MLB News & Moments You Should Know – Oct. 4

Phillies back in postseason after 11 years; Braves wait another day.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

And the 2022 MLB playoff field is set. The final team earned their postseason ticket, completing the 12-team field, the largest in full-season MLB history (16 teams made it in the pandemic-shortened 2020). There are still a few things to settle with two days left, playoff positioning and personal accomplishments, but these 12 teams will now start getting ready for the playoffs, which begin Friday.


Today’s Headlines


Phillies Phinish Off Postseason Drought

The Philadelphia Phillies set aside a history of flopping in the clutch and are back in the postseason for the first time since 2011. After the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for three runs in the ninth and then two more in the 10th for a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phillies minutes later finished off a 3-0 victory over the AL West champion Houston Astros to earn the third National League wild-card berth. Kyle Schwarber got things going against the Astros with a first-pitch leadoff homer, his NL-leading 45th, and Zach Eflin nailed it down with his first career save in his first save opportunity. In between, ace Aaron Nola had a perfect game for 6⅔ innings. The season has definitely been a roller coast for the Phillies, who fired Joe Girardi on June 3 after a 22-29 start. Bench coach Rob Thomson took over for Girardi and steading the ship, even with star Bryce Harper missing two months with a broken thumb. For three days, the Phillies’ 11-year drought was the longest in MLB after the Seattle Mariners clinched an American League wild-card berth by ending a 20-year absence Friday. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels, who last made it in 2014, now are tied for the longest playoff drought.


Playoff Seeding Almost Set

There was no movement in the NL East as the first-place Atlanta Braves, with a magic number of one, lost to the Miami Marlins 4-0 and the second-place New York Mets were washed out vs. the Washington Nationals and will play a doubleheader Tuesday. Despite this, the remaining seeding for the playoffs came closer to settling in.

In the AL, the West champion Houston Astros sit at No. 1 with home-field advantage in the AL Division Series and (if they advance) the AL Championship Series, while the East-winning New York Yankees are the No. 2 seed. Both teams get byes, with the Central champ Cleveland Guardians the No. 3 seed and facing the No. 6 seed in the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which runs Friday through Sunday at the higher-seeded team’s stadium.

The Toronto Blue Jays officially locked themselves into the AL’s top wild-card spot and No. 4 AL seed with a 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. That means the Jays will host the No. 5 team in the Wild Card Series. The No. 5 team is currently the Mariners, who play a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Seattle has a magic number of two for the No. 5 spot over the Tampa Bay Rays, who hold the tiebreaker over the M’s.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the NL West, have the best record in MLB and will have home-field advantage through the World Series, if they advance.

The NL’s No. 2 seed would seem to be the defending World Series champion Braves, with the Central champion St. Louis Cardinals at No. 3. The Dodgers and Braves get byes into the Division Series. The NL East runner-up, likely the Mets, will be the No. 4 seed. As in the AL, which wild-card team is No. 5 and No. 6 is still up in the air, with the San Diego Padres currently up one game on the Phillies, who have the tiebreaker.

(Seeding through Monday’s games.)

Citing a second health issue, Tony La Russa said he will not return to manage the Chicago White Sox next season. La Russa, who turns 78 Tuesday, requested privacy regarding the second health issue that he said was diagnosed during a private exam at the beginning of the year. In February, he had a pacemaker installed. The White Sox were considered the favorite in the American League Central entering the season after winning it in 2021 for the first time in 13 seasons, but after a 3-2 win over Minnesota are 80-80, 10 games behind the division champion Cleveland Guardians. While stepping down due to his health, La Russa said those issues did not affect his performance in the dugout. La Russa, already in the Baseball Hall of Fame, has won three World Series as a manager and the second-most wins in MLB history at 2,898. Under doctors’ orders, he has not managed the team since his last game Aug. 28, with bench coach Miguel Cairo taking over.


Judge Stuck At 61

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge went 1-for-4 with an infield single in the sixth inning during a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers. Judge, with 61 homers this year, is trying to break a tie with Roger Maris (1961 Yankees) for the single-season AL home run record. The Yankees and Rangers play a doubleheader Tuesday. Judge is also trying to win the Triple Crown as the league leader in homers, RBIs and batting average. With the first two categories well in hand, Judge’s average fell .0004 of a point but remained rounded at .311, while Luis Arraez of the Minnesota Twins leads at .315. Arraez sat out Monday with a hamstring injury.


Best Moments From Yesterday


HR No. 703, RBI No. 2,216

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is finishing his career with a bang. He has homered on back-to-back days, hitting his 703rd homer. The two-run shot also moved Pujols two ahead of Babe Ruth for most career RBIs with 2,216. Hank Aaron, who hit 755 home runs, leads with 2,297 RBIs.


Daddy’s Girl

If you needed a little cuteness in your Monday, here is the daughter of Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, 3-year-old Kynlee Ivory, cheering for dad on his bobblehead day.


Brotherly Showdown?

While neither participated in Monday’s game, there is a chance of another brother vs. brother confrontation in the Phillies-Astros series. The Astros have reliever Phil Maton, while the Phillies have infielder Nick Maton. The two brothers haven’t faced each other since they were teens and now could do so over the next two days in MLB.


Injuries and Other Moves


Julio Rodríguez (strained lower back) was activated from the 10-day IL by the Seattle Mariners. He batted leadoff and was the designated hitter.

San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria broke his right thumb in Sunday’s game and won’t play in the final three games.

Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas will have surgery Wednesday on his right wrist to repair a torn triangular fibrocartilage complex. Rojas, who was in the lineup Monday vs. the Braves and likely will be Tuesday, has been playing in pain since July 21.

Right-handed reliever Giovanny Gallegos signed a two-year extension with the St. Louis Cardinals, buying out his last two years of arbitration.


Articles You Should Read


What my son with Down syndrome taught about baseball and life Rick Wilber, novelist

Dodgers’ Roberts says fans just need to enjoy team’s ride — Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times

Yankees’ Trevino has emerged thanks to father’s motivation — Chris Kirschner, The Athletic

Pitchers to watch in the Arizona Fall League — Geoff Pontes, Baseball America


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter and Threads @DrummerWrites.

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