There are a lot of things that go through a baseball writer’s mind during the 12th inning of a 1-1 stalemate in the early hours of Friday morning. However, after the Indians’ rally over the Astros Thursday night to get within four games of the second wild card, we decided to take a whimsical look at this weekend’s AL Wild Card picture by accessing the contender’s chances through the magic of music:
"Not Afraid" by Eminem
The Tigers lead the AL Central by a half game going into this weekend’s series against the Royals. Detroit took two of three from Kansas City last week and are 11-5 against them this season. Against the AL Central contenders this month, the Tigers are 8-1 and are still rolling despite losing two of three in Minnesota. With a veteran roster that is used to this, this isn’t Detroit’s first rodeo when it comes to high-pressure series late in the season.
"The Kids Are Alright" by The Who
We could have gone with Lorde here, but that would have been so cliche. After rallying on Monday and taking two of three from the White Sox, the Royals hold the first wild card and have a 1 1/2 game over Seattle along with a 5 1/2 game-edge over the Indians. Kansas City has been in first or second for most of the season and many have been looking toward this year as the one when the Royals would make a breakthrough.
"Free Fallin’" by Tom Petty
The Athletics were swept at home by the Rangers this week and are 5-15 in their last 20 games. Oakland hosts Philadelphia this weekend and has Jon Lester on the hill Friday night to try and stop the bleeding.
"Been Away Too Long" by Soundgarden
The Mariners are 4-6 in their past 10 going into this weekend’s three-game set at Houston. Seattle looked like they were going to be two games behind the Athletics last night until a three-run homer by Logan Morrison gave the Mariners a 3-1 win over the Angels and remain 1 1/2 back. Seattle hasn’t been to the postseason since 2001, when they beat the Indians in the Division Series, but with Felix Hernandez having another stellar year, they could make a late run.
"Alive" by Pearl Jam
After being swept by the Tigers, the Indians took three of four in Houston and have drawn within four games of the Athletics. The Tribe is in Minnesota this weekend, which is where they clinched a postseason spot last year. They need to take at least two of three to keep their hopes alive.
"Livin’ On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
The Yankees need too many things to fall into place in order for Derek Jeter to get one last postseason shot.