The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser runs down the mess that is MLB tiebreaker system as it relates to the A’s and Red Sox possibly tying for the AL’s best record. It includes a change that was never announced by the league because, well, MLB has never wanted to bore us with the details.
So, in short, the tiebreaker goes like this:
1. Head-to-head record
2. Intradivisional record
3. Intraleague record (the new, previously unannounced one)
4. Second-half intradivisional record
I guess the addition of No. 3 is an improvement on falling back to what was the old No. 3. It’s No. 2 that’s stupid, though. Basically, it gives the team in the easier division an extra advantage after it already had the huge advantage of playing in the easier division.
In fact, the No. 2 tiebreaker should be the exact opposite: extradivisional record. The team that played in the stronger division that did a better job beating up on the rest of the league should have the advantage in the tiebreaker.
My tiebreaker system:
1. Head-to-head record
2. Extradivisional record
3. Run differential
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.