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Athletics postseason magic number: 12, Games to watch Mon. Sep. 15

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A look back at Sunday's AL Wild Card scoreboard, and a look ahead to Monday's action while the Athletics take their final off-day of the regular season.

Fittingly, we skipped over Drew Pomeranz.
Fittingly, we skipped over Drew Pomeranz.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

At the top of the Wild Card table, things went just about as good as possible. Every Wild Card contender except Oakland lost today. The Athletics defeated the Mariners to knock the postseason magic number down to 12 A's victories and Mariners losses.

Here are the AL Wild Card standings with just 13 Oakland Athletics games remaining:

Wins Losses GB 9/14
OAK
Magic Number
Head-to-head
W-L
Games remaining
OAK 83 66 +1.5 Win 3 vs. TEX, 3 vs. PHI, 3 vs. LAA, 4 at TEX
KC 81 67 -- Loss 13 2-5 3 vs. CWS, 3 vs. DET, 3+1 at CLE, 3 at CWS
SEA 80 68 1.0 Loss 12 9-10 4 at LAA, 3 at HOU, 4 at TOR, 3 vs LAA
TOR 77 71 4.0 Loss 9 4-3 3 at BAL,  4 at NYY, 4 vs SEA, 3 vs BAL
CLE 76 72 5.0 Loss 8 4-2 4 at HOU, 3 at MIN, 3+1 vs KC, 3 vs TB
NYY 76 72 5.0 Loss 8 4-2 3 at TB, 4 vs TOR, 4 vs BAL, 3 at BOS
TB 72 78 10.0 Win 2 4-2
CWS 68 81 13.5 Loss Elim. 3-4
HOU 66 83 15.5 Win Elim. 11-8
BOS 66 84 16.0 Win Elim. 4-3
MIN 63 86 18.5 Win Elim. 6-1
TEX 57 92 24.5 Win Elim. 7-5
Division Leaders
LAA 93 56 +10.0 Loss 8-8
BAL 89 60 +11.5 Win 4-2
DET 83 66 +1.5 Win 14 2-5 3 at MIN, 3 at KC, 3 vs CWS, 4 vs MIN

Sunday's recaps

The Royals, Blue Jays, Indians, and Yankees were all losers on Sunday, in addition to the Mariners. Just the Tigers were winners today. Detroit expanded their lead in the AL Central to 1½ games.

Here are some snippets from around the SBNation network of Sunday's AL Wild Card race:

Must Reads

Rays 6, Blue Jays 5 (10)

From Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter:

We were out hit 14-7, so likely deserved the loss. The bottom of our order did next to nothing. Our original 5 through 9 hitters (before the pinch hitters) went 1 for 16, a Danny Valencia single.
...
That one hurt. We pretty much have to run the table to have any hope at a playoff spot.

Tigers 6, Indians 4

From Al Beaton of Bless You Boys:

The Detroit Tigers plated four runs in their last two at-bats, leading to a come-from-behind 6-4 victory and sweep of the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers have surged to the top of the AL Central standings by winning 7-of-10 and 6-of-7, taking a 1 1/2 game lead over the Kansas City Royals.

From Ryan of Let's Go Tribe:

It probably wasn't going to happen anyway, but the Indians eliminated themselves from playoff contention a week earlier than they could have thanks to another late blown lead to the Tigers. For the second straight day it was Bryan Shaw who gave up an eighth inning home run, and with the loss the only thing the Indians can control now is when they'll be mathematically eliminated.

Red Sox 8, Royals 4

From Connor Moylan of Royals Review:

The Kansas City Royals ruined an otherwise pleasant Sunday with some uninspiring baseball, losing 8-4 to the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.
...
That brought Daniel Nava to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Crow left a fastball belt high and over the inside of the plate, and Nava demolished the pitch, connecting on a back-breaking grand slam and giving Boston a 7-4 advantage. In related news, I still can't get my TV remote to work and probably need to buy some putty for my living room wall.

Athletics 4, Mariners 0

From Matt Ellis of Lookout Landing:

I know that pit is there in your stomach because it's in mine, and as we reflect on this weekend, our professed "biggest series in a decade," it kind of feels like the whole season is in the books.

Well the reason you feel that way is because we were somewhat erroneously convinced that these two weekend games mattered more than any other game since the millennium was only a year old. So of course watching the Mariners lay a classic northwest-green speckled egg was the worst outcome you could possibly imagine in that paradigm.

Orioles 3, Yankees 2

From Matt Ferenchick of Pinstripe Alley:

This series ended the same way it started: the Yankees blowing a late lead after taking one in the top half of the inning. This time, it was David Robertson on the mound with a chance to close out a win. But with Robertson pitching for the third straight day, it wasn't meant to be. Kelly Johnson, of all people, got a walk-off hit as the Orioles won 3-2.

Monday's games to watch

Six games are still on the card with the Athletics taking their final off day. The 4 o'clock hour will bring you Blue Jays-Orioles and Yankees-Rays at the "So you're saying there's a chance" end of the Wild Card race. The 5 o'clock hour starts a triple-header with Royals-White Sox, Tigers-Twins, and Indians-Astros. Finally, Mariners and Angels kick off at the traditional West Coast 7 o'clock start. The A's will be in the weird position of rooting for the Angels in that one.

Time (PT) Starting Pitcher Notes
4:05 PM Blue Jays Marcus Stroman (10-5, 3.61) M# vs. TOR = 9
Orioles Wei-Yin Chen (15-4, 3.59)
4:10 PM Yankees Chris Capuano (2-3, 4.90) M# vs. NYY = 8
Rays Alex Colome (1-0, 2.79)
5:10 PM White Sox John Danks (9-11, 5.05) M# vs. KC = 13
Royals James Shields (14-7, 3.13)
5:10 PM Tigers Max Scherzer (16-5, 3.19) M# vs. DET = 14
Twins Anthony Swarzak (3-1, 3.95)
5:10 PM Indians Zach McAllister (3-6, 5.97) M# vs. CLE = 8
Astros Collin McHugh (9-9, 2.79)
7:05 PM Mariners Hisashi Iwakuma (14-7, 3.11) M# vs. SEA = 12
Angels Matt Shoemaker (15-4, 3.16)
Idle Athletics