Well, no Game 3s tomorrow. How sweep it is, indeed.
AL Wild Card Game 2: Texas Rangers 7, Tampa Bay Rays 1
The Texas Rangers offense exploded behind Nathan Eovaldi, sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays out of the Wild Card after their 98-win season. Zach Eflin didn’t have his best stuff today, walking two and giving up four runs in the fourth, sending everything downhill for Tampa, which was only able to scrape one across the plate on eight total hits. Going 1-for-5 with RISP and leaving six on base sure didn’t help.
Adolis García launched a 416-foot solo bomb to kick thing things off in the fourth, and the hot bats of Josh Jung and Evan Carter kept things rolling. The mega payroll for the Texas superstars still seems to be paying off, with Marcus Semien and Corey Seager providing the additional run support to head to their first ALDS since 2016.
The fourth inning really was a game-changer, as Evan Carter’s homer increased the Rangers’ win probability by 14%.
The Rays might struggled today, but this play by Yandy Diáz was crisp.
Tampa finally scored a run in the seventh to avoid a second straight shutout.
AL Wild Card Game 2: Minnesota Twins 2, Toronto Blue Jays 0
As much as it pains me to write as a White Sox fan, it is true: The Minnesota Twins have won a playoff series, officially sweeping the Blue Jays as an underdog, 2-0. Sonny Gray was lights-out through five scoreless, giving up five hits, two walks, and striking out two. Gray connected with Carlos Correa in the fourth, picking off Vlad Guerrero Jr. to end the inning, who was caught sleeping at second base with the bases loaded. What an absolutely brutal way to end the inning for the Jays — especially with your best hitter up (Bo Bichette).
José Berríos was having a great start as well, but Toronto manager John Schneider, made the decision to pull him after a walk in the bottom of the fourth, at just 47 pitches. Is that the exact reason they lost? No — (It was probably because of the pick-off) — but it feels like Schneider was overmanaging there.
Correa has been clutch this series, and his RBI single increased Minnesota’s chances of winning by 8.2%:
Wake up, Vlad!!
Caleb Thielbar induced a much-needed double play to bail the Twins out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.
NL Wild Card Game 2: Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Milwaukee Brewers 2
Freddy Peralta started strong for the Brew Crew, only surrendering one run on one hit — an Alek Thomas solo homer — through five innings, but got snake-bit in the top of the sixth when he couldn’t get an out. Abner Uribe came in from the pen throwing 100+ mph gas to try and limit the damage, but he only fueled Arizona’s fire. That big four-run inning was all the Serpents needed to take the W and sweep the Brewers right out of the Wild Card.
Milwaukee’s offense wasted no time manufacturing some runs and put two tallies on the board in the bottom of the first off Zac Gallen. However, after the rocky start the righty got into his groove and settled in, giving up no more runs over the next five innings. The Brewers tried to rally in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out, but to no avail as Arizona’s bullpen shut the door. Paul Sewald came on for the ninth, got the save, and secured the victory.
Thomas got the Snakes on the board in the top of the fifth with a four-bagger to right field.
With runners on second and third and one out in the top of the sixth, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. blooped a single to bring home Christian Walker, scoring Arizona's fourth run of the inning.
Sewald hit Josh Donaldson to start the ninth and gave up a double to Christian Yelich with two outs, but he struck out William Contreras on three consecutive pitches to close the game.
NL Wild Card Game 2: Philadelphia Phillies 7, Miami Marlins 1
The crowd in Philly was electric from the get-go in what would prove to be an upstream swim for the Marlins. The Fish ultimately couldn’t stay afloat, and honestly, Miami looked entirely overmatched in the series. Aaron Nola was masterful, as his three-pitch mix confuddled the Marlins as he blanked them for seven innings, giving up only three hits and one walk and striking out three on 88 pitches.
The Phillies scored a pair in the bottom of the third and added another run on a J.T. Realmuto solo jack in the bottom of the fourth. They tacked on four insurance runs when Bryson Stott hit a grand salami in the bottom of the sixth. Seven runs would be more than enough to send Miami sailing back to Florida. Congratulations, Philadelphia! Start packing your bags; you’re heading to Atlanta for the NLDS.
Aaron Nola’s knuckle-curve was superb. The Marlins just couldn’t get a read at the plate.
Realmuto absolutely crushed it. Never a doubt about it.
Stott’s shot to right field. Grand slams are always cool. This Phillies team is something.