The 2022 MLB Postseason has arrived. Postseason kicked off Friday with the all-new Wild Card series. MLB has a 12-team post-season format this year, the largest in the sport’s history (excluding the 2020 pandemic season). The Phillies shocked the Cardinals by the ninth of six runs to take the first game of the series of wild cards. In the American League, the Sailors and Guardians beat the Blue Jays and Rays, respectively. All that’s left on Friday’s schedule are the Padres Mets.
As a reminder, the Wild Card series replaces the once made Wild Card game and is the best out of three games without rest days and all three games in the top-ranked court. This is Friday’s scoreboard:
Wild Card Series scores
Here’s what you need to know from each Friday game.
Guardians stars put them to one win over ALDS
The Guardians are clearly more of a gamer, but as the series approaches, their two biggest stars will be four-time All-Star Jose Ramirez and 2020 Cy Young winner Shane Pepper. They were the stars of Game 1.
Bieber, at the start of his second playoff career, only allowed one round in 7 and 2/3 runs of the action. He hit eight hits and only allowed three hits and one walk. The only run allowed was a singles run at home by Jose Seri which briefly gave Reyes a 1-0 lead.
That was at the top of the sixth. At the bottom, Ramirez came with Homer from two runs into the right midfield. The Guardians gave the lead 2-1 and that’s where the score will stay, thanks to Bieber and All-Star closest Emmanuel Clase.
Velez makes a historic comeback against the Cardinals
Rookie bowlers (José Quintana of the Cardinals and Zach Wheeler of Velez) gathered for an 11 2/3 round of goal-free action Friday in St. Louis. Knockout Juan Yépez, at home, gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead at the bottom of seventh, and it looked like it would be the full score.
Instead, Al Velez returned to the ninth of six runs to shock everyone. The Cardinals were 74-3 when they were up after eight games in the regular season. They were 93-0 as a franchise when they drove two or more times after eight innings in the postseason. They are now 93-1.
There may be some carryovers as well, as Cardinal Closer Ryan Helsley has completely lost all leadership and has a middle finger injury on his hand.
The sailors don’t have to wait long after the play-off returns
The Mariners played and won their first playoff in 21 years thanks to a combination of timely strikes up front and a strong start from the trade deadline as well as Luis Castillo. Seattle jumped on Alec Manoh overly early, flailing three into the top of the first half.
Castillo made him hold for the rest of the way, making seven rounds off at the start of his second career post-season. Blue Jays will have to unlock Game 2 better if they want to avoid elimination. Full meals here.
Padres Scherzer lights up to take Game 1 from the Mets
The Mets’ right-handed Max Scherzer had one of his worst starts in his career against San Diego. Scherzer’s last streak saw him surrender seven runs on seven strokes (four of which were home runs) across 4 2/3 innings. These home workouts came courtesy of Josh Bell, Trent Gresham, Jurison Provar, and Manny Machado.
“Baseball can take you to highs and lows,” Scherzer told reporters after the match. “This is one of the lowest.”
On the other hand, U Darvish, Padres’ writer, was fragile and efficient. It only allowed one run in seven innings of action, and gave Padres’ Bullpen a relatively easy night, at least by post-season standards. As a result of all of the above, the Mets now face a playoff match on Saturday, while the Padres are one win from an NLDS match with contender Dodgers.
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