Playoff Recap, Late Games From 9/30

The Rays and Yankees are set to face-off in the ALDS we wanted to see.

After the Astros became the first team to punch their ticket to the Divisional Round of the Postseason, two more American League clubs claimed their seats in the late slate of games. Let’s get into it…


Rays 8, Blue Jays 2


Here’s the good news for the Blue Jays: Danny Jansen went deep twice, and Nate Pearson did this:

Unfortunately, the Rays had this game in hand by the third inning, and the Toronto/Buffalo Blue Jays will now head home for the winter. Superstar-in-waiting Bo Bichette committed an error to load the bases and extend the third inning with the Jays already trailing 3-0. Hunter Renfroe kindly ended Hyun Jun Ryu’s day with a grand slam into the left field corner. Ryu and Bichette are two of the engines that powered this team to ahead-of-schedule contention in 2020, but on Wednesday, they brought the Buffalo instead of the Toronto. Regardless, the Jays should feel good about this season and their outlook moving forward. (They should feel badly about having to beat this Rays team again next year.)

For the Rays, it’s time to take on another divisional foe. They’ll face the Yankees in a “traditional” 5-game ALDS in the bubble. They don’t start until Tuesday, so the Rays have more than enough time to set up their rotation the way they want. They essentially did no wrong in this two-game warm-up, but the next round will be a different animal. The Rays and Yankees should be the most anticipated Divisional Round series in the bracket.


Cardinals 7, Padres 4


Harrison Bader struck out five times in this game, but his smile was rueful, not anguished, in the dugout following his final K. His carefree demeanor may be powered by his Samson-esque locks, but it could just as easily have been a result of the score. The Cardinals led 7-4 at that point in the ninth inning, and they hadn’t had a moment of true panic. The Red Birds led nearly end-to-end in this one, jumping ahead on the third batter of the game Paul Goldschmidt lofted a two-run bomb into the left field seats. Bader has the hair, but Goldy has the bat.

For the Padres, they certainly hoped to make it more than a few batters before feeling the effects of Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet missing the series due to injury. Chris Paddack will put this start behind him, but it was a tough one. The Cards led 4-0 by the end of the first inning, and for a time it didn’t seem like Paddack would last even that long. After getting Kolton Wong to pop out to start the game, Paddack coughed up 5 consecutive hits, including Goldy’s long fly and a pair of doubles. Paddack surely felt the way Tatis looked heading into the 9th:

This down-and-out countenance of despair came well-deserved after Alex Reyes retired Tatis to end the bottom of the eighth with a chance to tie it. It wasn’t a great night for the Padres’ phenom, who left 5 men on base, though he did score a couple of runs.

Reyes, meanwhile, locked down the 4-out save for the Cardinals, striking genuine fear into the hearts of, I don’t know, everyone outside of St. Louis that the second coming of Adam Wainwright is happening before our eyes. That’s quite the leap, I know, but Reyes has been on the radar for a long time as a potential ace for the Cardinals, so to see him closing games in the postseason gave me flashbacks to Wainwright in ’06.

Speaking of, Wainwright will take the hill tomorrow night will the chance to push the Cardinals into the NLDS. The Padres have been the “it” team of the National League this season, but they’ll have to prove on Thursday whether or not they have “it.” Zach Davies, who has been one of the Padres best hurlers all season long, will take the hill for the Friars.


Dodgers 4, Brewers 2


The Dodgers have won eight consecutive NL West titles. They have the best player in baseball not named Mike Trout. Their pitching staff is littered with all-timers and some of the game’s most promising up-and-comers. They are – in a word – rich.

The Brewers didn’t spend a single day above .500 this season. Two of their best pitchers (Corbin Burnes, Devin Williams) are out for the series. Their ace Brandon Woodruff wasn’t ready for game one, and his stand-in, Brent Suter, started the game by surrendering a double to Mookie Betts and walking 4 batters.

All of which to say: the Dodgers expected to win this one handily.

And they did! Though the Brewers hung around longer than expected. Postseason superstar Orlando Arcia hit a two-run home run off Walker Buehler, who exited after just four innings, and the Brewers maintained a one-run deficit deep into the game. Milwaukee’s pitching staff did a nice job of keeping the vaunted Dodgers’ lineup from trampling their hopes and dreams outright, but it wouldn’t be enough. Still, credit to a ragtag collection of arms that traipsed out of Milwaukee’s pen, because the firm of Yardley, Topa, Peralta, and Rasmussen litigated the middle-to-late innings with aplomb.

The Dodgers survived a mediocre effort from Buehler with three spotless innings of relief from Julio Urías. The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw in game 2 to try and seal their spot in the NLDS. The Brewers aren’t done, however, as Woodruff will take the rock for Milwaukee, and he’s one of the more underrated frontline starters in the game. Go back to last year’s Wild Card game, and though the Brewers eventually lost, Woodruff was nails.


Yankees 10, Indians 9


Entering this ballgame, the Indians had lost 9 consecutive elimination games in the postseason. They were facing elimination. Two weird rain delays later and the Indians jumped out to a 4-0 lead. It didn’t last, however, as Gio Urshela hit a grand slam off Carlos Carrasco, knocking him out of the game and starting a back-and-forth that would see-saw all the way to the ninth inning.

Curious move from Indians manager Sandy Alomar Jr. in the 7th inning: Zack Britton walked back-to-back hitters with two outs, bringing Josh Naylor to the plate. Naylor already had 5 hits in the series, but instead of letting the red-hot Naylor face Britton with his wavering command, Alomar went to lefty-killer Jordan Luplow. Aaron Boone then countered – as any of us would have – with a right-hander of his own. Of course, after everyone and their mother second-guessed Alomar for the move (because, duh), this happened:

The Indians took a lead into the ninth inning. Brad Hand had been a perfect 16-for-16 in save opportunities during the season. All good, right? Riiiiiight: Cleveland’s postseason woes continued as the Yankees battled to score two and take the lead. They didn’t hit the ball hard, but they made contact and that was enough to Urshela and AL batting champion D.J. LeMahieu to push the Yankees into the lead.

Aroldis Chapman was on in the ninth, and the Indians lost their 10th consecutive postseason game when facing elimination. All I can say is, I’m hopping on the bandwagon now for a Twins versus Indians playoff series in 2021. I don’t know how to make it happen, I just know it has to happen.

TC Zencka

TC Zencka contributes regularly to Pitcher List, and MLB Trade Rumors. Come say hi on Twitter.

One response to “Playoff Recap, Late Games From 9/30”

  1. theKraken says:

    Thanks for the write-ups.

    I am happy to see TOR out as they don’t belong here. All we have left is CIN and FLA and then we will have a real playoff field-ish. Sure, I get that the Astro and Brewers are fringe teams, but they at least have legit rosters and try to compete annually. What would the playoffs be without the Astros?

    STL was so shaky in that game. Its hard to see them winning one of two going forward. I can’t believe that they got away with using Reyes in such a big spot. That guy has no command whatsoever and is a liability. Granted they had already used up their reliable arms. It is amazing how STL comes together for the playoffs on such a regular basis. I imagine it is somewhat related to the veteran-laden lineups with guys that are smart players.. but probably just as much luck. That game reminded me of the game last year versus the Braves where they just jumped on them early. Nice job not jumping on the base-running for SD as there was a lot of talk about it, but I don’t think it really added up to anything. Personally, I want SD out ASAP as the pundits are just so annoying regarding them. I like the team fine enough but I might keel over if I have to listen to an off-season of talk about the Padres.. which is why I am pulling for Houston!

    WB was good, not mediocre. Plenty good enough to win that game. 5 base runners in 4 innings is not bad, especially when you consider that he ended on a sour note. He was also striking out a lot of guys, he just gave up a HR which doesn’t amount to much more than a bit of bad luck. He was no worse than Urias at controllable events, yet the RP who was asked to do less gets more credit. If WB were lifted after 3, then he would have had a better line than Urias, but in the end someone has to actually pitch some innings. Urias also had the luxury of facing the 9 spot for his first hitter and then a lefty – he just had an easier job. Shame on the Dodgers for not letting their best players play. Nobody is better at managing their way out of a series that the Dodgers. The score was close enough but I thought it felt like a Dodgers win from early on. I hate to see teams not trust their players. In the end, nothing much to complain about other than the Dodgers not trusting a guy that they need to be great for a long time. So far, they have not gotten much out of WB relative to what he brings to that organization. Managing SP has always been a liability for LAD.

    Aroldis was not on for the ninth. He also pitched the eighth. He really was the only guy putting up zeroes for either team and he was nails in that game. It was actually quite the heroic effort and it seems to be going unrecognized. That was a sweet game though. How silly of a series did Naylor have? You couldn’t make that up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login