It has been an extremely intriguing regular season in the big leagues for those who check all the results and a high percentage of boxscores over the course of 185 days and 2,430 scheduled games.
There are not many of us, I admit.
Baseball has become a regional sport during this century. When the home team is good, there is always an audience. When they are not, it is easier to make the decision to cancel the cable.
The Twins established themselves as one of MLB’s biggest flops early on and no doubt made minimalist fans in those areas consider 2021 a lost baseball season.
At the end of March, the Twins had the seventh highest over-minus for wins in 2021 in Nevada sports betting: 88.5. By the time the first quarter of the schedule ended in mid-May, the Twins had 14-28, 11 and a half games in weak AL Central.
To quote my father Richard from another time: “Dead like door nails”.
My interest in the Twins had faded to the point that I set an all-time record for not attending a home game. My last visit to Target Field was in early August, before starting Jose Berrios against the Twins last Friday.
In my defense, I had every intention of showing up earlier in September, before a last-minute check-up revealed that rookie Griffin “Jacks” Jax was starting for the Twins.
Easy decision: stay home, watch the giants.
San Francisco has been at the top of the intrigue list for months. The Giants stayed there as they started a six-game homestand on Tuesday to end the schedule.
The stacked line for the Giants at the end of March was 75.5 wins, 21st among 30 teams. Giants fans were able to recover on Aug. 15, after a home win over Colorado put them at 76-42.
What’s remarkable is that the Giants came in at 102-54 on Tuesday and are still under great pressure to keep pushing.
That’s because the defending World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers – with the most comprehensive and expensive roster in the game and entering 2021 with a record 102.5 wins – had just two. late matches at 100-56.
If the Giants were to lose a few this week, to the Diamondbacks or the Padres, and end up in a divisional tie, there would be a playoff game in San Francisco on Monday – with the loser going into a wild game.
Do me this favor: briefly step away from the 180s you took from “Cousins is a tough overpaid” to “Kirk is the MVP favorite” for a few minutes.
Just take a look at the two rosters, Giants and Dodgers, look back at all the attentions you may have paid to baseball in recent years, and try to understand how San Francisco has managed to keep a leg up. ahead of a Los Angeles team that played to their enormous potential?
The Giants in New York from 1883 to 1957 won 106 games in 1904. They won 103 in the West in 1962, two of three in a playoff series with the Dodgers for the NL title. They also won 103 in 1993.
If these Miracle Giants win two this week, they will be the most successful team in 64 seasons in San Francisco. If they win five (which might be necessary to fend off LA), they will be the most successful team in franchise history in 139 seasons.
And that’s not nearly all that’s amazing this season. The St. Louis Cardinals were founded as the Brown Stockings in 1882. They remain the representatives of the best baseball city in the United States.
These loyal fans were unhappy earlier this month. The Redbirds were 69-68, 3½ games and three teams dropped from the second wild card.
Then they beat the Dodgers back-to-back at Busch Stadium, lost to the Reds, and then started a 16-game winning streak in Tuesday’s game. The franchise record was 14 in a row in 1935.
The Searing Cardinals will claim the second wild card and play either against the Dodgers or against the Giants in a one-game shootout.
It’s worth mentioning that a rookie named Lars Nootbaar hit two home runs when the Cardinals tied their franchise record at 14 last week at Wrigley Field.
I’m officially fully into the 2021 prom season when the son of Dutch and Japanese parents, Lars Nootbaar, with middle name Taylor-Tatsuji, becomes the hero of a playoff campaign.
Addendum: Mention also required here of the Tampa Bay Rays, unloved, always underestimated and leaving the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays in their wake in Eastern LA.
The Rays are the baseball miracle that continues to appear, like sacred scenes on water-stained buildings in Florida.