He Said, She Said – AL Wild Card Edition

Scouts: After a very exciting day for NL fans, the AL fans finally get to kick off their Post-Season celebrations.

 

Athletics 2, Yankees 7

 

The Oakland Athletics have fairly quietly been one of if not the best team the second half of the season.  They let no one get in their way.  Meanwhile, the Yankees have struggled.  Struggled with high expectations, struggled with a tough division, and struggled with various injuries. Just last month, these two teams met in New York in what at the time everyone knew was a likely Wild Card preview, and the Athletics thoroughly dismantled the Yankees.  Things were looking pretty grim.  But, that they say was a life time ago, as we all know once the playoffs hit, it’s a new day, nothing previous matters anymore and everyone is on fresh ground.

 

Luis Severino has been struggling lately, enough to cause many to wonder aloud if he should even be pitching this game.  All he did was strike out 7, and allowed just a pair of hits over 4 shutout innings.

It sure didn’t hurt his cause when Aaron Judge lifted a two-run homer after a lead-off walk by Andre McCutchen to start the game.

 

Then the New York bullpen of death came in as they rolled out four of the best closers in the game, one by one in Betances, Robertson, Britton, and Chapman.  Oakland never really had a chance.  New York piled on 4 more runs in the 6th, and by the time Oakland got their offense off the ground, it was too little too late.

There will be much talk about Oakland’s decision to leave all their starters at home, and instead approach the game as a bullpen day.  Liam Hendriks who called himself an “opener not a starter” didn’t exactly win hearts and minds allowing two runs immediately out of the gate.  While the bullpen settled down some, they still faltered when Fernando Rodney and Blake Treinen entered the game.  Meanwhile the Yankees went with a more traditional approach and it seemed to pay off this time.

 

Now New York will head on up to Boston, in a matchup that is sure to make MLB execs wet themselves with glee.  If you ask me, the best part of that match-up is that someone has to lose.  Sadly that also means that someone has to win.

Tonight we will swing things back to the NL with Colorado headed to Milwaukee starting at 5:07 EST, followed by Atlanta headed over to LA starting at 8:37.

 

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21 thoughts on “He Said, She Said – AL Wild Card Edition

  1. I had bought into the August-September Athletics, so I thought this game would go the other way. And, of course, it could have. A one-game playoff is still a lousy way to decide anything in baseball.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed on the 1 game playoff. I expect that in the near future MLB will expand to 32 teams with 4 divisions in each league like the NFL. The playoffs will be 6 teams with the top 2 getting a first round bye and the first round of playoffs being a best of 3. A best of 5 would be better but then the full week off could hurt the 2 teams with byes.

      A possible return to a 154 game schedule might be needed to allow time for the extra first round games, but would the owners take the revenue hit of a shorter schedule?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I also bought the As Hype Train. I should have known. But there’s a lot of hate pageantry between NY and Boston so it’ll be fun in that respect.

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  2. In comparison to the NL games, that was a snoozer. IDK why I stayed up so late. Must be October.

    PS missed the first half of the game because we went to see a flamenco dance troupe perform. It was great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In other news, it was “Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya” day in the Washimore Metroplex, with the O’s jettisoning VP of Baseball Ops Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, and the Nats letting go of Bob Miller, who was Rizzo’s right-hand man in the front office, and there’s some palace intrigue to the Miller decision.

    Quoting USA Today here, “Doug Harris, the Nationals’ assistant GM and vice president of player personnel, has been battling leukemia since July, the second time he’s fought the disease. Earlier this summer, Harris’ wife, Lisa, set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $400,000 to pay for an expensive CAR-T cell therapy treatment. That campaign raised more than $150,000.” What’s that got to do with Miller? Read on, dear reader…

    See, the Lerners have been excoriated by some in the Twitterverse for not just writing a damn check to pay for it all. Miller, to his credit, auctioned off his World Series ring from his time with the Dbacks in 2001, which brought in a bit more than $25K. Some might say that this act embarrassed the Lerners, and that’s simply not done, and so Miller paid for it with his job. Only thing for sure here in DC is that Ted Leonsis is the only team owner that everyone loves.

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    • That sounds like the palace intrigue everybody loves.

      A simpler explanation would be that rich people stay rich by not giving riches away (at least not without a tax benefit, which Go Fund would not yield) and that as an employer of thousands, it would set an unwanted precedent. My Q would be did they keep paying him, where most employers would let the (limited) disability pay take over. My other thought is that in sports people are fired because SOMEBODY has to go but baseball player’s contracts are typically guaranteed, which makes “firing” a player counterproductive – you end up paying for the Mets CF.

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      • Your points about the employer not paying for experimental medical treatment are valid, of course. I think sometimes people look at a major league team and see (before September) 35 guys in uniform, including coaches, add a few more for front office staff, and figure that there are only a few dozen employees, which is obviously wrong.

        I don’t know the specifics of Mr. Harris’ employment and compensation during his illness, and the Lerners are under no obligation to pay for Mr. Harris’ treatment. Miller was a valuable resource to the team (he’s the one who figured out the loophole that allowed the Nats to get Trea Turner as a player to be named later in a trade that took place only six months after Turner was drafted), and there’s nothing obvious to fans or the local media that indicated he wouldn’t be brought back, and since this is DC, we’re gonna look for sinister forces at work wherever we can find them.

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  4. It was nice to see the Iron Giant collect his first postseason home run, something he would not have lived to do if he had hung around these parts.

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  5. The Brooze take game one on a Moustakis single in the bottom of the 10th to snap a 2-2 tie. Yelich, who homered in the third to give the Brooze a 2-0 lead, scored the winning run after working out a walk. MVP! MVP! MVP!

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