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No Ichiro Love

Other Baseball Today, 04:06 PM
I was surprised to not see an Ichiro Suzuki thread to honor his legacy. Metrics probably do not do him much justice, but he was one of a...
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Cleveland's Jose Ramirez Carted Off Field

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:53 PM
Both Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipins are already out for Opening Day and now this:
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Article: Faltering Romero Exposes Flaw in Falvey's Of...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:00 PM
Fernando Romero was talked up as having electric stuff and potentially being a real weapon out of Rocco Baldelli’s pen. Unfortunately, wh...
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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Relief Pitcher

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:52 PM
Among all units on the 2019 Twins roster, none are subject to more controversy and skepticism than the bullpen. It was the team's biggest...
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Tie game in 9th putting a runner on 2nd

Other Baseball Today, 04:06 PM
Last Spring training game in Florida they decide to put a runner on 2nd in the 9th in a tie game to start inning. I hope they don't deci...
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Recent Blogs


American League Wild Card Game History

Believe it or not, Tuesday’s match-up between the Twins and the Yankees will be the sixth AL Wild Card game. Major League Baseball expanded their playoff format in 2012 to add more drama with a one-game playoff to decide who would move on to face the best regular season team. There has been some drama and plenty of story-lines.

Are there any trends that can be found in the previous games? Let’s take a look back.
Image courtesy of Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
2012 AL Wild Card Game
Baltimore Orioles 5, Texas Rangers 1
Yu Darvish faced off against Joe Saunders in the AL’s inaugural Wild Card game. Both clubs scored runs in the first frame as the starters worked out some kinks. From there, Darvish and Saunders pitched shutout baseball until the sixth. Adam Jones drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Nate McLouth added an RBI single in the seventh. Former Twin Joe Nathan would allow two insurance runs in the ninth inning to bolster Baltimore’s lead. The Orioles relief trio of Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz, and Jim Johnson did not allow a run over the final 3.1 innings.

2013 AL Wild Card Game
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Cleveland Indians 0
Tampa Bay entered the AL’s second Wild Card game having already defeated the Texas Rangers in a tie-breaker game. Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb was outstanding on the mound as he recorded 6.2 shutout innings with five strikeouts. Cobb had missed 50 games during the regular season after taking a line-drive off his head. Former Twin Delmon Young homered in the third inning off rookie Danny Salazar. Desmond Jennings went 2-for-3 in the game with a double and two RBI. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney combined for 2.1 shutout innings to finish off the Indians.

2014 AL Wild Card Game
Kansas City Royals 9, Oakland Athletics 8 (12 Innings)
Royals fans were just getting a taste of a wild playoff run as the club would use this game as a launching pad for a run to the AL pennant. This game was originally touted as a pitching battle between Oakland’s Jon Lester and Kansas City’s James Shields but neither would see the end of this one. Former Twins Josh Willingham and Nick Punto made appearances in the game but wound up on the losing end. Kansas City scored three runs in the eighth inning and another in the ninth to tie the game. The A’s would take the lead in the top of the 12th inning but the Royals couldn’t be stopped. Big hits from Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez pushed the Royals to the ALDS.

2015 AL Wild Card Game
Houston Astros 3, New York Yankees 0
The Astros, like the Twins this season, headed to New York City after multiple years of futility. Houston had averaged 104 losses in their previous four seasons. Dallas Keuchel was pitching on three days rest for the first time in his career and pitched masterfully. In six shutout innings, he scattered three hits and struck out seven. He became the first pitcher with a scoreless postseason start on three day’s rest since Josh Beckett in the 2003 World Series. Colby Rasmus and former Twin Carlos Gomez homered to help the Astros win their first postseason game since the 2005 NLCS. Fans in New York were booing with every out in the late innings. Houston moved on to face Kansas City, the eventual World Series Champions.

2016 AL Wild Card Game
Toronto Blue Jays 5, Baltimore Orioles 2 (11 Innings)
Edwin Encarnacion’s walk-off three-run home run sent Toronto fans home happy. While this game might be remembered for its ending, others might remember it for the moment when a fan threw a nearly full can of beer at Orioles left fielder Hyun Soo Kim while he caught a deep fly ball in the eighth inning. Jose Bautista smacked a solo home run to start the scoring in the second inning. Mark Trumbo hit a two-run shot to account for all of Baltimore’s offense. Orioles manager Buck Showalter opted not to use closer Zach Britton in extra-innings and that could have been the difference in the game. Ubaldo Jimenez gave up two singles and the big fly to end the game.

Some important hits from former Twins and one upset at Yankee Stadium were all part of previous AL Wild Card games. Let's hope some of this history repeats itself on Tuesday night.


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7 Comments

Buxton: Foot race?

Judge: No thanks. Home run contest?

Buxton: No thanks.

    • Dantes929 and sploorp like this
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notoriousgod71
Oct 03 2017 05:28 AM

I still hate the 2nd wild card (let alone the first wild card).

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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 03 2017 05:31 AM

 

I still hate the 2nd wild card (let alone the first wild card).

I honestly don't get this take. Watching more teams vie for a postseason spot keeps me engaged for longer, even more so when it's a team I care about. Of course, there's a line to walk, one I think the NBA crosses with over half its teams reaching the playoffs (and many of them not very good).

 

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I don't understand.

    • pbrezeasap, woolywoolhouse, bizaff and 2 others like this

 

I still hate the 2nd wild card (let alone the first wild card).

 

At least you're consistent and hate both. Two wild cards is better than one but I can see the point for none. 

 

What would your preferred way be? Eight divisions (with a little expansion of course)? The old school two division in the AL and two in the NL so only an LCS?

Former Twins Josh Willingham and Nick Punto made appearances in the game but wound up on the losing end.


Actually Willingham was with KC then, so his side won this game. He also made brief PH appearances in the ALDS and WS later that same postseason.

 

I still hate the 2nd wild card (let alone the first wild card).

Think of it like the mafia. You want to be done with it, but then there's this wild card game that pulls you back in. Yup, just like the mafia.

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notoriousgod71
Oct 03 2017 04:24 PM

 

I honestly don't get this take. Watching more teams vie for a postseason spot keeps me engaged for longer, even more so when it's a team I care about. Of course, there's a line to walk, one I think the NBA crosses with over half its teams reaching the playoffs (and many of them not very good).

 

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I don't understand.

 

After mulling this over for a few hours, I have come to the conclusion that I really don't like change and needless change at that. I understand MLB wants to add a bigger pay day and keep the casual fans watching deeper into the season, but I don't see that need for adding a lesser team and then drumming up a one game winner take all game between teams that are not equals just for a money grab.

 

If I were the Yankees I'd be pissed at having to put my season on the line to play one game to advance.

 

I've accepted it will never change and will probably add more teams in the near future but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

 

If the Twins were not playing in this game I wouldn't be watching the Angels vs Yankees.


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