Posted by: Jeremy | October 3, 2010

Don’t close the book on the regular season just yet…

The Padres are looking to sweep the Giants to keep their season alive

Freeeeee baseball. Technically it’s a term for extra innings, and that’s just what we might be in for Monday — at least nine of them, in fact. The Giants, Padres and Braves are caught up in a logjam for two of the National League’s final playoff spots, with what goes down this afternoon and evening determining whether or not we’re in for a one-game playoff for the fourth straight season tomorrow.

Here’s how it looks going into play today: San Francisco sits atop the West at 91-70, with the Padres a game back at 90-71 and tied for the wild card with the Braves. The Padres, having won the first two games of the set already, are in San Francisco to face the Giants at 4:05, and would take the division with a win. If the Padres lose, they’re not necessarily out, since a Braves loss would set up a Monday date between the two teams in Atlanta. If the Padres and Braves both win today, it gets real interesting: The Giants and Padres would play a tiebreaker Monday for the West in San Diego, with the loser heading to Atlanta to play the Braves for the wild card on Tuesday. Atlanta, by the way, is home to the Phillies this afternoon at 1:05.

The two less interesting scenarios would be if the Giants and Braves both won today, which would eliminate San Diego, or a San Diego win and an Atlanta loss, which would bounce the Braves. How fun is that, though? Not very. Baseball currently has a three-year run of one-game playoffs on the last day of the regular season, and I’m not ready to see it end. The Padres lost to the Rockies 9-8 in 13 in ’07, the White Sox beat the Twins 1-0 in ’08 and the Twins beat the Tigers 6-5 in 12 in the Game of the Century last October.

Before too much excitement sets in for tomorrow, the teams will have to get through this afternoon’s games first. As mentioned, the Braves get the Phillies at home at 1:05, with ace Tim Hudson (16-9, 2.76) getting the ball against Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.09), and the Padres and Giants battle in the bay at 4:05, with Mat Latos (14-9, 2.92) and Jonathan Sanchez (12-9, 3.15) going at it.



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