MLB Postseason Recap, Day 1: Phillies roar back, Padres rough up Max Scherzer as Wild Card Series get underway

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPi/Shutterstock (13447418h) Philadelphia Phillies Edmundo Sosa looks up at home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn as he is safe at home plate in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Friday, October 7, 2022. Sosa scored from third base on a fielders choice off the bat of Bryson Stott. Philadelphia won the game, 6-3. MLB Wild Card, St. Louis, Missouri, United States – 07 Oct 2022

MLB Postseason Recap, Day 1: Phillies roar back, Padres rough up Max Scherzer as Wild Card Series get underway

American League Wild Card Series, Game 1: Guardians 2 , Rays 1

The 2022 MLB Postseason officially got underway Sunday from chilly Cleveland, where the small market Guardians hosted the Tampa Bay Rays to begin a best of three Wild Card series. Starting pitchers Shane McClanahan and Shane Bieber controlled the early portion of the game, which remained scoreless through the end of the fifth inning. Rays’ center fielder Jose Siri would break the seal with a solo home run in the top of the 6th, but Jose Ramirez would respond with a two-run shot of his own to give Cleveland a 2-1 advantage. Shane Bieber would pitch masterfully into the eighth inning, exiting to a standing ovation with two outs after allowing just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts. Guardians manager Terry Francona would turn directly to All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase, seeking his first four-out save since September of 2019. Clase would retire all four hitters he saw using just 11 pitches, sealing the victory and moving the Guardians within 1 win of an ALDS battle with the New York Yankees. The game ended in just 2 hours and 17 minutes, the shortest Postseason game in more than 20 years.  

Game 2: Saturday, 11:07am CT

National League Wild Card Series, Game 1: Phillies 6, Cardinals 3

The crowd at Busch Stadium was buzzing Friday afternoon as the St. Louis Cardinals welcomed the Philadelphia Phillies to officially begin the National League’s Postseason. Starters Zack Wheeler and Jose Quintana traded zeroes most of the afternoon, as the Phillies and Cardinals combined for only three hits through the first five frames. Quintana would exit with one out in the sixth, giving way to Jordan Hicks who finished the inning unscathed. St. Louis would finally string together two baserunners in the sixth, setting up an RBI opportunity for Albert Pujols with nobody out that brought the crowd to its feet. Zack Wheeler would quickly shut the threat down though, completing his sixth scoreless inning after inducing an Albert Pujols double play grounder and retiring Paul Goldschmidt behind him. Zack Wheeler would finally depart with one out in the seventh, giving way to lefty Jose Alvarado after allowing only three baserunners. St. Louis would pounce on the southpaw, taking the lead and breaking the scoreless tie with a pinch hit, two-run homer by rookie Juan Yepez. 

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol went to All-Star closer Ryan Helsley in the eighth, seeking a 5-out save from the hard-throwing righty. Helsley retired three Phillies hitters with relative ease, but began to struggle with fastball command against the heart of the order. His pitch count would soar past 30 with one out in the ninth, allowing a single and two walks with Alec Bohm and Jean Segura coming up. Helsley would lose control of yet another fastball and hit Bohm, forcing in Philadelphia’s first run of the game to cut St. Louis’ lead in half. Oli Marmol finally pulled Helsley after 33 pitches, turning to young Andre Pallante with the bases still loaded and one out. After working a 2-2 count, Jean Segura would punch a single through the right side of the infield to score two and give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead. Bryson Stott’s hard ground ball to first would score pinch runner Edmundo Sosa from first immediately thereafter, opening the floodgates on a half inning that would end with the Phillies ahead 6-2. Zach Eflin would eventually close out the bottom of the ninth despite allowing a run, and suddenly Philadelphia finds themselves a win away from the NLDS with Aaron Nola on the bump tomorrow. 

Game 2: Saturday, 7:37pm CT

American League Wild Card Series, Game 1: Mariners 4, Blue Jays 0

The Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays began their Wild Card series under a closed roof at Rogers Centre in Toronto Friday afternoon, the first Postseason game north of the border since 2016. Making their first Postseason appearance since 2001, Seattle wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. After an Alek Manoah two-seamer ran in and hit speedster Julio Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez drove him home on an RBI double into the right field corner to put Seattle ahead 1-0 in the top of the first. Cal Raleigh would follow with a two-run homer, putting the M’s ahead 3-0 before Alek Manoah even recorded two outs. Manoah would settle in, but eventually exited in the sixth inning trailing 4-0 after Suarez added another RBI with a fielder’s choice. 

When the Seattle Mariners acquired starting pitcher Luis Castillo at the trade deadline, they gave up a ton of prospect capital because they envisioned him starting critical Postseason games like this one. Castillo more than delivered, stifling the Blue Jays with electric stuff for 7 ⅓ scoreless innings on 108 pitches before giving way to flamethrowing reliever Andres Munoz. Munoz preserved the shutout win while recording a quiet five outs, moving Seattle within a game of an NLDS date with Houston. 

Game 2: Saturday, 3:07pm CT

National League Wild Card Series, Game 1: Padres 7, Mets 1

After sitting atop the National League East division for 175 days this summer, the New York Mets coughed up their lead in the final week. Their punishment for doing so comes in the form of needing to advance past a Wild Card series, starting with Friday night’s Game 1 at home against Yu Darvish and the San Diego Padres. New York countered with Max Scherzer, hoping to pick up a win in Game 1 and potentially save ace Jacob deGrom for an NLDS Game 1 against the Dodgers. San Diego had other plans, jumping ahead 2-0 in the first inning on a towering Josh Bell home run and extending their lead to 3-0 when Trent Grisham hit a solo shot in the second. New York had plenty of traffic on the bases in the early innings against Darvish, who seemed positively disinterested in keeping runners from stealing bases. New York got runners to third in each of the first two innings after three stolen bases, but couldn’t push anything across to show for it.

The Padres’ onslaught of power would continue in the fifth, pushing four more runs across on home runs by Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado to extend their lead to 7-0. Max Scherzer would exit the game to a shower of boos from Mets fans moments later, having allowed four home runs in a Postseason game for the first time. Eduardo Escobar got New York onto the scoreboard with a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, but they were otherwise held scoreless by Yu Darvish through seven strong innings. The Mets’ offense only managed five hits all night, ultimately going down quietly in the late innings in front of the few fans who didn’t head for the exits early. New York manager Buck Showalter will be forced to turn to Jacob deGrom with their season on the line tomorrow, while red hot Blake Snell aims to pitch the Padres into the NLDS.

Game 2: Saturday, 6:37pm CT

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