Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Andrew Benintendi dances like Michael Jackson after Red Sox win

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Andrew Benintendi was born in 1994. That was three years after Michael Jackson’s last good album — “Dangerous” — was released. It was 15 years after “Off the Wall” came out. Which is to say that, for Benintendi, Michael Jackson isn’t even a matter of nostalgia. He’s ancient HIStory. It’s the Past, not the Present or Future. For a guy as old as I am, thinking about such things is Bad.

Still, the AL East race this year has been a Thriller, and Benintendi and his teammates can be excused for celebrating yet another big win over a division rival. King of Pop-style:

If you think it’s too much, maybe you just don’t get what it’s like to a major league ballplayer. Really, to understand what these guys are feeling, you Got to Be There.

Um, Ben.

What happens if the Mets, Cardinals and Giants finish in a three-way tie?

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The Cardinals, Mets and Giants are playing musical chairs for the two National League Wild Card slots. No one is playing particularly well. The Giants are in freefall, the Mets just got swept by the Braves and the Cardinals got pounded by the Rockies yesterday and have been running hot and cold. Their collective wheel-spinning has even gotten the Pirates (3.5 games out) and the Marlins (4) back into the conversation, at least nominally.

The best part of this is that the Mets, Giants and Cardinals, each of whom are 80-72 right now, could end up in a three-way tie. That’d be when the fun really starts.

Here’s what MLB’s official page on all tiebreakers says about that scenario:

Three-Club Tie for Two Wild Card Spots:
After Clubs have been assigned their A, B and C designations, Club A would host Club B. The winner of the game would be declared one Wild Card winner. Club C would then host the loser of the game between Club A and Club B to determine the second Wild Card Club.

The “A, B, C designations” thing is determined by head-to-head records first. None of the three teams plays each other any more this year. The Mets and Cards are 3-3 against each other. Each are 4-3 against the Giants. So either way, the Giants are third in that A-B-C thing. To break the tie of the tie between the Mets and Cards, you go to intradivision records, meaning the Mets against the NL East and the Cards against the NL Central. At the moment the Cardinals are better against their own division, 36-30, while the Mets are 33-33 against their East rivals. Yup, those games against the Braves this week mattered!

SO: with the caveat that both the Cards and Mets have a lot of intradivision games left and thus it could change, if the season ended today, the Cardinals would be Club A, the Mets would be Club B and the Giants would be Club C. Which means the tiebreaker would look like this, if all three teams finished with identical records:

  • Sunday October 2: Regular Season Ends;
  • Monday October 3: Mets vs. Cards in St. Louis, winner is one of the Wild Card teams
  • Tuesday October 4: Mets vs. Cards loser vs. the Giants in San Francisco, winner is the second Wild Card team

The very next day, Wednesday, October 5, the winner of the game in San Francisco would have to play in either St. Louis or New York in the actual Wild Card game, which would determine who then had to fly to Chicago to face the Cubs in the NLDS. Which begins on Friday, October 7.

Got that?

While Mets, Cards and Giants fans are likely hoping for a little win streak to avoid this mess, I hope the rest of you are joining me in rooting for the bedlam and chaos that would occasion a three-way tie.

Settling the Scores: Wednesday’s results

SNY
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How ya doin’, Mets fans? Giants fans? Cardinals fans? Everyone doing OK? No? Well, that’s a shame. If it helps, all three of the teams y’all root for are less-than-inspiring at the moment.

The Giants got blasted by Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers and are back to six back in the NL West, which we can basically call for the Dodgers now. The Cardinals had won four in a row but got hammered by the Rockies yesterday. Expand that timeline a bit and they’re 4-4 in their last eight. The Mets? Hoo-boy. They let the Braves come into New York and sweep them. And the way that game Endered, er, I mean ended last night was something to behold:

The National League Wild Card is a mess. The Cards, Mets and Giants are all tied and, because of their recent struggles, have even let the Pirates sneak back into the conversation, three and a half games back. Clean it up, guys. There’s only a week and change left in the season.

Here are the box scores:

Rockies 11, Cardinals 1
Astros 6, Athletics 5
Mariners 2, Blue Jays 1
Red Sox 5, Orioles 1
Phillies 8, White Sox 3
Indians 4, Royals 3
Braves 4, Mets 3
Nationals 8, Marlins 3
Yankees 11, Rays 5
Angels 5, Rangers 4
Cubs 9, Reds 2
Pirates 4, Brewers 1
Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2
Dodgers 9, Giants 3
Tigers vs. Twins: POSTPONED