Playoff wrap: A 20-year drought ends in Pittsburgh

Playoff wrap: A 20-year drought ends in Pittsburgh
September 24, 2013, 7:00 am
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MAGIC NUMBERS

BEST RECORD IN A.L.: Red Sox 5

A.L. CENTRAL: Tigers 2

N.L. CENTRAL: Cardinals 4

The baseball pennant races are in the home stretch and we'll be here each weekday with a wrapup of the previous day's action. Here's what happened on Monday, September 23:

RACE FOR BEST RECORD IN A.L.: Red Sox (95-62) lead A's (94-63) by 1 game

A.L. CENTRAL: Tigers (91-66) lead Indians (86-70) by 4 1/2 games

  • Twins 4, Tigers 3 (11 innings): It's well-proven that how you play at the end of the season has no bearing on postseason performance. Good thing, because blowing a 3-0, eighth-inning lead to a 90-loss team -- when you still haven't clinched -- would normally be cause for concern. (AP)

A.L. WILD CARD: Rays (87-69) and Indians (86-70) hold top two spots; Rangers (85-71, 1 game behind Cleveland), Royals (83-73, 3 games back), Yankees (82-74, 4 games back) and Orioles (81-75, 5 games back) and in the hunt

RACE FOR BEST RECORD IN N.L.: Braves (92-64) lead Cardinals (92-65) by 1/2 game and Dodgers (90-66) by 2 games

  • Brewers 5, Braves 0: How do you have the best record in the league when you've been shut out 16 times? I mean, that's 10 percent of your games. (AP)

  • Cardinals 4, Nationals 3: And so we bid a fond farewell to the Nats, who are eliminated from the wild-card race with this loss. (AP)

N.L. CENTRAL/WILD CARD: Cardinals (92-65) lead Pirates (90-67) and Reds (90-67) by 2 games

  • Pirates 2, Cubs 1: That means Pittsburgh is in. And the Bucs -- who were last in the postseason when the Internet didn't exist, cell phones were 15-pound monstrosities that looked like walkie-talkies, and the first George Bush was president -- celebrate accordingly. (AP)

  • Reds 3, Mets 2 (10 innings): Oh, and Cincinnati clinches, too. But the Reds made it just last year, so it isn't the same. (AP)