Scouts: And we have officially closed the books on the 2020 MLB season. The season, ended the only way the 2020 season could end. With a big fat wet thud. Just about every team that needed to win lost, and we had ourselves a bit of an ump show in San Francisco to boot! We will have today off and then the playoffs kick off tomorrow. This will be the first year we have 16 teams in the playoffs. Is everyone excited for the extra rounds/matchups, or do you feel the expanded playoffs will water down the entire thing and make it all feel much less legitimate?
Tigers 1, Royals 3 – Scouts: Alex Gordon had his final curtain call, and while no actual fans were in attendance, a small group of his family was allowed to attend. Overall it wasn’t a terribly exciting game if you like offensive onslaughts. Adalberto Mondesi racked up two of the Royal’s three runs thanks to a homer in the 4th and a RBI double in the 8th. Ryan McBroom picked up the other one on a homer in the 5th. Detroit scored their only run in the first, a RBI double by Brandon Dixon. The two teams combined to tally just 8 hits.
Brewers 2, Cardinals 5 – Prof: Both teams celebrated after the game, as both squeaked into the postseason. Milwaukee didn’t have a winning record all season and yet, here we are. This is some 8th seed in the Eastern Conference NBA garbage. As for the game itself, nothing too exciting. Harrison Bader hit a triple to get the win for the Birds on the Bat.
Phillies 0, Rays 5 – Scouts: The Phillies needed a win to make the playoffs, and although they were facing the best in the AL Rays, Tampa had nothing to play for, already locking down their top seed. And yet, still the Phillies got shut out, completing a sweep. Josh Fleming lowered his season ERA to 2.78, picked up his 5th win, and allowed just 4 hits over 6 shutout innings. It’s little surprise why the Rays were the only team in the AL to hit the 40 win mark.
Mariners 2, Athletics 6 – Scouts: Frankie Montas struck out 13 over 6 innings, and yet still didn’t get the win, because the win stat is a just crazy stupid measure of performance. Instead Yusmeiro Petit got the win, despite only pitching one inning. It was a good inning, but come on, who put in most of the work in this one?
Reds 5, Twins 3 F/10 – Prof: In a weird matchup that started with Jake Cave scoring on a balk in the fifth inning, to an extra innings bases loaded walk to Joey Votto, to the game winning single off the bat of Tucker Barnhart of all people, this game was all about expecting the unexpected. Both squads made the postseason and this helped determine who they match up against.
Angels 0, Dodgers 5 – Scouts: LA won a league best 43 games this year, but man if only they had just rolled over for the Angels, then the Astros would have gotten bounced out of the playoffs. But say la vi (Pretty sure I spelled that correct). Anyways, AJ Pollock homered twice, the Dodgers threw a bunch of bullpen guys out there, and held the Angels to 3 total hits as we all had to sit back and think what could have been.
Pirates 6, Spiders 8 – Prof: The Magical Land of Cleve will probably have home field advantage, or so it’s called. About a half dozen pitchers for the Spiders alone, but the most impressive outing was James Karinchak, who pitched a smooth 3K inning and got the win. This dude has a nasty two seamer. I love it. Oh. And Shane Bieber, my choice for AL Cy, is a Triple Crown winner. First in MLB since Johan Santana and the first Cleveland pitcher since Bob Feller. I’d say that’s good company.
Cubs 10, White Sox 8 – Scouts: And the White Sox completed their utterly epic meltdown with a loss to the Cubs in a game was was actually no where near as close as it appeared, thanks to 7 White Sox runs in the final two innings. With the loss and the Spider win, Chicago fell to the 7th seed and will face Oakland in the first round. Chicago has now lost 8 of their last 10, and just two weeks ago lead the division, a spot now taken up by the Twins who are sitting pretty in the third seed.
Red Sox 9, Braves 1 – Prof: Atlanta plays down to their competition. I hate it. And one of the few reliable bullpen guys left early due to a groin injury, that’s great. But at least we still have Freddie, who really should be the NL MVP, especially when he played such amazing baseball after being so ill from Covid-19 earlier in the year. Um… yeah, for Boston we had four homers including a big day for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rockies 3, Dbacks 11 – Prof: Well, whadya know. MadBum gets his first win of the season in this, the last start of the season. He ends 2020 with a 6.48 ERA. Yuck. Talk about getting snake bit. Anyway, the Gritty Snakes scored a lot, but only two runs came from a home run. The rest were from ground rule doubles and well timed singles. Sloppy, all the way around.
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 5 – Scouts: The Blue Jays needed a win and a Yankee loss to jump from the 8th seed to the 5th seed. The Yankees did their part, and yet the Blue Jays couldn’t defeat the not as sad sack as we thought, but still pretty sad sack Orioles. Toronto even had an early 4-1 lead, but the O’s busted it open with 3 in the 4th and 3 more in the 5th. And as a result, the Blue Jays will be forced to face off against the Rays.
Mets 5, Nationals 15 – Scouts: Juan Soto went 1-1 and then was pulled in the third to finish the year with a final average of .351. Soto, pulled in the first, picked up the 2020 NL batting title, just edging out Freddie Freeman of the Braves. Personally I’m not a fan of him not completing the game, but it is what it is I suppose. Soto is the youngest player to win a NL batting crown, and the fourth youngest overall. Freddie went 1-4 and finished at .341 before being removed in the 9th. I’m sure many will also say the .351 doesn’t really count in the shortened season, but that’s a different debate all together.
Astros 4, Rangers 8 – Scouts: The defending AL Champs limped into the playoffs, losing their final three to Houston, and only even made the cut because the Angels couldn’t beat the Dodgers. But in these days, a 29-31 record is apparently good enough, and now the past doesn’t matter as the slate is wiped clean. Houston got homers from Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Aledmys Diaz, while Texas got a pair of homers out of Rougned Odor, who accounted for 4 of the Ranger’s 8 runs.
Padres 5, Giants 4 – Prof: Like a single dad going to Fleet Farm at 5:00 on Christmas Eve, the Giants were trying to sneak in last second and make miracles happen. The Friars had other plans, but they kept it interesting until the bitter end. Wil Myers went 2-4 with 2 RBI.
Marlins 5, Yankees 0 – Scouts: All the Yankees had to do to guarantee their spot as the number 5 seed was win against the Marlins who had nothing to play for. The Marlins gave most of their starters the day off. And yet, the Yankees still managed to not only lose, but get shut out. Daniel Castano did most of the work allowing just 4 hits over 6.1 innings. Jazz Chrisholm picked up two RBI’s in the first on a double, and another one on a solo homer in the 8th.