Rays win Wild Card Game and advances to ALDS
Well, we knew it was going to be tough for the American League squads to match the intensity of Tuesday’s National League Wild Card Game between the Nationals and Brewers. This is not a knock (really!) on the Rays at all, who came away winners on the American League side on Wednesday, but it was a really boring game. That’s not to say it wasn’t worth watching or to take anything away from the result, but after the first hour pretty much nothing happened.
When things were happening, though, it was all in favor of the Rays. They jumped all over Sean Manaea early in this game with Yandy Díaz starting the night off with a home run in the first before hitting another in the third. If there was an MVP of Wild Card Games, he would surely have won it. In between, in the second, Avisaíl Garcia hit a two-run shot of his own that was obliterated out to center field. Tommy Pham added another solo homer in the fifth for good measure to give the Rays five runs on the board. That was more than enough with Charlie Morton and the rest of Tampa Bay’s staff getting out of jams all night long. The Athletics had one more hit and one more walk than the Rays on the night, but only managed one run thanks to all eight of their hits being singles as well as hitting into two double plays. They were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and ultimately left nine runners on base. In the end, Tampa Bay went home with an easy 5-1 win, and will head to Houston for the ALDS.
Sox Spin: There’s not much here, to be honest. The team’s division rival won the game, which is not great, but I’m not sure there’s real impact on the team. The one thing we could say is that for anyone who still believes home runs are actually bad (in terms of their impact on winning) in the postseason, this game should change your mind.