Right off the bat I'm sorry Mets fans, I couldn't resist. The 2008 Major League Baseball regular season is over...almost.
Where else to start on the final day of the regular season then in New York. The Mets were eliminated from post season contention by the Florida Marlins on the last day of the season for the second straight year. The Mets bullpen did give up the lead, however you can't pin today's loss on them, the line up didn't give the bullpen an opportunity to blow the lead scoring only 2 runs in a 4-2 loss.
With the Mets loss, yes that's right, the Milwaukee Brewers are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 1982 as the Wild Card champs, they lost the World Series in 7 games to the St Louis Cardinals that year. For a little perspective, I wasn't even born yet the last time the Brew Crew played baseball in October, this has to be exciting for Milwaukee.
CC Sabathia, pitching on 3 days rest again, threw 9 incredible innings as the Brew Crew won 3-1. Ryan Braun hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 8th putting the Brewers in the playoffs. They had to wait a few minutes to celebrate as the Mets game finished up, however the champagne flowed and the fans cheered. When asked if he'd pitch on 3 days rest again in game 2 Sabathia answered, "No doubt".
The National League playoff picture is set in stone, the NL east champion Phillies will take on the Brewers, and the Cubs will take on the NL west champion Dodgers. In the American League we know the Red Sox will travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels. The Tampa Bay Rays still don't know who their opponent will be as the White Sox remain a half game behind the Twins. The White Sox will play the Detroit Tigers tomorrow, if they win they will play the Twins in a one game playoff on Tuesday to decide the AL Central champion.
ITM will cover all of the playoff series in October, however our main focus will be the Red Sox. Today the Angels announced their playoff rotation and as expected they will throw John Lackey in game 1, Ervin Santana in game 2, and surprise 17 game winner Joe Saunders in game 3. The Sox will throw Beckett in game 1 against Lackey, however it remains to be seen if Lester or Matsuzaka will start in game 2. Terry Francona and Theo Epstien will probably announced their playoff roster tomorrow, ITM will have full coverage.
Notes from Sunday.
Looks like Dustin Pedroia won't win the AL batting title. Dusty finished game 1 of the double header at .326 and is not in the starting line up for game 2 and Joe Mauer is currently at .330, however if Pedroia gets in the game tonight and Mauer and the twins have to play a 1 game with playoff the White Sox...who knows.
JD Drew was 0-2 in game 1 of the Sox/Yanks double header today before coming out, but he did look good in right field and the Sox expect him to play against the Angels in round 1 of the playoffs.
Check back tomorrow and Tuesday for updates about all the division series as well as predictions for the postseason.