Breaking Down the NL Playoff Scenarios
Charlie Manuel said he couldn’t care less about the numerous NL playoff scenarios entering tomorrow.
“Somebody’s going down,” he said. “There’s three teams in there. Somebody’s going down, man.”
This much is true, but who falls and when might not be decided until Tuesday. That is because the Phillies beat the Braves today, 7-0, and the Padres beat the Giants, 4-2. The Padres pulled into a first-place tie with the Braves in the Wild Card race. They also pulled within a game of the Giants for the NL West lead with one game to play.
It looked like a near certainty the Phillies would play the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Division Series, beginning Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, but not anymore. Here are the scenarios:
- Phillies and Giants win Sunday. The Giants win the NL West. The Padres and Braves tie for the Wild Card and have a one-game playoff Monday at Turner Field. If the Padres win, they play the Phillies in the NLDS. If the Braves win, the Reds play the Phillies in the NLDS.
- Phillies and Padres win. The Braves are eliminated. The Padres and Giants finish with the same record. The Padres would be NL West champions because they won the season series against the Giants. The Giants would be Wild Card champions and play the Phillies in the NLDS.
- Braves and Giants win. The Padres are eliminated. The Giants win the NL West. The Braves win the Wild Card. The Phillies play the Reds in the NLDS.
- Braves and Padres win. The Padres and Giants finish with the same record and play a one-game playoff Monday at Petco Park in San Diego. The winner is NL West champion. The loser flies to Atlanta for a one-game playoff Tuesday. The winner is Wild Card champion. In that scenario, if the Giants or Padres beat Atlanta on Tuesday, they would play four games in four days in four cities: Sunday in San Francisco, Monday in San Diego, Tuesday in Atlanta and Wednesday in Philadelphia.
“If I could pick it I might care, but at the same time I can’t pick it so there’s sense in me hashing it out and worrying about it,” Manuel said.
Cole Hamels will start tomorrow, but he will only pitch two innings. Roy Oswalt is expected to pitch an inning in relief. Brad Lidge also could pitch an inning.
“We knew they were going to fill the stands, and it was important for them,” Chad Durbin said. “We know from doing anything competitive, if it’s important to the other guy, it’s important to you. We have a team full of guys like that. We’re going to compete until the last out. That goes for game 162, no matter what the scenario.”