With just three MLB regular-season days left, an amazing 10 games on Monday have some type of implication on the remaining playoff races.
Not only that, but coming into the day, every race in the American League still wasn't mathematically set in stone while only two in the NL were all wrapped up.
It's like the 2012 season is jealous of 2011's once-in-a-lifetime final-day finish. Fans of drama have to be loving this.
But the Oakland Athletics clearly aren't fans of drama, as they took out the Texas Rangers to clear up the wild-card race(via MLB's official Twitter):
The Pittsburgh Pirates, meanwhile, decided to help out the Washington Nationals by beating the Atlanta Braves (via the Washington Times' Amanda Comak):
#Nats lose, but they don't care. They're the NL East champions.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) October 2, 2012
Over in the AL, the races might have cleared up a little bit, but they are still far from over (via MLB's Twitter account):
Tampa Bay, of course, is no longer alive after Oakland's win, but the East race is not done yet. One race, however, is definitely over after Detroit's big win (via MLB's Twitter account):
The Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, lived to fight another day after they beat the San Francisco Giants with some late-inning magic (via USA Today's Bob Nightengale):
As the nail-biting turns into finger-biting, let's take a look at all of the scores from Monday and what they mean for the standings.
*All times p.m., ET
Boston Red Sox 2, New York Yankees 10: F
Who would have thought the Yankees would find a friend in the Boston Red Sox?
Boston's horrendous season continued as the Yankes poured on nine—count 'em, nine—runs in the second inning and never looked back.
The Yankees smacked a ridiculous four home runs in that inning alone as Clay Bucholz was chased after allowing six hits, eight runs and three homers in 1.2 innings. Yikes.
New York now sits in solid position in the AL East race.
Yankees: 93-67 (first in AL East)
Red Sox: 69-91 (fifth in AL East)
Chicago White Sox 11, Cleveland Indians 0: F
The White Sox managed to stay alive in the AL Central race for at least an hour or so with their domination of the Cleveland Indians.
Hector Santiago gave up just one hit and one walk through seven shutout innings and struck out 10 in what was easily the best gem of the night. Although the Sox didn't need it, they added 15 hits and 11 runs, including six in the ninth inning.
White Sox: 84-76 (second in AL Central)
Indians: 67-93 (fourth in AL Central)
Baltimore Orioles 3, Tampa Bay Rays 5: F
The Orioles' chances at winning the AL East took a significant hit on Monday as the Rays, thanks to a sparkling performance from Alex Cobb and Ben Zobrist's 20th homer of the season, rolled to a huge victory.
Baltimore got a big game from Matt Wieters and yet another home run from Chris Davis, who remains on absolute fire, but it wasn't enough. They now sit a game behind the Yanks, although they are still in good shape in the wild-card race.
Orioles: 92-68 (second in AL East)
Rays: 89-71 (tied for fourth in AL wild card)
Detroit Tigers 6, Kansas City Royals 3: F
Not only did Miguel Cabrera take a huge step towards winning the American League Triple Crown with four hits and a home run, but the Tigers officially won the Al Central with their win over the Royals.
Rick Porcello went five solid innings and Jhonny Peralta also added a homer in the win.
Tigers: 87-73 (first in AL Central)
Royals: 71-89 (third in AL Central)
Texas Rangers 3, Oakland Athletics 4: F
The Oakland Athletics are in the playoffs. Finally.
Jarrod Parker slowed down the powerful Texas lineup and Oakland got some timely early hitting to reach the postseason for the first time since 2006.
It's truly been a magical season for the team that was pegged by a lot of people to finish last in the AL West at the beginning of the season.
The wild card is theirs, but the AL West title is still within reach with two games to go.
Rangers: 93-67 (first in AL West)
Athletics: 92-64 (second in AL West, tied for first in AL wild card)
Los Angeles Angels 8, Seattle Mariners 4: F
The Angels were helped out by yet another magnificent Mike Trout performance, although the win turned out to be meaningless.
Trout delivered four hits against (former) Cy-Young candidate Felix Hernandez, scored two runs, drove in three and was just a home run away from the cycle.
Nonetheless, the A's knocked off the Rangers just moments earlier, pushing the Angels too far back in the wild-card race to make a final run at the postseason.
Angels: 89-71 (tied for fourth in AL wild card)
Mariners: 73-87 (fourth in AL West)
*All times p.m., ET
Atlanta Braves 1, Pittsburgh Pirates 2: F
Well, at least the Atlanta Braves have the wild card.
Jeff Locke put forth a solid, albeit wild (five walks), performance and Starling Marte hit a home run and a triple as Pittsburgh eliminated the Braves from the NL East race, giving the Washington Nationals the title.
Nonetheless, the Braves still have the No. 1 wild-card spot locked up.
Braves: 93-67 (second in NL East)
Pirates: 78-82 (fourth in NL Central)
Philadelphia Phillies 2, Washington Nationals 0: F
Kyle Kendrick was spectacular, going seven shutout innings, giving up just four hits and striking out four as he completely dominated the Nats for the win.
No matter, though.
The Nationals had already seen the news of Pittsburgh's win, and thus were simply ready to get the celebration started.
Phillies: 80-80 (third in NL East)
Nationals: 96-64 (tied for first in MLB)
Cincinnati Reds 2, St. Louis Cardinals 4: F
Jamie Garcia did it all for the Cardinals.
The young pitcher tossed 6.2 fantastic innings and also added his first homer of the season in third inning as the Cards took another step towards securing the second wild-card spot.
The Reds, meanwhile, stayed even with the Nationals for the best record in the MLB with the loss.
Reds: 96-64 (tied for first in MLB)
Cardinals: 87-73 (second in NL wild card)
San Francisco Giants 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 3: F
Well, that was close.
The Dodgers held a lead for most of the game, but things got dicey when San Francisco scored a run in the top of the eighth inning to tie things up.
No worry, though, as Elian Herrera delivered a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to keep Los Angeles' playoff hopes alive.
Still, they need two more wins and two St. Louis losses to advance. Crazier things have happened, but it's a long shot for the Dodgers.
Giants: 93-67 (first in NL West)
Dodgers: 85-75 (third in NL wild card)
On Deck for Tuesday
*All times p.m., ET
Atlanta at Pittsburgh, 7:05
Boston at NYY, 7:05
Chicago (AL) at Cleveland, 7:05
Philadelphia at Washington, 7:05
Baltimore at Tampa Bay, 7:10
Detroit at Kansas City, 8:10
Cincinnati at St. Louis, 8:15
Texas at Oakland, 10:05
LAA at Seattle, 10:10
San Francisco at LAD, 10:10
American League Standings
*AL Central title has been decided
|Chicago White Sox||84||76||.522||3.0|
|AL Wild Card||W||L||PCT||GB|
|Los Angeles Angels||89||71||.553||3.0|
|Tampa Bay Rays||89||71||.553||3.0|
National League Standings
*NL West, NL Central and NL East titles have already been decided
|NL Wild Card||W||L||PCT||GB|
|St. Louis Cardinals||87||73||.541||-|
|Los Angeles Dodgers ||85||75||.528||2.0|