Wild Card Games, 2017

Tuesday, October 3: Twins at Yankees, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV & Radio: ESPN

I think it’s fair to say the Twins are the surprise team in these playoffs. The Yankees beat them 4-2 in the season series, including a three-game sweep two weeks ago. But as the prospectuses tell us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” so the Twins and Yankees have an equal chance of winning a single game against one another. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams.

The Twins probably feel good about pitching RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) since he’s had eight previous post-season appearances including two starts. On the other hand, the most recent of those was in 2009 with the Angels. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA), who’s in his third year in the big leagues but his first postseason at any level.

Wednesday, October 4: Diamondbacks at Rockies, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS; Radio: ESPN

These two teams have been locked into the Wild Card game since midsummer when it became apparent they’d be chasing the Dodgers for the NL West title all season. There were only two other teams who came close to catching them, the Brewers and the Cardinals, falling short by one and four games respectively. It’s astonishing to note that the NL only had seven teams finish above .500 — the three division leaders, the Rockies, D-backs, Brewers and Redbirds.

Pitching for the Diamondbacks in Coors Field will be RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA), one of five 17-game winners in the big leagues this season (there were four 18-game winners; no one won more). His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (10-4, 2.67 ERA). Greinke is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in nine postseason appearances; this will be Gray’s first. Gray’s on a 13-game run of allowing three runs or fewer and has gone 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his last five starts. Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA over his last five.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.
  • 1951 In Game 3 of National League play-off series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world’, becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.

  • 1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
  • 1972 Surpassing Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente appears in his 2,433rd game for the most ever played by a Pirate. Sadly, it will be the last regular season game the Pittsburgh outfielder will ever play as he will be killed in a plane crash during the off-season.
  • 1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career comes to an end when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign 10 games behind the Reds. During his tenure, which began in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.

There are a lot of other things that happened on this day in baseball history; you can see the rest at National Pastime.

135 thoughts on “Wild Card Games, 2017

  1. And 8 below .500. Doesn’t seem like an extreme distribution for 15 teams. What is it usually?

    • 2016 there were six NL teams over .500, 9 under.
      2015 seven over, 8 under.

      Huh. It just seemed to me there should be more winning teams.

    • Post-season baseball at its worst? That’s one of the problems with these one game winner take all play in games – they can burn through a pitcher/inning.

  2. Twins really needed to score more in the first. Yankees are burning hot right now.

  3. The Yankees’ relievers struck out 13 Twins. That portends anything but good for their next opponent. Oh wait, the Indians’ relievers do that all the time.

  4. On a lighter sillier note, does anybody know the coordination Whitney Houston shared with baseball players?
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    Haaaaaand eyyyyyyyye!!!

  5. WinnipegDave: My e-mail to you, trying the address you posted yesterday, keeps getting kicked back. I have tried various addresses based on what you posted Tuesday. Can you call me, please, at 831-659-5528, in California. Thanks

  6. TBS is not a total blackout, but I have to choose one camera angle, so I chose the high up one. I can change, but it’s a nuisance. Still, anything’s better than ESPN’s total blackout.

  7. WinnipegDave: I think I figured out your e-mail address. You should have received my e-mail.

  8. Pretty sure that with a third inning, Ray does not pitch the first game of NLDS, if Snakes win

  9. Yikes. Tuned in just to see Archie Bradly hit a 2 run triple. So much for being an.098 hitter.

  10. I truly dislike Bradley. He of the chest pumping This Is Our House. So I called this one, because this be the season that d**ks rule. And I don’t mean ducks.

  11. I would like to take a moment to say how touched – heart-warmed really – by this blogging community. Had the deep pleasure of talking over the phone with Scoop tonight.
    As someone who has been a part of this little band of fans for at least 10 years, I was thrilled by that connection and conversation.

    And the cool thing is that I feel that warmth of connection not only with Scoop but with everyone here. So, I’m grateful to Link for keeping the door open and the kettle going for us to come in and chat. And I tip my cap to everyone here for bring not only friendly – but friends as well.

  12. And the Rockies had Holland in there to try and get them to the 9th only down one.

    • Hopefully the DBacks are getting all their post season triples out of their system in one game.

    • To quote Danny DeVito’s character from “Cuckoo’s Nest” — ‘Hope no!’

  13. Well the Dodgers will have to beat the best to be the best.
    Arizona first and then hopefully a chance to face Chicago or Washington.
    It won’t be easy but it all gets real on Friday.

  14. Just heard Archie in an interview, and he actually sounded like a good guy. I stand corrected.

    • It was interesting that Lovullo didn’t have confidence in most of his bullpen and decided to go with Ray. Of course, there was no tomorrow if they lost. Bradley wasn’t sharp as usual, but the Rox pen really imploded.