MLB Wild Card Recap
October baseball is here, and one team has to start planning its parade.
Four teams got closer over the weekend. Who’s moving on?
Cleveland Guardians over Tampa Bay Rays (G1: CLE 2, TB 1; G2: CLE 1, TB 0)
In the walk-off home run to end all walk-offs, the Cleveland Guardians are moving on.
José Ramirez was the driving force behind Cleveland’s series success with a home run on October 7 that helped the Guardians jump out to a 2-1 win.
Cleveland ace Shane Bieber was flawless, throwing 7.2 innings and allowing three hits and one run with eight strikeouts.
Shane McClanahan took the loss for the Rays but still pitched a great game. Unfortunately, there just was not enough run support to combat Bieber’s gem.
Game 2 was the game that just never ended. After fifteen scoreless innings, Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez sent a cutter 410 feet to send the Guardians off to the Bronx.
The Guardians will face the New York Yankees in the ALDS.
Seattle Mariners over Toronto Blue Jays (G1: SEA 4, TOR 0; G2: SEA 10, TOR 9)
31 years in the making, the Seattle Mariners have a chance to win it all.
Behind Luis Castillo, Seattle easily won Game 1 with the help of a Cal Raleigh home run and a 2 RBI-day from Eugenio Suárez.
Game 2, however, was a bit closer.
In the second-largest comeback in postseason history, the Mariners clinched a trip to the ALDS in a 10-9 victory.
Adam Frazier kicked off the party with a two-out go-ahead RBI double in the top of the ninth, and the Seattle offense took off from there. Notably, J.P. Crawford tied the game with a double, and Cal Raleigh drove in Suárez for the lead.
Unfortunately, Blue Jays outfielders George Springer and Bo Bichette collided in the outfield after Crawford’s hit, but Toronto has confirmed that Springer was “doing okay” after the game.
The Mariners will face the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
Philadelphia Phillies over St. Louis Cardinals (G1: PHI 6, STL 3; G2: PHI 2, STL 0)
It would’ve been Red October either way, but you better give Philadelphia some brooms.
In two games, the Fightin’s won their way to the NLDS, where they will face off against their fellow NL East competition, the Atlanta Braves.
On October 7, the Phillies made a six-run comeback in the top of the ninth to pull off a 6-3 win in a game that was an almost-certain 2-0 St. Louis win.
The Phillies, who had the longest playoff drought in the National League, celebrated behind a Bryce Harper home run in Game 2 and Alec Bohm’s fantastic series.
Additionally, Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola threw standout performances that backed up a spirited offense.
Unfortunately, the St. Louis loss marks the end of the careers of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, who have established themselves as baseball legends.
Pujols made headlines this season when he hit his 700th career home run, passing Alex Rodriguez as third all-time. Molina also established a record with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright as the most starts together as a pitcher/catcher battery.
The Phillies will take on fellow NL East foe the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
San Diego Padres over New York Mets (G1: SD 7, NYM 1; G2: NYM 7, SD 3; G3: SD 6, NYM 0)
The New York Mets continue to surprise everybody. Between losing a 10.5 game division lead and having 101 wins but not advancing past the Wild Card, they just keep setting records.
San Diego took advantage of the struggling New York starting pitching and lack of productive hitting and turned Citi Field into batting practice, hitting a combined five home runs off of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
New York’s silver lining was that they were able to push the Padres to a three-game series. Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor both hit home runs, and Eduardo Escobar, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo and Daniel Vogelbach all drove runs in.
The third game of the series was undoubtedly the most controversial. There is no excuse as to why the Mets could only produce one hit in a win-or-go-home game (the one hit was an Alonso single).
However, questions have to be raised when Padres’ starter Joe Musgrove’s ear is shinier than the Mets’ chances of winning the division in May.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Mets manager Buck Showalter walked out and asked the umpires to check Musgrove for any illegal substance he might be in possession of. Musgrove was checked, and, while he was clean, it’s important to note that his spin rates had gone up by 50%.
The Padres will face their California competition, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the NLDS.
Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in journalism. To contact her, please email email@example.com.
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