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.
Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.
“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:
Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.
Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.
While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”
Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”
Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.
This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.
Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.
Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.
The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.