be going on the road to Minnesota to open the playoffs? The other matchup will be the Rays-Rangers with the Rays having home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. More on all four series tomorrow prior to first pitch.

I’m excited. There’s only one Oc-TOBER! Yeah, remember the terrible Dane Cook MLB playoff commercials a couple of years back? I can’t wait to see what they will come up with this year.

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