Welcome to October, home of Postseason Baseball.
Where I live on the coast in Northern California, the weather is actually getting warmer now. We have but two trees on campus that think Autumn is approaching, their leaves dropping in a shower of flames. Meanwhile the roses and jasmine are still dressed in brilliant blooms as delightfully sweet and fragrant as ever. From where I’m standing, summer is only beginning. The first days of sunshine warm the grasses and weeds of Humboldt County, and the fog only sweeps in at night before the golden orb dips down to kiss the horizon.
If it wasn’t for the baseball season ending, I would never know the meaning of these “seasonal” shifts. In fact, I would never use the word “season” in any out-of-sport contexts. California seems to be like that. The “seasons” we’re most familiar with are the ones we rub into grass-fed steaks and free-range chicken before having a barbecue with sangria and surfboards and acoustic guitars every night of the week after hanging out with celebrities at our day jobs.
But despite these atmospheric idiosyncrasies and generally dysfunctive weather patterns, summer isn’t winding up. She’s gone, and with her she takes the one we love most: Baseball. A chill comes over our winter hearts weighted in nostalgia as we bid farewell. I get an urge to sit on a hillside in many knitted layers and write haiku in a Molskine notebook after a leisurely stroll filled with longing for the newness of spring and Spring Training. But, hark! Before Baseball has completely transformed into an unrecognizable speck on our rearview mirrors, let’s talk of the gift October brings:
New this season is the additional Wild Card team from each league. Of the American League, the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers will face off for a single game at 8:30pm ET on Friday, October 5. The winner of the wild card playoff game will next face the New York Yankees for the American League Division Series. In the National League, the wild card playoff game will be held between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves at 5pm ET on Friday, October 5. The winner of that matchup will take on the Washington Nationals for the National League Division Series.
Division winners of the National League include the Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, and Washington Nationals. The Reds and Giants best-of-five series starts on Saturday October 6 at 9:30pm ET. As mentioned, the Nationals will play the NL wild card playoff game winner, in a best-of-five series starting Sunday October 7.
Division winners of the American League include the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics. The Athletics and Tigers begin a best-of-five series on Saturday October 6 at 6pm ET. The Yankees will take on the AL wild card playoff game winner for a best-of-five series starting Sunday October 7.
To view the complete and updated schedule of the postseason games, click here!