MLB WildCard Round is complete

First year of the MLB Wild-Card round is in the books


Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Padres celebrating

The 2022 MLB playoffs are underway, and for the first time, 12 teams are given a chance to win a World Series title.  This was a product of the new collective bargaining agreement which added a new “Wild Card Series.” This series will be the best of three games.

When the Wild Card series ends, the playoffs will resume their normal path. There will be a five-game Division Series, followed by a seven-game Championship Series and World Series.

The first series was between the Cleveland Guardians and the Tampa Bay Rays. Game one was dominated by former Cy Young Winner, Shane Bieber. Bieber cruised through 7.2 innings and struck out nine, with the only flaw being a sixth-inning home run. Guardian third baseman, Jose Ramirez, supplied the offense with a two-run bomb in the sixth.

The Guardians finished the series in game two, with a walk-off solo shot from Oscar Gonzalez in the 15th. The Guardians will take on the New York Yankees.

The Seattle Mariners broke their 21-year playoff drought and squared off against the Toronto Blue Jays. Mariner’s starter Luis Castillo spun a gem, going 7.1 innings without giving up a run. Cal Raleigh and Eugenio Suarez supplied the offense as they both had a pair of RBIs, allowing the Mariners to take game one.

Game two was a roller coaster of a game. The Blue Jays jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fifth inning and it seemed like there was going to be a game three. The Mariners stormed back with four runs in the sixth and the eighth. Then in the ninth, Adam Frazier doubled down the right field line to put the Mariners up 10-9, which was the deciding run. The Mariners completed the sweep and will head to Houston with a matchup against the Astros.

Moving onto the NL, the Phillies were able to end their 10-year playoff drought and had to face the St. Loius Cardinals. In game one, the Cardinals were cruising with a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth. However, the Cards suffered one of the biggest post-season meltdowns in recent history. Closer Ryan Helsley gave up a one-out single, then proceeded to walk the three next batters he faced. Andre Pallante replaced Helsley, and that was when the wheels fell off. The Phillies would rally for six runs in the ninth and steal game one from the Cardinals.

In game two, Aaron Nola kept the Cardinals off-balance and pitched 6.2 scoreless innings. Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber supplied the offense with one RBI a piece. The Cardinals attempted to mount their own ninth-inning rally, but Tommy Edman flew out with two on in the ninth. The Phillies will continue their run against the defending champ Atlanta Braves.

The final series was between two of the most electric teams in baseball, the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres. This series was the only series to go the third game. Game one was headlined by two of the best pitchers in the game, Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer. San Diego was able to tag Scherzer early with a Josh Bell two-run home run in the first and a Trent Grisham solo homer in the second. The Padres were able to tack on four more runs in the fifth thanks to a Jurickson Profar three-run homer and a Manny Machado solo homer. The padres rolled past the Mets 7-1.

Game two was dominated by the game’s best, Jacob Degrom. Degrom pitched a solid six innings while only giving up two. The Mets were given offensive contributions from top to bottom in their lineup highlighted by homers from Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor.

The Mets were able to force a game three, with a final score of 7-3. Game three was all Padres. Joe Musgrove was lights out as he pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. The Padres were able to limit Mets starter Chris Bassitt to just four innings, who tagged for the three runs. Those runs to proved to be enough as the Padres blanked the Mets 6-0 to move on. San Diego will take on their division rival, Los Angeles Dodgers.