It was an exciting first day of postseason baseball, with four tight games and a couple of “upsets” from visiting teams. Who, if anyone, will wrap things up tomorrow and end their Wild Card Series?
AL Wild Card Game 1: Texas Rangers 4, Tampa Bay Rays 0
The Tampa Bay Rays faced the Texas Rangers to open up the 2023 MLB Postseason, and fell flat in front of their (underwhelming) home crowd in a 4-0 shutout. The Rays defense rode the struggle bus the whole game, making four sloppy errors behind Tyler Glasnow — who ultimately gave up four runs (three earned).
Going just 1-for-6 with RISP did nothing to help their case, either, as Jordan Montgomery was dealing for the Rangers through seven solid shutout innings, striking out five Tampa batters.
Evan Carter runs down a hard-hit line drive in the first.
Pitchers are athletes, too! Montgomery lays out for a pop bunt to save a run in the second inning.
Corey Seager’s single in the sixth was too hot to handle for José Siri, allowing two insurance runs to score. Those would be the final runs of the game, and increased Texas’ win probability by 10.2%.
AL Wild Card Game 1: Minnesota Twins 3, Toronto Blue Jays 1
The Toronto Blue Jays were searching for their first playoff series win since 2016, taking on the AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins — who have been attempting to at least win a postseason game for this first time in 18 years, not having done so since 2004. They finally did it today, yes, they actually won a playoff game, defeating the Blue Jays, 3-1.
Royce Lewis had Kevin Gausman’s number today, driving in all three Minnesota runs on a homers in both the first and third innings, giving Pablo López and the Twins bullpen a nice three-run cushion.
Lewis blasted a two-run, 397-foot bomb in the bottom of the first to put the Twins up, 2-0, and increasing their chances of winning by 16.9% — nice!
Unlike the early game, the defense was on point tonight for both teams — especially Michael A. Taylor, who made another clutch, leaping catch just a few innings after this play!
Pour one out for the only run the Blue Jays would score Tuesday (thank you, Kevin Kiermaier).
NL Wild Card Game 1: Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Milwaukee Brewers 3
The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 6-3, in their first postseason game since 2017. Corbin Carroll put on a show alongside Christian Walker, who combined to go 5-for-7 with four RBIs, three walks, and a stolen base. And let’s not forget the flashes of vintage Evan Longoria, who locked it down on defense tonight.
Tyrone Taylor blasted a two-run shot for the Brewers to extend an early lead to three, but Carroll and Ketel Marte struck back in the third, taking Corbin Burnes deep in back-to-back at-bats to tie the game, 3-3! The Arizona bullpen was lights-out for the rest of the game, not giving up a run after the third.
The last sign of life from the Milwaukee offense.
Evidence of the Corbin on Corbin crime. Carroll’s 444-foot bomb increased Arizona’s chances of winning by 15.2%.
Evan Longoria’s clutch defense gets an extra shout-out. Party like it’s 2008!
NL Wild Card Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies 4, Miami Marlins 1
It was an action-packed game with plenty of hits from both sides, but the Philadelphia Phillies took the lead early in the game and never let up, defeating the Miami Marlins, 4-1. Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and Cristian Pache bolstered the offense to back up a strong outing from Zack Wheeler, who only gave up five hits and struck out eight Marlins batters.
Josh Bell and Bryan De La Cruz made up the majority of the offense from the Marlins, and outside of the one De La Cruz RBI, they didn’t have much to show for it. The Philadelphia bullpen was efficient through the last two, with Craig Kimbrel earning the save.
Alec Bohm’s double in the third was exactly what the Phillies needed to break the ice, increasing their win probability by 11.5%.
The Marlins sole RBI from De La Cruz to block the shutout. Sadly, no Burger bombs tonight.
Jazz Chisolm made a perfect throw from center to stop Nick Castellanos from scoring while trailing by one in the fourth: 13/10, no notes.
Bonus content: A rare intentional balk sighting.
Craig Kimbrel, Intentional Balk. pic.twitter.com/o3P6viHC3Z— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 4, 2023