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Kaz's Korner

MLB Playoffs begin Friday with Wild Card Division

The grueling 162-game major league baseball season ends today with six teams having only one day off before swinging into the very important Wild Card Playoffs on Friday in a best-of-three series while our own Houston Astros and MLB’s winningest LA Dodgers enjoy a first-round bye.

This year’s playoff format has expanded from 10 teams to 12 with each league having an extra playoff team. There will be no one-game playoff this year if the teams are tied at the end of the regular season today.

The playoff team will be determined by the best record in games played between the two tied teams. The wild card games will be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday and seen on ESPN.

The Division playoffs will begin Tuesday Oct. 11 in a best-of-five series. The National League Division Series (NLDS) will be televised by Fox or FS1 the first day and then FS1 the rest of the way. The American League Division Series (ALDS) will be shown on TBS.

The two NLDS games will be played on Oct. 12, both ALDS games on Oct 13, two NLDS game 3’s on Oct. 14, both ALCS games, NLDS Game 4 if-necessary will be played on Saturday Oct 15 along with the two ALDS game 3’s.

The remainder of the playoff schedule will be played if-necessary with ALDC game 4’s and NLDS game 5’s on Oct. 16 and ALDC Games 5’s concluding Oct. 17.

A best-of-seven league championship series will determine who goes to the 2022 World Series from each league. The two NLCS representatives will begin the playoffs on Tuesday Oct. 18 on Fox or FS1 with the ALCS set for Oct. 19 on TBS. The NLCS plays game 2 Oct. 20 and the ALCS game 2 is Oct. 21.

Games 3 and 4 will be played on that weekend with games 5, 6 and 7 to follow with the World Series set to begin with game 1 on Friday Oct. 28 with all games televised by Fox. Game 2 is Oct 29, Game 3 Oct. 31, Game 4 Nov. 1. The remaining games will be on an if-necessary basis with game 5 Nov. 2, game 6 Nov. 4 and game 7 on Nov. 5.

MLB playoff rules will allow each team to have 26-man rosters with as many as 13 pitchers with four bench players and of course the nine of the field making up each team. If a team elects to have only 12 pitchers, they will add one more bench player.

Houston manager Dusty Baker has the luxury of having at least six or maybe even seven healthy arms in his starting pitching rotation.

The problem is that one or maybe even two may not be on the playoff roster. He already has relegated Jose Urquidy to the bullpen for the final series against the Philadelphia Phillies which began Monday night at Minute Maid Park. But Urquidy will have to pitch in at least one of the games and be under Baker’s microscope.

It’s pretty certain that ace Justin Verlander (who was scheduled to pitch last night), lefty Framber Valdez, and Lance McCullers will be starting along with probably Luis Garcia.

Cristian Javier could be used in long relief if one of the starters falters, but the bottom line is that some good pitchers with low earned run averages will not be among the 13 pitchers carried on the roster.

And there will be some good major league hitters who will also not find their names on Baker’s 26-man roster. Trey Mancini, who was added to the roster on the final day of trading, is having trouble with his batting stroke which could very well cost him a position on the roster.

Baker will need two catchers, four outfielders, a player who can play most infield positions plus the outfield and a trustworthy pinch hitter to formulate a competitive roster.

The team’s weak batting averages have been offset by having the major league’s best pitching staff. But that may not work on the best-of-five or best-of-seven playoff series.

All I can say is “C’mon pitchers!!!”

KWICKIES…The college football season is less than half over and coaches who aren’t living up to expectation continue to receive that nasty pink slip. The latest to fall are Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, who has compiled a not-so-shabby 67-26 record in seven-plus seasons and a formidable 6-1 mark in bowl games, was canned Monday for his team’s 2=3 start this season. Also receiving the boot Monday morning was Colorado’s Karl Dorrell along with defensive coordinator Chris Wilson for the team’s 0-5 start this season. Dorrell was 8-15 in two-plus seasons.

I was sorry to hear that Dewey Scott passed away last week at age 81. I don’t remember ever playing golf at Sunset Grove Country Club when I didn’t see Dewey. He also served with me on the club’s board of directors.

Mississippi State has been known as the Bulldogs since 1960 and before that the MSU Maroons and before that the Mississippi College Maroons and originally Mississippi A&M when they were called the Aggies. I learned that while watching Texas A&M get steamrolled 42-24 Saturday, after fumbling twice in the red zone, dropping a touchdown pass in the end zone and also having a field goal blocked and run back for an MSU touchdown.

The NFL shootout Sunday between the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions was the first 48-45 final score ever recorded in NFL history that was finally won by the Seahawks. It also was the first time in NFL history that both teams scored at least 45 points and each had 500 total yards or more.

Dallas Cowboys Idiot Owner Jerry Jones has been trying all season to create a quarterback controversy between injured Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. But even without Jones’ input, Rush has gotten folks to think that there really might be one as he became the only quarterback in NFL history to win all four of his starts with a team. Dak will be back in two weeks, but he may be looking over his shoulder.

JUST BETWEEN US…As of this writing New York Yankee slugger was hung up at 61 home runs, with only one more needed to break Roger Maris’ record and become the Yankees’ home run king. If he doesn’t have the record going into tonight’s game, maybe some generous pitcher on the Texas Rangers will give him a nice fat 50 mph “fast ball” to hit out of the park. If I were pitching, I would probably walk him every time, so my name would be linked to a trivia question.


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