Breaking down Sunday's playoff scenarios…

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No matter the results, really, this is going to be a crazy day in the baseball world.  Let’s lay out the possible scenarios before everything gets going.

The Padres, 90-71, are one game back of the Giants in the NL West and tied with the Braves in the NL Wild Card.

The Giants, 91-70, lead the NL West by one game.

The Braves, 90-71, share the NL Wild Card currently with the Padres.

  • If the Giants beat the Padres on Sunday, the Giants take the NL West.  Then if the Braves beat the Phillies, the Braves take the NL Wild Card.
  • If the Giants beat the Padres but the Braves lose to the Phillies, there would be a one-game playoff in Atlanta between the Padres and Braves for the NL Wild Card.
  • If the Padres beat the Giants and the Braves lose, the Padres would win the NL West because they won the season series against the Giants.  And the Giants, then, would win the Wild Card.
  • If the Padres and Braves both win, all teams would finish with a 91-71 record, marking the first-ever three-team tiebreaker in MLB history.  The Giants and Padres would play a one-game playoff in San Diego on Monday to decide the division.  The loser would then head to Atlanta for a one-game playoff on Tuesday that would decide the Wild Card.

For what it’s worth, we’re rooting for that last one.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.