You can’t call baseball boring, but you can certainly call it unexpected. This past weekend we say eight teams battle it out in the newest form of the postseason, as four Wild Card best-of-three series took place.
The Rays and Guardians played for about forty-five years, only to see a rookie make the 15th inning walk-off win a sentence that actually happened. And the Phillies, who I don’t think many thought would get this far just a few months ago, bested the Cards and sent some veteran players into retirement a few weeks early. The Mariners bested the Jays after a late-innings comeback, and their underdog quest for glory continues. And the Padres took care of the 101-win Mets, but not until after this happened during the game:
I think there’s a lot to like about this new postseason formula. More teams get a shot, we get more games, and the one-game Wild Card was always insanely stressful, where this feels like a fair balance to determine who the best team really is (one run in 24 innings, Tampa Bay? Come on). That said, the 2014 Wild Card game between the Royals and A’s remains possibly one of the single greatest games of baseball I’ve ever seen, so maybe I’m a one-game Wild Card apologist sometimes.
Most of today’s stories will be postseason-related, but there’s always some non-playoff content to share as well.
- Michael Baumann looks at the mistakes that sent the Cardinals home.
- The Rays and Guardians made history with the longest scoreless inning streak in the postseason, writes Mike McDaniel.
- Ken Rosenthal thinks things are only going to get harder for the Mets this offseason as they wrestle with some big decisions. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Justin Choi looks at the late-inning rally that sent the Mariners to the ALDS.
- The Mariners danced it out on the Jays’ turf after their big win, shared Mike McDaniel.
- Sean Fitz-Gerald looks at how the Blue Jays’ loss puts them in unfortunate company in the Toronto Sports world right now. (The Athletic subscription requried.)
- Bradford Doolittle has three questions for the Cardinals, Jays, and Rays after their Wild Card sweeps.
- Katie Woo looks at the “fairy tale” season for Molina and Pujols that ended a lot sooner than they had hoped. (The Athletic subscription required)
And here’s the non-postseason stuff.
- This might be the coolest thing to pop up in my Twitter feed this week.
Simply great...I had not seen this 1992 documentary before: Larry Hogan's "Before You Can Say Jackie Robinson." Veterans of the Negro Leagues (Leon Day, Monte Irvin, Max Manning, Ray Dandridge, and more) tell their stories; commentary by Amiri Baraka, too. https://t.co/GVRoLNfgE3— John Thorn (@thorn_john) October 9, 2022
- Brian Cashman addresses Aaron Judge’s pending free agency. Story by Mike McDaniel.
- Think Mookie Betts is home worrying about the NLDS? Nope, he was bowling a perfect game for his birthday, shares Bryan Horowitz.
- Under normal circumstances I would just post a link to the story, but this pun was simply too good to not share.
- Bryan Hoch gives some additional context for Lindsey’s great tweet (if you don’t have an Athletic subscription) that Chapman was a no-show for a workout and will not be on the ALDS roster.
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.