Home / Sports / MLB Playoff Results, Takeaways: Yankees, Astros, Rays Advance To ALDS; Dodgers start the postseason on their right foot

MLB Playoff Results, Takeaways: Yankees, Astros, Rays Advance To ALDS; Dodgers start the postseason on their right foot

The 2020 Major League Baseball postseason continued on Wednesday with a full schedule of eight games in the best-of-three wild card series. On the whole plan, three American League teams rose to the ALDS – including the Yankees in a wild game against Cleveland – and two street teams won in the National League.

Below are Wednesday’s results and key takeaways from the day.

Wild Card Series Results

Yankees survive Cleveland in Wild Game 2

Undoubtedly, the postseason game so far is Game 2 between the Yankees and Cleveland. The game included several changes in leadership, including one in the eighth inning and one in the ninth, and a total of 1

9 runs. At four hours and 50 minutes, it was the longest nine-inning game in baseball history, and that doesn’t include the 76-minute rain delay they had to wait.

The Yankees ultimately prevailed against Brad Hand in the ninth inning thanks to their comeback. A walk, a single, and an infield single weighed on the bases with no outs, then Gary Sanchez tied the game in the middle with a sack fly. DJ LeMahieu gave the Yankees the lead with a four-hopper in the middle. What the Yankees needed was definitely more well placed than well hit.

New York overcame a poor start from Masahiro Tanaka (six runs in four innings) and some lousy bullpen work to win Game Two. They drew 12 walks, most in a nine innings postseason game, and they also hit three home runs. This includes Gio Urshela’s Grand Slam in the fourth inning. Urshela began his career at Cleveland, of course.

The Yankees are now advancing to the Southern California bubble and the ALDS, where they will face off against rivals Rays from AL East. This series starts on Monday. Cleveland is going home for the winter with the drought in the championship of the franchise after 72 years.

It’s a rematch of the 2018 NLCS, though this one isn’t nearly as close to a matchup on paper. Mookie Betts doubled in each of the first two innings for the Dodgers, who scored three goals in those first two frames and never looked back in the 4-2 win over the Brewers. Julio Urias, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers bullpen joined in five goalless innings which scored seven hits to keep things blocked. Click here to see how the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead.

Cards hit Paddack hard in Game 1

In a perfect world, Padres Mike Clevinger or Dinelson Lamet would have started the first game of their wild card series against the Cardinals. In this decidedly imperfect world, the Padres had to start Chris Paddack after both Clevinger and Lamet developed arm problems.

If the Padres lose the series – and they have to win games 2 and 3 to avoid elimination after dropping the series opening game on Wednesday – they have no choice but to wonder what if Clevinger and Lamet had stayed healthy a little longer. Paddack’s start came off the wrong foot when he made four runs across the plate before the Padres had a chance to beat.

His problems wouldn’t end with the first inning, either. By the time he left after 2 1/3 innings, he had scored six runs with eight hits. Paddack only managed one strike on the way. The cardinals have the opportunity to advance to the NLDS on Thursday. You would play the winner of the Dodgers-Brewers series.

Astros knocks out twins

The No. 3 Seed Twins saw their postseason nightmares continue this week. With the 1: 3 defeat against the Astros in game 2, the twins extended their record MLB playoff losing streak to 18 games and were excluded from the postseason. The devastating series dates back to the 2004 ALDS and is the longest in North American sports history. Houston, the team with the worst regular season record (29-31) in the playoff field, knocked out Minnesota in two games at Target Field.

Aside from the fact that the Twins were simply a far better team than the Astros in the regular season, the Twins also had a 24-7 record (0.774) when they played at home. In addition, the Astros had been terrible during the regular season, setting a gruesome 9-23 (.281) record on the road. The Twins’ home record was the highest percentage win since the 1975 Reds, while the Astros away record is the worst road win percentage of any playoff team in the World Series era.

In Wednesday’s elimination game, frustrations for the twins accumulated as the twins’ offensive turned ice cold. Overall, the Twins line-up managed only seven hits and two runs in the two games of the Wild Card Series. Minnesota’s normally hot bats that calm down in the postseason is not a new story. The last time the Twins scored more than four runs in a playoff game was when they scored five runs in a loss to the Yankees on October 9, 2004.

Braves only need one

Freddie Freeman, the first Braves baseman, secured a 1-0 win with a walk-off single in the 13th inning of Atlanta’s series opening on Wednesday. Freeman’s strike was only the sixth of the day for a Braves team that reached base six times less than the Reds.

In Game 1, everyone will remember how dominant the pitching was for both teams. The Braves were controlled by left-handed Max Fried, who put out five over seven shutout frames. Atlanta then received over three perfect frames from reliefs Chris Martin, Will Smith, and Mark Melancon before handing things over to the rest of the Bullpen. Darren O’Day, Tyler Matzek, Shane Greene, and AJ Minter bent but did not break by putting on eight base runners and stranding them all over 2 2/3 shutout frames.

The reds arguably outperformed the braves. Trevor Bauer hit 12, allowing only two hits in 7 2/3 innings. Raisel Iglesias, Lucas Sims and Michael Lorenzen then knocked out nine batters together, giving up one hit and two walks over four innings. Archie Bradley and Amir Garrett, however, couldn’t keep up the good times without margin for error. Every starter from both teams struck at least once, resulting in a record of 37 punch-outs. As our Mike Axisa noted elsewhere, the Braves and Reds also set a record for the longest goalless playoff game. It was an afternoon like that.

Oakland is reversing the script?

Playoff success for the A’s since the days of the Bash Brothers has been hard to come by. From 2000 to 2013 there were six losses in game 5 in the ALDS. You won an ALDS, but were then swept into the ALCS. There have been three wild card games since that stretch and the A’s have lost all three. In the last two games with Game 1 in 2020, the A’s had no lead in any playoff game after losing the 2014 Wild Card Game to the Royals.

With their backs against the wall on Wednesday, the A’s delivered the goods early. Thanks to a mistake by Nick Madrigal, they got two in the first game despite having previously had three singles and it is always preferred to get the ball into play. Then, at the end of the second, Marcus Semien muscled for a two-run shot:

The left White Sox Dallas Keuchel was followed after only 3 1/3 innings.

However, the counterpart of the A was excellent. Chris Bassitt worked seven innings and only allowed one run with six hits. Oakland nearly took a three-run lead in the ninth run, but Jake Diekman got Jose Abreu to drop the base load to end the threat and the game.

Turning to Game 3, the A’s could have left Sean Manaea out there, but there is one caveat. The White Sox are 15-0 this season in left-handed games including Game 1 against Jesus Luzardo. Here’s how the Sox fought each side in the regular season:

RHP: .253 / .313 / .436
LHP: .285 / .364 / .523

With that in mind, maybe the choice will be the right one, Mike Fiers?

The White Sox options are Dane Dunning (2-0, 3.97), Dylan Cease (5-4, 4.01), and Reynaldo Lopez (1-3, 6.49).

Rays sweep Jays with ease

Three-game series in an 8-8 baseball matchup usually isn’t quite the bloodbath that fans of other sports expect. In the case of the Blue Jays who visited the Rays, it was all together. The Rays grabbed a run on the end of the first, a homer with two runs on the second, and then a mistake from Bo Bichette left the door open for Hunter Renfroe with loaded bases and two outs:

Just like that, it was 7-0 Rays and they never looked back. The series barely felt like it started before it was essentially over.

Renfroe’s shot was the first Rays Grand Slam in postseason history.

The Rays only had to use Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow as starting pitchers and will now have to wait until October 5th (Monday) before they have to play again. You’ll be traveling to Southern California, but otherwise it’s an easy handful of days to prepare for the ALDS where they’ll face either the Yankees or Cleveland.

The Marlins’ surprising 2020 year continued on Wednesday when Miami scored five goals in the seventh inning and scored a 5-1 win over the Cubs in Game 1. Miami had a strong performance from Sandy Alcantara, eventually reaching Cubs’ right Kyle Hendricks in seventh. You can read more about this game here.

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