Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 158 recap: Well, we didn’t want that stupid #1 seed anyway, so THERE!

Red Sox Game 158 recap: Well, we didn’t want that stupid #1 seed anyway, so THERE!

Highest WPA: Jackie Bradley, .032 (1-3, SB)
Lowest WPA: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, -.091 (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 LOB)
Highest BAC: Drake Britton, .149 (*burp* we’adagame t’night? woooo coors feeeeeeeeeeeeled)

Ew. John Lackey gave up three home runs, Drunk Britton and Brandon Workman looked like guys who couldn’t dominate in the minor leagues, and most of the Red Sox players this blog considers “good” were held hitless. Ouch.

My attempt at passive-aggressively rationalizing losing the best record may be premature, however; as this blog is being written, the A’s are not giving the Angels the thorough throttling one would expect. Oakland finishes the season in Seattle – but won’t have to face Hisashi Iwakuma – while the Red Sox finish in Baltimore, which… does not bring pleasant memories. If the Sox do indeed lose a narrow lead and Oakland gets the #1 seed for the playoffs, I’m not sure how terrible to feel.

On one hand, it will mean facing Detroit, who – despite Oakland’s superior record – seem like Boston’s biggest threat in the American League. Before tonight’s games, Detroit had a run differential 38 runs better than Oakland’s (13 worse than Boston’s, but that’s obviously falling). I do not like our chances of beating the Tigers, should we get that far.

But maybe those chances would be better in the more volatile environment of a short series? And more concretely, the wildcard situation is not the same is in the National League. The NL play-in game will come on Tuesday, with the NLDS opening on Thursday; assuming things go down to the wire, a guy who goes on Sunday in a must-win game wouldn’t be available, assuming normal rest, until Friday’s game 2. In the AL, the wildcard teams get an extra day off before their play-in game – and with that off day, one more option to start Friday’s ALDS opener. Right now, it looks like Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Moore would start Sunday for their respective teams, and be on normal rest for the start of the ALDS. That’s one game, but it also means having a #2 instead of #3 going in the potential game 4 (or, if you go with a 4-man rotation, the decisive game 5). In the NL? The wildcard team could be stuck with its third choice when the series is 2-1 or 2-2.

Of course, this all presupposes the wildcard races are equal and go down to the final day (if I know baseball managers, though, they’ll be playing for home-field in the play-in game and will keep things competitive). That may very well not be the case. But even so, I think the “tired out wildcard team” thing may be overblown in the AL; the silly “wildcard games on different days” deal and the four-day wait before the ALDS really cut that advantage down quite a bit.

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  1. October 5, 2013 at 9:54 PM

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