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.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.