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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pregame notes: Explaining a wild card tie

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Sep 26, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Not directly connected to the Yankees, but people have asked about this scenario and Major League Baseball just sent a press release explaining what would happen if there were a three-way tie for the American League wild card.

If the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim finish in a three-way tie for the Wild Card, then two games will be played in the first two days after the regular season. The games will be played according to designations based on the head-to-head three-way records among the tied clubs:

• The Rays went 12-6 against the Red Sox and 4-4 against the Angels. Combined: 16-10 (.615).
• The Red Sox went 6-12 against the Rays and 6-2 against the Angels. Combined: 12-14 (.462).
• The Angels went 4-4 against the Rays and 2-6 against the Red Sox. Combined: 6-10 (.375).

The designations dictate that:
• Club A would host Club B on Thursday, September 29th.
• Club C would play at the winner of the A vs. B game on Friday, September 30th.

Because the Rays held the best head-to-head record among the three tied clubs, the Rays received the first choice of designation and the Red Sox had the second choice. If such a scenario arises:

• The Rays have chosen to be Club C, playing a road game on Friday, September 30th.
• The Red Sox have chosen to be Club A, hosting the first tiebreaker game on Thursday, September 29th.
• The Angels, as Club B, would play the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thursday.
• The winner of the Thursday’s Angels-Red Sox game would host the Rays on Friday, September 30th.
• The winner of Friday’s game would be the American League Wild Card.

In the National League, the potential two-way National League Wild Card tie between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals would be broken with a tiebreaker game on Thursday, September 29th at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Head-to-head record determines home-field advantage in a two-way tie, and the Cardinals earned a 5-1 advantage over the Braves in the season series.

• Girardi wants to use Phil Hughes out of the bullpen tonight and Wednesday to get Hughes readjusted to life as a reliever. Hughes could obviously go multiple innings, and he said he wouldn’t be hesitant to pitch back-to-back days. As for the transition to pitching one inning at a time: “It’s easy,” he said. “Just let it go.”

• Girardi on the role Hughes might play in the bullpen: “He can be a multiple-inning guy for us, it could be a one-inning guy. We’ve seen him have a lot of success out of there. And that’s why we think it’s important to get him in there a couple of times.”

• The Yankees are no closer to deciding a Game 3 starter in the playoffs, and Girardi insists it’s not necessarily between Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett. “Bartolo is starting again and I’m gonna look at that, too,” Girardi said.

• Aside from Hughes, Girardi made it sound like he has no plans of using any of his go-to pitchers on Wednesday. He wants them to have two full days off before the playoffs begin on Friday.

• Francisco Cervelli tried to throw and go through catching drills today, and his concussion symptoms returned. Sounds like he’s as close to completely ruled out as he could be (if he weren’t there already).

• Hector Noesi is good for 70-80 pitches, which is a little more than his previous spot start.

• In the past, managers have occasionally let a player manage the last game of the season. Girardi said he might do that on Wednesday. “Depends if the game means anything,” Girardi said.

RAYS
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
Johnny Damon DH
Matt Joyce RF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS

Associated Press photos

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