“Baseball-Real Time to Win-Now”
Those in the dugouts and in the clubhouses, all use the same phrase.
“It’s a marathon”.
Talking about the 162-game season.
The stretches of games where you play 21-days in a row. The ever-tough afternoon games after the late night games. The 3-city road trips. Playing 28-of-38 on the road. The never ending nagging injuries and the always short bench or pitching staff.
It’s a marathon.
Everbody has to go thru it, get thru it, now it’s time to man up to it.
The Boston Marathon is much the same. You go out fast, then try to find a pace, to keep the leaders in sight. Then you ache, then you hurt, then you hit the hills. Then you hit the wall.
Baseball’s pennant race is approaching Heartbreak Hill in every city where a team still believes it is in a pennant race.
Baseball’s wildcard race, the last gift oft-criticized Commissioner Bud Selig gave us, works.
It keeps fans interest in a lot of cities just as the NFL season is beginning.
A couple of years ago, the pennant races came down to the final out in the final extra inning of a couple of cities, to determine who would go the post season. A great way to end a regular season.
On August first, we had 13-teams, within 5-games of each other, with 2-months left in the season.
Now we are into the final two weeks of September, and this morning you still have 2-pennant races to be decided.
And you have 7-teams fighting for the 4-wildcard slots in the two leagues. Add in the two leaders in close races, you now have 9-teams clawing each night, with postseason hopes still alive.
The Yankees trail the Red Sox by just 3-games in the American League East race with about 15 to play.
Over in the NL Central, last year’s World Series kings, the Cubs, just cannot pull away. They lead Milwaukee and the Cardinals by 3-games, with 14-days or so left in the seasonl.
In the American League wildcard race, the Yankees hold the top slot…but the Twins and Angels keep applying pressure. They just 2-back of New York, and three does not go into two. Somebody will be broken hearted the last day of the season.
In the National League wildcard chase..Arizona has pretty much locked up 1-spot building a 6-game lead over Colorado, thanks to a hot streak, and some head to head wins.
But Colorado has just a 2-game bulge over Milwaukee and St Louis with that second spot still out there for the taking.
The marathon race that is baseball’s 162-game season is headed into the final group of hills (the schedule), and it will be a wild final two weeks of the season.
The Angels keep grinding. Minnesota Is breathing hard-some days good, some bad.
Colorado is staggering after a spectacular first half of the year, and now we find out if they have enough ‘kick’ to outsprint the fast closing Cardinals and up and down Milwaukee.
The wildcard race is great. And as you finish the 162-game marathon, no time for a deep breath, because you have to then have the 1-game play-in game between the two wildcard teams to see who goes to the divisional series.
Gas tank empty. Hitters worn out. Pitching staffs on fumes. Got to win. By the way, the most important part of the season is about to begin…the post-season.
It’s been a marathon. Who has gas left to sprint to the finish line. But for the next two weeks, it is the real time to win in baseball.