With a muddled playoff picture and many races still unsettled. The last day of the 2011 Major League Baseball is full games that have some significance for the playoffs and individual award races. Here are the results of today’s games:
The Detroit Tigers won against the Cleveland Indians for the 10th straight time. They broke a tie in the 8th inning with a blast by Jhonny Peralta. Miguel Cabrera had 2 hits to raise his batting average to .344 and virtually clinch the AL batting title. Jose Valverde earned his 49th save of the season. Detroit awaits the outcome of the game between AL West Rivals Texas Rangers and LA Angels. A win by Texas will bring the Tigers to the Yankees Stadium for an ALDS match-up with Curtis Granderson and New York. A loss by Texas will mean home field advantage for Detroit in the ALDS.
This game has no playoff implications but with the batting title on the line, Jose Reyes was lifted after making a bunt single to improve his 2011 BA to .337. Brewers’ Ryan Braun needs to make 3 hits of 5 to overtake Reyes. The move of replacing Reyes with a pinch runner got boos from the home crowd. Braun was not able to catch up with the now-2011 NL Batting Champ Reyes.
The St. Louis Cardinals relied on Chris Carpenter to give them a win over league worst Astros and have an inside track in the NL Wildcard race against the Atlanta Braves. Carpenter delivered a 2-hit shutout with 11 K’s to boot.
Texas Rangers (96-66) 3 -1 Los Angeles Angels (86-76): Rangers clinch No.2 Seed in AL
Milwaukee Brewers (96-66) 7 -3 Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90)
The Brewers clinched home field in NLDS after beating the Pirates. Zack Grienke earned his 16th win of the season with the victory. Ryan Braun was hitless in 4 plate appearances to hand Met’s Jose Reyes the NL batting plum. The Brewers will face the NL West Pennant winner Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS.
Philadelphia Phillies (102-60) 3 -2 Atlanta Braves (89-73): Phillies eliminate Braves in 13 innings
All Atlanta was 3 outs in the 9th inning to preserve a win and still have a shot for an NL Wildcard berth. In the end, the Phillies eliminated their division rivals after rallying in the 9th inning. The Phillies will open the NLDS against St. Louis Cardinals, a team that was 8.5 games behind the Braves three weeks ago.
Baltimore Orioles (69-93) 4 – 3 Boston Red Sox (90-72): Sox will be eliminated if Rays win
The Orioles scored 2 runs at the bottom of the 9th to rally from a 2-3 deficit and win against the collapsing Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox needed a win in order to clinch a game 163 against the Tampa Bay Rays. All the Sox can do is to pray that the Yankees will give them some hope for a postseason slot.
Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) 8 – 7 New York Yankees (97-65): Down 0-7, Rays completes comeback and earn wildcard
The Tampa Bay Rays were down 0-7 after an Andruw Jones blast in 5th inning. They rallied to tie the game in the 9th and Evan Longoria homered in the bottom of the 12th to bring Tampa Bay back to the postseason. They nosed out the Boston Red Sox in the final day and will play against Texas in the ALDS.
Day Recap: The playoff picture is complete as the Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals won the wildcard spots in their respective divisions. Here are the playoff pairings for this year:
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
- MLB 2011: It’s down the wire for the final playoff spots (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- Reyes lifted after getting hit in first at-bat (boston.com)
- Baseball lore filled with moves similar to Reyes’ (aol.sportingnews.com)