Wednesday marked a high point for two teams that have had whirlwind seasons.
Both the Cardinals and the Blue Jays were able to clinch their respective decisions with wins on Wednesday. This means that five of the six divisions have now been "clinched" by a team and the postseason picture is starting to get clearer.
For the Cardinals, a playoff spot was already guaranteed and Wednesday was just a formality confirming what everyone could have predicted for St. Louis. Toronto has been a team that’s risen from the bottom of the AL East just a few years ago.
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With the Yankees and the Blue Jays switching off in first for most of the season, the Blue Jays finally took control and sealed it for themselves Wednesday night. This marked the first Blue Jays division championship since 1993 and the third division championship in a row for the Cardinals.
The Blue Jays now own a slim lead on home field advantage in the ALCS, should they make it that far and should hope their offense keeps producing the ways it been producing.
Their clinching game saw them scoring 15 runs with their trio of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion produce five of those runs. Even though Toronto had already clinched a playoff berth, the win division title means they now have home-field advantage in the ALDS.
This has been a season of surprises for many Jays' fans. While they knew they had a strong team going into the season, not many would have guessed they would have had the season they have. On July 29 they were 50-51 and in fourth place in the AL East, since then they have been 42- 15.
This hot streak was highlighted by the blockbuster trades that brought Troy Tulowitzki and David Price to Canada. It's certainly been an exceptional season for the Blue Jays who will continue to have success in the post- season.
Talking to MLB.com, Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman said, "It still feels like a dream, to be honest with you. How everything played out from the beginning of this season and being in this position to help my team clinch, it's been a journey. It's been a special ride."
Even for the players, this season has been something special and it’ll be interesting to see how the Blue Jays do going forward.
The Cardinals are the best team in baseball and have been all season long. There are very few baseball fans who would disagree with you.
Their win on Wednesday meant not only that they had won the NL Central, but it was their 100th win. They are the first and likely only (with the exception of Pittsburgh) 100 game winners in the MLB this year.
Like Toronto, their clinching game was a high scoring affair as they beat the Pirates 11-1 to secure their spot atop the NL Central. The Cardinals also used this game to get themselves home- field advantage throughout the NL playoffs -- being the best team in baseball has its perks.
Cardinals player Matt Carpenter said, "We talked about what's happened in the calendar year. You have a teammate pass away in Oscar [Taveras]. You just have player after player hit the DL. You lose your ace. You lose your three-hole hitter for a lot of the season. It just seems like one thing after another kept happening, but this team never quit, and they went on to win as many games as I have since I've been here. It's just amazing."
With the amount the Cardinals have dealt with, it is truly amazing to see them rise above adversity and have the season they've had. They're definitely going to give everyone a run for their money this year.
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