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Athletics magic number: Still 11, games to watch Wed. Sep. 17

A look back at Tuesday's AL Wild Card scoreboard, and a look ahead to Wednesday's action.

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At least this catcher prevented any runners from getting on at all, that one time.
At least this catcher prevented any runners from getting on at all, that one time.
Ezra Shaw

The Athletics magic number to clinch a berth in the Wild Card game remained at 11 (Landon Powell) with 12 games remaining. I attended Tuesday night's game, which was a dual-event night with Yanni performing at Oracle Arena. I think I would have much preferred to attend the Yanni concert instead of see what I witnessed Tuesday night.

The Mariners reversed their fortunes against the Angels, defeating them 13-2 to pull within two games of Oakland, and one game of Kansas City for the second Wild Card. Here's a look at the AL Wild Card standings at the end of September 16:

W L GB 9/16
OAK
Magic Number
Head-to-head
W-L
Games remaining
OAK 83 67 +1.0 Loss 2 vs. TEX, 3 vs. PHI, 3 vs. LAA, 4 at TEX
KC 82 68 -- Loss 12 2-5 1 vs. CWS, 3 vs. DET, 3+1 at CLE, 3 at CWS
SEA 81 69 1.0 Win 11 9-10 2 at LAA, 3 at HOU, 4 at TOR, 3 vs LAA
CLE 77 73 5.0 Win 7 4-2 2 at HOU, 3 at MIN, 3+1 vs KC, 3 vs TB
TOR 77 73 5.0 Loss 7 4-3 1 at BAL,  4 at NYY, 4 vs SEA, 3 vs BAL
NYY 76 74 6.0 Loss 6 4-2 1 at TB, 4 vs TOR, 4 vs BAL, 3 at BOS
TB 74 78 9.0 Win 2 4-2 1 vs NYY, 3 vs CWS, 3 at BOS, 3 at CLE
Division Leaders
LAA 93 57 +10.5 Win 8-8
BAL 91 60 Champ Win 4-2
DET 84 67 +1.5 Loss 13 2-5 2 at MIN, 3 at KC, 3 vs CWS, 4 vs MIN

The "+1" between Kansas City and Cleveland denote a suspended game to be resumed on September 22 with Kansas City batting in the bottom of the 10th inning trailing Cleveland 4-2.

Tuesday's recaps

The top AL Central opponents for the A's both lost. Kansas City dropped their game to the Chicago White Sox to remain one game behind Oakland and one game ahead of Seattle. Detroit lost to the Minnesota Twins, and remain 1½ games up in the division. The Indians continue to cling to the outside chance of a final run, beating the Houston Astros 4-2 on a night celebrating Jose Altuve breaking the Astros' single-season hit record, now with 211.

The Blue Jays and Yankees continued to do themselves no favors with their losses. Toronto watched Baltimore celebrate their AL East title at Camden Yards and fell to even with Cleveland in the Wild Card race. The Yankees are alone in 6th place, six games out of the postseason.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Orioles 8, Blue Jays 2

From Scott C. of Bluebird Banter:

A quick glimpse at the scoreline of this game would give off the impression that the Orioles throttled the Blue Jays tonight, but the truth is a little bit different from that initial reaction. Drew Hutchison struck out 11 hitters over 6.1 innings and was only brought down by some timely hits by the Orioles batters. With the win Baltimore clinched the division crown and will likely be the only American League East representative in this season's edition of the playoffs.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Rays 6, Yankees 1

From Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley:

Things managed to get a little more interesting when Derek Jeter was hit in the hand in the eighth inning, causing the umpires to warn both benches. Joe Girardi didn't take too kindly to this and went into one of his tirades before getting tossed. Then it escalated in the next half-inning when Phelps threw at Kiermaier and was immediately ejected. At that point, both benches cleared and members from both teams were seen yelling at the other. Notably, Sean Rodriguez and Cervelli needing to be held back by their teammates. Since both benches were warned when Phelps got ejected, the acting manager at this point, Tony Pena, was also ejected, so Rob Thomson ended up managing this game. Yes, for real. I'm not making this up.

White Sox 7, Royals 5

From Josh Duggan of Royals Review:

But in a night where Ned Yost broke from his stringent bullpen use and pulled out all the stops, doing his best Terry Francona impersonation, the best relievers (not named Greg Holland, at least) were in with the game on the line to take care of other people's messes and they couldn't do it.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Twins 4, Tigers 3

From Al Beaton of Bless You Boys:

The Detroit Tigers had been riding high, winners of four straight and 7-of-8. Behind an uncharacteristically strong eight innings from Ricky Nolasco, the power bat of Kennys Vargas, along with the Tigers' own Ezequiel Carrera and Joe Nathan, the Minnesota Twins knocked off Detroit 4-3. The game came down to a wild ninth inning, the two teams combining for five runs, the Twins getting the last two and a walk-off win.

Indians 4, Astros 2

From Jason Lukehart of Let's Go Tribe:

Corey Kluber set a new career high by striking out 14 batters Tuesday night in Houston. Not only is that his personal best, it's the most by any Indians pitcher in the 2000s. The last Tribe hurler to record 14 Ks was Bartolo Colon in 1998. (The last guy to whiff 15? Greg Swindell, all the way back in 1987.)

...

The Indians aren't going to the postseason this year, but on a night when Kluber looked great, and Bradley, Gomes, Santana, and Allen all contributed, it's easy to believe the future is bright.

Mariners 13, Angels 2

From Matt Ellis of Lookout Landing:

It may have felt anticlimactic, or simply that the Mariners picked up on a tiny mistake from an otherwise menacing and dangerous ballclub. But something clicked when Cano reached down to tag Hamilton on the shoulder for the second out of the inning. It was as if seeing even the slightest sign of vulnerability in their opponent made the Mariners realize that they belonged out there, that they were in the midst of a playoff hunt for a reason and this wasn't all a mistake.

Wednesday's games to watch

Seven night games again despite there being three getaway games on offer. Four o'clock brings Blue Jays-Orioles and Yankees-Rays. Five o'clock brings White Sox-Royals, Tigers-Twins, and Indians-Astros. Finally, Mariners-Angels and Rangers-Athletics get underway in the seven o'clock hour.

Time (PT) Starting Pitcher Notes
4:05 PM Blue Jays J.A. Happ (9-10, 4.28) M# vs. TOR = 7
Orioles Bud Norris (13-8, 3.74)
4:10 PM Yankees Brandon McCarthy (9-14, 3.98) M# vs. NYY = 6
Rays Alex Cobb (9-7, 2.75) M# vs. TB = 2
5:10 PM White Sox Chris Sale (12-3, 1.99)
Royals Yordano Ventura (12-10, 3.27) M# vs. KC = 12
5:10 PM Tigers David Price (14-11, 3.26) M# vs. DET = 13
Twins Kyle Gibson (11-11, 4.58)
5:10 PM Indians Carlos Carrasco (7-5, 2.86) M# vs. CLE = 7
Astros Brett Oberholtzer (5-11, 4.51)
7:05 PM Mariners James Paxton (6-2, 1.83) M# vs. SEA = 11
Angels C.J. Wilson (12-9, 4.61)
7:05 PM Rangers Derek Holland (1-0, 0.86)
Athletics Jeff Samardzija (6-12, 3.10)

***

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