The Major League Baseball postseason is set to begin Tuesday night, with the Toronto Blue Jays hosting the Baltimore Orioles for the American League Wild Card game. Wednesday night, the New York Mets welcome the San Francisco Giants for the National League Wild Card game. Let’s take a look back on a wild Sunday that came down to game 162 to decide who would be playing in a single game knockout round.
As of Saturday night, the Blue Jays, Orioles and Detroit Tigers were all still fighting for the two wild card spots. The Jays and Orioles had identical records (88-73) and the Tigers were a game and half behind (86-74). In order for the Tigers to oust either one of the American League East opponents, they needed to defeat the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, have the Blue Jays and the Orioles lose, and then go to Cleveland on Monday to play a makeup game that was cancelled the week before.
The Blue Jays and Orioles didn’t do the Tigers any favours however, as they both won and cemented their spot in the 2016 post-season.
Aaron Sanchez was terrific on the mound for Toronto, as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Hanley Ramirez tied the game with a solo home-run. Troy Tulowitzki hit an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning, giving the Blue Jays a 2-1 victory.
In Baltimore, Matt Wieters powered the Orioles into the playoffs with two home-runs, one from either side of the plate. Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman was terrific on the mound limiting the Yankees to two runs in seven and a third innings pitched.
In the National League, game 162 came down to the Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals fighting for the last spot in the wild card game. The Giants came into the game with a record of 86-75, and the Cardinals were one game behind with a record of 85-76. The Cardinals needed a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a Giants’ loss against the Dodgers in order to qualify for the second Wild Card spot. The Giants made no mistakes however as trade deadline acquisition Matt Moore shut down the Dodgers in a 7-1 victory.
The Giants will enter the playoffs for the fourth time since 2010, where they’ve won the World Series in each of their previous three appearances (2010, 2012, 2014).
The Blue Jays’ victory also secured the Cleveland Indians home field advantage against the Boston Red Sox in the divisional round. The winner of the American League Wild Card game will take on the Texas Rangers in the other divisional series. The Washington Nationals will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in their divisional series and the winner of the National League Wild Card game will take on the MLB’s only 100 game winning team, the Chicago Cubs.
Broadcasting legend Vin Scully called his final game at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, as he will retire before the playoffs. The hall-of-famer called Dodgers games for the past 67 years, where he broadcasted more than 9,000 games, called 20 no-hitters and five Dodgers’ championships. As the Giants’ recorded the final out of his final game Scully left us with his final sign off.
“I have said enough for a lifetime. And for the last time, I wish you a very pleasant afternoon.”