If you’re going to leave yourself in a position where the Wild Card spot is all that is available to you, you can still be very good when it matters most. Both the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals are doing exactly that right now. When it means the most, they are making huge playoff pushes. The Red Sox got their fifth straight win on Sunday by taking down the Baltimore Orioles 8-6. It was a seventh-inning rally that keyed it for them, as they came from 6-5 down via RBI hits from Enrique Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Rafael Devers. They are one game clear for the ‘home’ slot in the AL Wild Card and a further 1.5 above the Yankees for a place period.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, were out winning their eighth in a row on Sunday as they took on the San Diego Padres and overcame them 8-7 in a game with massive playoff implications. A five-run bottom of the first appeared to put them in position to coast toward a win, but the Padres, knowing they needed a win, battled back to make a game of it. They just never got it level, though, and as a result, they fell even further behind in the NL Wild Card race. The Cardinals are now second in that race and have three games between themselves and the Reds following this win and the Dodgers’ over the Reds. The Padres and Phillies are each 3.5 behind them with only a few more days to go. It’ll take something special to overtake them now, but it’s baseball and we’ve seen crazier things happen.