The road to the playoffs did go through September though. You may have missed all the excitement while watching football. Its okay I don't blame you, I haven't watched a baseball game since my NY Mess, uh Mets were in contention (Early August when they were 6 games out). Anyway here is a look at what you may have missed in September.
In the American League the Twins and Rangers had a pretty easy time closing their divisions out, clinching on the 21st and 26th respectively. The AL East race went down to the final weekend. The Yankees and Rays both clinched playoff births on the 28th but the Rays wound up winning the division on the last day of the season.
The AL Cy Young race was in full effect as the 3 leading candidates tried to make their cases. Felix Hernandez had a solid month, 5 starts, 38.1 innings and only allowing 7 runs. He picked up 3 wins, taking his season total to 13 (low for a Cy Young contender). He was denied a shot at 14 when the Mariners shut him down early. The other 2 contenders CC Sabathia and David Price faced off 2 times, on the 13th and then again on the 23rd. In the 1st meeting they both were dominate, each pitched scoreless 8 innings before giving way to the bullpens. The Rays ended up winning in extras. The second meeting was not as good for either but worse for CC as he gave up 7 Runs (and probably lost the Cy Young).
Jose Bautista hit his 50th Homerun on September 23rd becoming the first player to hit 50 since 2007 when A-Rod (54) and Prince Fielder (50) did it. Of course it didn't come without PED use questions/suspicions. Bautista finished with 54 HRs. A-Rod had a pretty good month belting 9 HRs and driving in 26 Runs earning him AL Player of the month honors.
A-Rod's month was cool but Troy Tulowitzki had the best month of all-time. Tulo hit 16 HRs, including a stretch in which he hit 14 in 15 games. He also drove in 40 Runs while hitting .322 and slugging at .800. The month was so good it pushed him into the NL MVP race. Doubt he'll win it but he did get player of the month honors. Only one word to describe that month:
The pennant races were equally crazy in the NL, aside from Cincinnati which clinched on the 28th. In the East Philly, which began September 3 games back of the Braves, went on to go 21-6 in the month, clinching the East on 27th and winning the division by 6 games.
The battle in the West was like the final scenes of great western movie. The Padres entered their final 3 games against the Giants with a chance to either win the wild card or the division as they were. After the first 2 games the Padres were down one game to the Giants for the NL West and tied with the Braves for the Wild card. The final day of the season had 3 teams fighting for 2 playoff spots, but the Padres had their bubble burst as they lost to the Giants and the Braves won vs the Phils, sending the Braves into the playoffs and the Pads packing.