Did the Cardinals influence MLB’s Game 162 format?

PITTSBURGH – If you glance carefully at the schedules for Major League Baseball’s agenda for the ultimate day of normal season, you may understand all video games get started inside of a 20-minute span of one another.

Fifteen head-to-head video games throughout 4 other time zones will all start round 3 p.m. central time Sunday. First pitch is scheduled proper at the most sensible of the hour for some, a couple of start round 20 mins later.

It wasn’t till lately, 2015 to be actual, that this turned into the norm in Major League Baseball. With extra groups coming into the postseason pool lately, there are oftentimes instances wherein a staff might be able to tie or leap forward in postseason seeding on the ultimate day of motion.

“If a game impacts another game, they’re all occurring at the same time, so no team would be put into a lame-duck situation because their fate already had been decided by an earlier result,” stated Tony Petitti, MLB leader working officer by means of the announcement in 2015.

“If we do have games coming down to the wire, we want to make sure we maximize that day.”

Coincidentally, one such “lame-duck” state of affairs got here in Sept. 28, 2014, the ultimate day of the 2014 MLB season. The Cardinals had but to clinch the National League Central, however carried a Magic Number of one into the ultimate day. The Pittsburgh Pirates, in an extraordinary postseason push, had an opportunity to power a first-place tie in the NL Central in the event that they gained and the Cardinals misplaced on the ultimate day.

The Pirates began a sport 3 hours previous than the Cardinals had been scheduled to play. Meanwhile, St. Louis had West Coast matchup in opposition to the Arizona Diamondbacks to finish the 2014 marketing campaign, an unusual setup to finish the common season.

Pittsburgh fell right into a funk and misplaced its common season finale, 4-1 in opposition to the Cincinnati Reds. It came about in 2 hours and 46 mins, that means the sport were finished prior to the Cardinals had been scheduled to play the Diamondbacks.

Because of the Pittsburgh loss, the Cardinals mathematically turned into the 2014 NL Central Division champions. They discovered their destiny about 20 mins prior to they needed to take the box for the common season finale in Arizona they usually modified their approach to coming near Game 162. As a consequence, St. Louis scratched ace Adam Wainwright from making the get started and rested many common hitters.

St. Louis went directly to win the finale, 1-0, which gave the Cardinals a two-game lead in the department to complete the season. Pittsburgh had a minimum of secured a minimum of one postseason spot, whether or not thru a Wild Card Game or the NL Central Division, coming into the ultimate day. However, the loss assured a Wild Card Game, and the Pirates had been eradicated from postseason two days later in the former winner-take-all structure.

If the Cardinals and Pirates had complete opposite fortunes on Sept. 28, 2014, that may have resulted in a one-game tiebreaker the subsequent day in St. Louis. And who is aware of what may have came about after that. Wainwright most certainly would have began Game 162 and now not been to be had. The Cardinals may have dropped their common season finale, the tiebreaker sport and the NL Wild Card Game in 3 days to be eradicated from the postseason. It by no means were given that a ways, however it will positive upload a large number of drama to the postseason image.

While MLB by no means disclosed explicit eventualities main as much as this modification, the Cardinals and Pirates’ option to their 2014 common season finales (and the eventualities that may have adopted) most likely set the degree for Game 162s now starting in the similar common time-frame.

Just recall to mind what that may have supposed in 2011. The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays pulled off incredible season comebacks to clinch the NL and AL Wild Card seeds on the ultimate evening of the common season, getting rid of the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox. All of the ones sport started inside of the similar hour because of the separation of only one time zone, however the decision-making may turn out to be a lot more necessary if groups had been constantly scoreboard-watching with some significant seeding on the line.

To some extent, this had an affect on the Cardinals in 2019. The Cardinals had a one-game edge over the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL Central heading into the ultimate day. St. Louis and Milwaukee began at the similar time, and the Cardinals grew to become to dependable starter Jack Flaherty in the common season finale.

St. Louis didn’t have the alternative to evaluate whether or not to relaxation Flaherty to arrange for postseason, however used a lineup of regulars to win and safe the Central Division. A loss, in the meantime, may have arrange a department tiebrekaer with the Brewers, who had been eradicated from postseason briefly in the National League Wild Card Game.

As for the 2022 season, all postseason spots and seeding had been clinched through each staff’s Game 161, so there have been no eventualities of win or pass over playoffs like the agenda structure may generate.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, on the other hand, are scheduled to play two video games Wednesday to near out the 2022 common season because of a climate postponement Tuesday. The early sport will get started round 11:10 a.m. ET, then Game 162 round the hour all others are beginning.

The Cardinals don’t have an excessive amount of to play for on Wednesday, however the new structure a minimum of gave the Padres and Phillies an opportunity to regulate their future previous to the ultimate day. Philadelphia will play St. Louis as the No. 6 seed and San Diego will play the New York Mets as the No. 5 seed.

Happy Game 162 Day. On deck: Postseason.

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