Funny how baseball works out sometimes. The two wild cards format was supposed to make the final days of the regular season more exciting. But this year it did not quite work out that way.
In the NL, the Cards and Brewers had something on the line right until today, given that one would be Central winner while the other would get sent to the one-game playoff as the second Wild Card. (Today they could have tied for a one-game tiebreaker to determine which was which.) However, if there had been only one Wild Card, it would have been an actual do-or-die to close out the 162-game schedule, as both teams would have been out of the running for the single Wild Card.
In the AL, the A’s and Rays also would have had a nice all-or-nothing for a single Wild Card, but not much was at stake with both of them qualifying. On the positive side, the Indians kept it interesting till the past week. (Sympathies to any Indians fans reading; the team led the Wild Card race much of the year and for a while looked likely to surpass the Twins for the AL Central.)
I’ve said before that this current format is not a good one. (Click the link for “playoffs and world series” for past discussions.) There is no perfect system, of course. And the current format did give us one of the greatest games played in recent decades. Maybe we will have something special in the game on Tuesday or Wednesday.
And it is also the last day of 5779. May we have a good and fruitful 5780!