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.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.