Sometimes, 162 games just isn’t enough.
For the first time since 2013, MLB teams must settle a tiebreaker with Game 163 before the postseason field is officially set. With both the National League Central and National League West unsettled heading into Monday, these are the first tiebreakers to determine a division champion since 2009 (the American League Central).
A lot of interesting things happened while the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Chicago Cubs were busy winning on Sunday to force this craziness. These have happened in the past, but we’ve never been treated to two in one season.
What better way to pass the time prior to the NL Wild-Card game on Tuesday than with some more baseball in a playoff-like atmosphere? The manner in which three of the teams punched their respective tiebreaker tickets was also awesome.
Here’s how each game ended up shaking out:
- Chicago beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-5.
- Los Angeles beat the San Francisco Giants 15-0.
- Milwaukee beat the Detroit Tigers 11-0.
- Colorado beat the Washington Nationals 12-0.
Those last three scores are significant not just because of the playoff implications, either. It’s only the third day in MLB history where three games finished as shutouts where the winning squad scored 10-plus runs.
That’s one way to build momentum heading into October.
These matchups are even more unique because these teams have all already clinched playoff berths. There have been nine different tiebreakers since 1978 (five to decide division winners, four for wild-card winners), and each time, the loser had to head home for the winter.
None of these four want to turn around and play a win-or-go-home play-in game Tuesday night. At least they’ll still have a shot at fighting for the NL Pennant, though. When it gets down to this point in the year, all you need is a chance.
If this is foreshadowing as to how October baseball is going to be, we’re in for a wild ride.
About Matt Musico
Matt currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book about how to become a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.