Only the cool kids get to go to the postseason. And the Diamondbacks, Brewers, and Rangers just got their invitations in the mail.
Last night was a thrilling one around baseball. For Arizona, the game was simple: a head-to-head matchup with their closest rivals for the NL West crown. The Giants weren’t able to piece together more than one run off of Joe Saunders, and the Snakes had similar trouble with San Francisco’s Matt Cain.
Then, in the eighth inning, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt shot a line drive into right field for a two-run triple. Goldschmidt has been Giants pitching’s worst nightmare since coming up in August. The rookie has two home runs off of Tim Lincecum – who has given up 15 all season – and last night’s RBI triple was served up by dominant-is-an-understatement righty reliever Sergio Romo.
The DBacks’ bullpen baffled Giants hitters for two more innings to hold off a rally and seal the deal. Watch them clinch it here.
The other two postseason races were a little less straightforward. The Brewers and Rangers each won their own game, clinching at least a tie, and then gathered to watch their division rivals. For the Brewers, it was the Cubs facing the Cardinals in St. Louis that captured their attention; with Chicago’s victory, the Crew clinched their first NL Central championship in the team’s history.
The Brewers were originally an AL team, and claimed back-to-back division championships in the early 80s. Since joining the Senior Circuit in 1998, Milwaukee has won the Wild Card once, but never a division title. The victory makes them the first team to take a division crown in both leagues. Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun both homered in the game, but it was Braun’s tie-breaking 3-run blast in the bottom of the eighth that will stand out in memory. Watch them clinch it here.
The Rangers wrapped up their second consecutive division title with a characteristic display of power. Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton both homered off of Mariners starter Anthony Vasquez, and even Craig Gentry got in on the fun with an inside-the-park job.
The victory over Seattle clinched a tie for Texas, but the champagne had to wait for Oakland to defeat the Angels. Watch the Rangers talk about the win here, and to keep up with them in the postseason, head over to Big Game Claws.
Brewers and Diamondbacks postseason coverage will be right here on Around the Horn, so stay tuned.