SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a perfect playoff world, Stephen Strasburg might be on the mound in the nation's capital, Mariano Rivera closing it out in the Bronx and Melky Cabrera delivering a timely hit by the bay.
Bartolo Colon would be starting for Oakland, Ryan Madson pitching the ninth in Cincinnati.
Call this the depleted postseason. American League, National League, the division winners and the wild cards, almost every club headed to the playoffs has dealt with a devastating loss of some sort.
Workload, injuries and performance-enhancing drugs — there are all kinds of reasons teams are playing several men down.
Many are left saying ouch in October as the new-look playoffs begin.
The Bay Area took the biggest hit — with a long list of absent players on the Giants and Athletics.