The MLB postseason begins in simply over a month. Within the Nationwide League, 4 of the six spots have all however been secured. The Dodgers will simply win the NL West, the Cardinals will win the NL Central, and the Mets and Braves will battle it out for the NL East title finally pushing one among them into the NL’s four-seed. That leaves the 5 and six-seeds up for grabs. Two spots and three groups vying for a playoff berth: The San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Certain, groups just like the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks are nonetheless technically within the race, however let’s be actual, no one expects them to make a run on the postseason. COULD it occur? Certain. Then once more, my ex-girlfriend might resolve to take me again. I discover neither of those eventualities very possible.
Barring some cosmic interference from the powers that be, the ultimate two NL Wild Card slots will probably be given to some mixture of the Phillies, Brewers, and Padres. The Brewers are searching for their fifth consecutive postseason berth. The Phillies haven’t reached the playoffs since 2011, and the Padres haven’t reached the playoffs in a standard, non-COVID-shortened season since 2006. You’d suppose every of those groups could be dying for a chance to compete for a World Collection, however based mostly on the previous few days, every crew appears very happy to let the opposite two take their place.
Over the weekend, the Padres have been on the street for a three-game set with the Dodgers. The Padres misplaced that collection. There’s no disgrace in dropping two of three to Los Angeles on the street. No disgrace in any respect. The place the disgrace does begin to set in is their offense although. Over their final three video games (two @ LAD, one vs. ARI), the Padres have scored a complete of 5 runs.
I perceive having bother scoring towards six innings of Julio Urías adopted by Blake Treinen, however there’s no excuse for recording solely three earned runs throughout 6.1 innings towards the likes of Heath Hembree, Phil Bickford, Chris Martin, Craig Kimbrel, and Ryan Pepiot. They stranded 11 runners in that recreation! The Padres led off the fourth with a pair of walks. How did the inning finish? Strikeout, strikeout, pop fly. I do know it was the underside of the Padres’ lineup, however you couldn’t even transfer them over. These are must-win video games at this level within the season, and no one appears able to doing any injury exterior of Machado and Soto!
Fortunately, the Padres were rid of the Dodgers following that game. Their first game of their home series against Arizona featured Ryne Nelson on the mound for the D-Backs. This was his first-ever Major League start. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits. This guy had a 5.43 ERA in Triple-A this 12 months to associate with a 5.51 FIP and declining strikeout charges every of the previous three seasons within the minors. His fastball sits at round 95 mph — nothing overpowering. The Padres couldn’t contact him. Certain, Nelson was permitting just a few too many fly balls for consolation, however he was lacking barrels and forcing principally weak-to-medium contact. No hurt, no foul. I do know dealing with a brand new pitcher could be robust since there isn’t a lot of a scouting report back to go off of, however this man wasn’t alleged to dominate in his first profession begin as a lot as he did, particularly towards an offense that’s alleged to be as harmful as San Diego’s.
The Phillies haven’t been significantly better. They simply wrapped up a collection with San Francisco. The Giants had misplaced seven in a row and 11 of 13 heading into that collection with Philadelphia. Did the Phillies take benefit? No. They surrendered 13 runs to the Giants — tied for the second-most runs the Giants have scored all 12 months. This Giants crew had been hanging on by a thread all season and eventually began to see their playoff hopes fade away, however the Phillies simply needed to give them a cause to stay round, huh? San Francisco had swept simply two opponents in a three-game set or longer for the reason that begin of June. Simply two!
The Phillies might have an edge over the Brewers within the standings proper now, however now’s no time to lose video games to the lowly Giants! The Giants gave catcher Andrew Knapp, who at the moment has an OPS of .393 in 2021, seven plate appearances on this collection. Knapp reached base or drove in a run, in 4 of them. That’s arguably the most popular streak of the whole season for Knapp! You may’t let guys like that beat you.
Then, there are the Brewers, who’ve truly received two of their final three video games. That’s nice! what isn’t nice although? Dropping three of 4 to Arizona over the weekend and solely scoring two complete runs in these losses. I’ll give the Brewers credit score for scoring eight runs of their lone win, however they wanted 10 innings to take action. Think about needing further innings to keep away from getting swept by the Diamondbacks. I do know they’ve been sizzling, however the Brewers are clearly the higher crew and are in must-win territory. They’re on the skin of the playoff bubble trying in proper now. And scoring ten runs complete over a four-game stretch towards Arizona is just not going to assist.
Excellent news for the Brewers although, they’ve seven straight video games towards Colorado, San Francisco, and Cincinnati to determine issues out earlier than they begin an eight-game stretch towards the Cardinals, Yankees, and Mets. If the Brewers need any hope of passing Philadelphia or San Diego, they’re going to want to win at the very least 5 of these subsequent seven.
At this price, whichever groups can play even .500 ball till the top of the season will most likely get a spot within the postseason. On condition that the defending World Collection champions, the Atlanta Braves, had the worst file of any playoff crew final 12 months, it’s not absurd to say that any crew that reaches the playoffs has an honest shot of hoisting the World Collection Championship Trophy on the finish of the 12 months. That stated, if the Phillies, Brewers, or Padres need that chance, they higher begin whipping themselves into gear. Now’s not the time to have a season-defining hunch.