As the final week of the season plays out, the Indians are in contention for a playoff spot for the first time since 2007. As they continue to battle it out against the likes of the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals, Wahoo’s on First will be your source for all the updates and insight you could possibly want. We start things off today with a standings update and a recap of all of yesterday’s pennant chase action. (Refresh if videos don’t load)
The Indians again on Wednesday night and kept pace with both the Rays and Rangers. That means for the third day in a row the AL Wild Card standings will remain unchanged. The Rays lead the pack, a full game ahead of the Indians for the first playoff spot and home field in the play in game. The Rangers currently sit a game back of the Tribe. The Indians, fresh off of sweeping the Astros and White Sox to end the home part of their 2013 schedule, will travel to Minnesota to take on the Twins in a four game series that starts tonight and stretches into the weekend. While the Twins post one of the worst records in the American League, they have made a habit of making life difficult on the Indians, especially at Target Field. This won’t be easy.
The Rays won their sixth game in a row on Wednesday to maintain their slim lead in the AL Wild Card standings. They control their own destiny much in the same way as the Indians, win and you’re in. They also have the added bonus of owning the tie breaker over the Indians. If they finish tied for the top spot, the game will be played in Tampa since they won the season series. The Rays will finish up with the Yankees tonight and then travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays in their final three game series of the season.
The Rangers have to feel discouraged. They did their job by sweeping the lowly Astros, but failed to gain any ground as both the Rays and Indians continued their winning ways. Now, with four games left to play against a much better Angels team, the Rangers will need help from either the Twins or Blue Jays if they want to make the playoffs. However, they need to focus on their own business first and foremost. The Angels are closing the year out on a solid not by playing some great baseball. Add in the rivalry part of this and the next four games for the Rangers will be anything but easy.
The Royals had a good run but ultimately it was just too little, too late. They lost to the Mariners again on Wednesday night and officially fell out of contention. They now sit five games back of the Indians with only four games left to go and are mathematically eliminated. For as well as the Royals played this season, they will always look back on the month of May as their downfall. You have to wonder what could have been had they not gone 8-20 in May. Play even .500 ball and the wild card race would look completely different.
Like the Royals, the Yankees are officially mathematically eliminated. The best they could have possibly hoped for was a one game playoff to make it into the one game playoff. Unfortunately, they couldn’t handle their own business as the Rays laid the smack down on them. This marks only the second time in 19 years that the Yankees have missed the playoffs. Expect big changes in the offseason as missing the playoffs is not something that ownership, or the front office for that matter, will stand for.