Unbelievable year comes to a close
The 2012 Major League Baseball regular season has come to an end and 10 teams, and their fans, look forward to the postseason.
This season saw the first MLB Triple Crown winner in 45 years, an Orioles team come from worst to battling for first in game 162, the Nationals win the division for the first time, and Oakland sweep the Rangers to take the AL West in the last series of the season.
Miguel Cabrera is the king of baseball! The Triple Crown winner drove in more runs (139), went yard more times (44), and hit for a better average (.330) than anyone in the American League on the way to the AL Central title.
1967 was the last season the award was won and Carl Yastrzemski was the last man to do it. The Red Sox outfielder finished that season with 121 RBIs, 44 home runs, and a .326 batting average.
Baltimore (93-69) skipper Buck Showalter turned the O’s around in just his second year with the club. Last season, the team finished in last place in the AL East with a 69-93 record and 28 games out of first.
Showalter’s squad fought to the last game as they faced the Rays in Tampa. They were in a race with the New York Yankees for the division title but a 4-1 loss and a 14-2 Yankee win made the finish line disappear. The team will be one of the AL’s Wild Card teams for the 2012 postseason, the Orioles’ first postseason since they clinched the division 15 years ago. Baltimore will face the Rangers at 8:30 on Friday, Oct. 6 on TBS.
The Washington Nationals put on a show this season and finished with a 98-64 record, its best since posting an 81-81 (.500) record in 2005. That season was the team’s first season in D.C. Before this season, the city’s last first place baseball team goes all the way back to 1933 with the Washington Senators.
The Oakland Athletics went into the last series of the year down two games to their on-field opponents, the Texas Rangers. With a 4-3 win in game one and a 3-1 victory in game two, the A’s looked to be pulling off the improbable division takeover. A third matchup would prove the improbable to be reality. The Athletics not only beat the Rangers in that game, they thrashed them by 7 runs to become AL West Champions.
The American League was home to most of this drama, leaving the National League to fall into the place it seemed that it would for the past month or so. The Braves gave chase to Washington for first place, sitting three games out with three to play, but lost their steam with a loss to the Pirates in game one of the last series of the year for the two teams.
The Dodgers tried to catch the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot but were unsuccessful.
AL East Champion New York awaits the winner of the Orioles vs. Rangers Wild Card matchup to start its postseason run on Sunday, Oct. 7.
The AL West Champion will face the AL Central Champion on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.
The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals will face off in a Wild Card game on Friday, Oct. 5 at 5:00 p.m.
The winner of the Wild Card game will face the Nationals on Oct. 7 in the National League Division Series.
The Cincinnati Reds, NL Central champions, will meet the NL West champion San Francisco Giants Oct. 9 at 9:30 p.m.
All games will be held on TBS.
Welcome to the 2012 MLB Postseason, everyone!