In the penultimate night of the 2021 Majors regular season, three games vital for playoff seeding took place at Nutile. Two playoff seeds (#1 and #8) were settled but the remaining six seeds are all up for grabs on Wednesday in the final night of the regular season. A check of the record books has not yielded any final regular season day in majors history with this many seeds still up for grabs.
First to Tuesday’s action before we head to the possible playoff scenarios. In the night’s first game on C, the Padres took on the A’s. The Padres were coming off a convincing victory over the Diamondbacks the prior night and sent 12 year old ace Luke Sardone to the hill. The A’s were coming off a difficult loss to the White Sox last Thursday and sent Jack Charchaflian, who has pitched well in 2021 but didn’t even own a baseball glove prior to the season, to the mound. And . . . . that’s why we play the games. Aided by some fine defense, including three outs on the basepaths AND a caught stealing orchestrated by catcher Justin Muse, Charchaflian held the Padres scoreless in four innings of work. He also helped his cause with a multiple RBI night at the plate. In the fifth, the A’s called on BZ Christoforo and the 10 year old did not disappoint as he pitched two scoreless innings. The A’s recorded a 9-0 victory that greatly improves their playoff positioning.
In the night’s second game on A, the Orioles faced off against the Diamondbacks. The Orioles sent Noah Biel to the mound who hasn’t lost in recent memory as he has pounded the zone with strikes. The D’backs countered with 12 year old George Boksanski who is no stranger to the hill but who hasn’t started many games for the D’backs. And . . . that’s why we play the games. The O’s jumped out early and by the fifth inning had an 8-1 lead on the Diamondbacks thanks to brilliant pitching from Biel and an offensive attack from Spencer Thompson, Gibson Ketterer, Alister Datoli and Biel. In the fifth, the D’backs would have an inning. They loaded the bases with Liam Stendardo, Mark Hatley and Jack Collins before RBIs from Ilyas Chakir, Bjorn Tellefsen and Max Phillips. Will Brown and Boksanki then followed with big hits. The game was still in the Os favor when they decided to intentionally walk Dbacks slugger Brett Daniels. A’s coach Brian Doherty could be heard complaining about the move from the C diamond. The Daniels walk loaded the bases for Cole Cassidy who drew a walk to force in a run. Guidara then singled to set the stage for Liam Stendardo. The 11 year old, who won a ring in AA for the Hooks two years prior, slugged a double to give the home team a one run lead heading to the 6th. Phillips entered the game to pitch the 6th for the Dbacks and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to secure a come from behind 9-8 win.
In the night cap on C, the White Sox faced the Red Sox. The White Sox entered the game needing a win to secure their third straight regular season Majors title and sent young Ben Ragosa to the hill. In a surprise move, the Red Sox countered with the league’s most feared pitcher, Stephen McCabe. The big right hander entered the game with a 3-0 record. And . . . that’s why we play the games. The score was knotted at 0-0 after three innings thanks to some fine pitching from both starters and a caught stealing from each catcher, Sam Pandolfo and Axel Osborn. In the 4th, Mitchell Collins led off with a single for the White Sox to bring up Noah Seitz. Seitz, who has batted righty in every plate appearance so far in the 2021 majors season, decided to bat lefty against the hard throwing McCabe. After swinging and missing in rather feeble fashion on two straight pitches, Seitz laced a rocket to the right center field fence on the very next pitch which scored Collins and yielded a triple for Seitz. The White Sox would end up scoring three runs in the fourth, the latter two both coming on first and third steal plays. In the fifth, the White Sox offense got rolling. The big hits were a double by 10 year old Nathan Wan and a sharp single from his summer league teammate Dylan Sala. Adrian Lupien, Wan, Sala, William Fiorentino, Collins and Ragosa all crossed the plate to give the White Sox a 9-0 advantage. Fiorentino came in to record the final 4 outs to give the White Sox the victory and the regular season crown.
Disclaimer: the playoff scenarios below are unofficial. All of this action locks in the White Sox and Cardinals at either end of the playoff seeding but leaves open the remaining 6 spots. With a win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, the Dodgers will secure the #2 seed. With a loss, however, and wins from the Padres over the Cardinals and the A’s over the Orioles, there would be a three way tie for second. In that scenario, based on a complex tie breaker algorithm, the A’s would get the #2 seed, the Padres would get the #3 seed and the Dodgers would fall to #4. If all three teams win Wednesday (Dodgers, A’s and Padres), then the Dodgers would get the 2 seed, followed by the A’s at 3 and the Padres at 4. The Diamondbacks currently sit as the 5 seed but they could leap frog to 3 with a win and losses from the Padres and As. The Orioles are currently the 7th seed but they could move up a notch and switch with the Red Sox if the Os are able to beat the As.
It promises to be another memorable night at Nutile.