They say you can’t win the pennant in April but you can lose it. Something similar can be said about games at this time of year for Wild card contenders. The Indians did not lose the season last night, beating Kansas City 9-5.
They remain three games out of the last playoff spot. Baltimore lost Saturday night and fell to 4.5 games behind. Consider them out of the Indians’ hair. If they Tribe competes with the Orioles the rest of the year, it means both are out of the playoff race and just playing for the pride (such as it might be) of …well, I don’t know what the point of beating the Orioles would be at that point.
It’s down to:
All four of these teams won Saturday, which means nobody gained any ground.
The Indians have nine games left, including the possible rainout makeup game against Detroit. They need four wins just to catch the Astros current record. If the Astros win four of their remaining seven games, the Indians would need to win eight of nine just to tie. Obviously, they need the Astros to collapse.
If the Twins they win half of their remaining eight games the Tribe would need to win six of their last nine.
The upshot is that the Indians are on the brink. A win tomorrow would not clinch anything, but a loss puts them close to doom.
It will be Danny Salazar vs. the Royals’ Chris Young at 2:10 p.m.
The Astros send their ace Dallas Keuchel vs. the Rangers’ Martin Perez. 2:10
In Detroit, it’s the Tigers’ Randy Wolfe vs. the Twins’ Ervin Santana. 1:08
Seattle sends Hasashi Iwakuma vs. vs. the Angels Jered Weaver at 3:35.