The crisp autumn air cuts through you like a knife when the wind blows. There are parades, street fairs, carnivals and harvest festivals around the country. Leaves are changing colors and falling, children pick out their costumes for halloween and retail stores have open aisles for the Christmas shopping season.
After a long, tumultuous and truly memorable season, baseball has reached the playoffs. The dust has settled and 162 games are in the books, with no need for a 163rd game in either league, and there are eight teams left standing. After one of the most entertaining days in the history of the game, the smoke cleared and fans and players alike were given a day to catch their breath before the curtain was once again raised and the spotlight was turned back on.
Grounds crews in New York will hang bunting and prepare the ballpark to see the historic franchise from the Bronx take on another hallowed franchise in the Detroit Tigers. The series will light up the sky like the fourth of July as CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander square off in a game that is already being considered a classic before the first pitch is thrown.
Kate over at Lady Loves Pinstripes takes an in depth look at Game One in New York and how the entire series may hang in the balance of the outcome of this epic pitching battle. You can read her thoughts by clicking here.
The senior circuit will see it’s most successful franchise, the St. Louis Cardinals, pull into Philadelphia to see if they can overcome the odds and somehow win three games against the most stacked pitching rotation in all of baseball. A monumental collapse by the Atlanta Braves has breathed life back into the Redbirds’ franchise and have them riding high into Philly to open the playoffs on October 1.
It was a historic end to the season in both leagues as well as in St. Louis specifically. Bob Netherton’s blog, On The Outside Corner takes an historic and in depth look at how the 162nd games broke down and a look at the past for the Cardinals. Give it a read by clicking here.
Both American League series will see their first pitch before the calendar turns on September 30. It will be the beautiful Ballpark In Arlington that will play host to the Rangers and the surging Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa rode a solid September and an epic Boston Red Sox collapse to the playoffs and will hope they can continue the momentum against a Texas team that some think will end up representing the American League when the dust settles and the World Series begins.
Chicken Fried Baseball takes a look at the Rangers’ choice for a game one starter. Click here to give it a read.
Before the Cardinals and Phillies can get their first pitch in, the surprisingly dominant Milwaukee Brewers will play host to the young Arizona Diamondbacks inside of Miller Park. The Brewers seem to be in a win-now mode of operation and have strong pieces in place as October baseball arrives. Meanwhile, it is never easy to predict what a young team is capable of in a short series and the Diamondbacks are looking to wear a glass slipper when this one is over with.
Nick over at Brewers Bar takes a look ahead at the various possibilities facing the boys from Milwaukee in the next few weeks. Drop by by clicking here.
Keep your browsers pointed to BaseballDigest.com as our team of writers brings you a look at each series and helps you round up some of the top stories on each game the following day.
Title photo courtesy of Erika Lynn.