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Elephant Rumblings: 6 teams eliminated from 2020 MLB postseason, 10 remaining

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Wild Card Round - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Minnesota’s answer to Lookout Landing
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s won a postseason series!! Thanks to a thrilling Game 3 victory Thursday over the Chicago White Sox in the Wild Card Round, the green and gold are headed to the ALDS to face the Houston Astros. They haven’t moved on since 2006, and they haven’t captured a winner-take-all game since 1973.

However, eight other teams won’t be as fortunate in the Wild Card Round, including the Sox themselves. Six clubs have already been eliminated from the first round of the postseason, with two more to come on Friday, and it’s refreshingly weird to not be including the A’s on that list. Here’s a quick run through the bracket.

In the American League, the White Sox were the only team who took it to a third game before falling — all the other series ended in sweeps. First up are the No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays, who breezed past the No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays. After winning Game 1 by a 3-1 score, in Game 2 they led 7-0 by the 2nd inning, and the Jays never mounted any serious comeback in an 8-2 final. Final: Rays move on, Blue Jays eliminated

Tampa Bay will face a division rival in the ALDS, as the No. 5 New York Yankees overcame the No. 4 Cleveland Indians. After a dominant Game 1 smashing by New York, Game 2 was a thriller. Each team led on multiple occasions, and Cleveland had the advantage entering the 9th, but the Yankees mustered one more rally to snatch a last-minute 10-9 victory. The Indians’ vaunted rotation got blasted twice, and their former player Gio Urshela hit a grand slam against them in the wild second game. Final: Yankees move on, Indians eliminated

Rounding out the AL are the No. 6 Houston Astros, who upset the No. 3 Minnesota Twins. In Game 2, Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier essentially piggybacked the start, and the Twins couldn’t figure them out in a 3-1 loss. Minnesota scored only two runs in the pair of games, both driven in by Nelson Cruz, and they’ve now lost 18 straight postseason games dating back to 2004 — that’s the longest postseason futility streak in the history of North American pro sports. Final: Astros move on, Twins eliminated

In the National League, the No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers made short work of the No. 8 Milwaukee Brewers. It turns out all Clayton Kershaw needed to pitch well in the playoffs was a sub-.500 opponent, as he fired eight shutout innings with 13 strikeouts and only a walk and three hits. Final: Dodgers move on, Brewers eliminated

The No. 2 Atlanta Braves also took care of business, against the No. 7 Cincinnati Reds. Game 2 stayed within regulation length after the opener went 13 frames, and in 22 total innings the Reds didn’t score a single run, the longest any MLB team has ever gone without scoring to begin a postseason. They lost 1-0 and 5-0, squandering a gem from Trevor Bauer and a nice start by Luis Castillo, respectively. Atlanta took advantage of their own gems from Max Fried and Ian Anderson. Final: Braves move on, Reds eliminated

The other two NL series are still ongoing. The No. 4 San Diego Padres and No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals are split 1-1, after a dramatic 11-9 slugfest in Game 2 went the Padres’ way in the end. However, Game 2 between the No. 3 Chicago Cubs and No. 6 Miami Marlins was postponed due to weather, so they’ve only played one game with Miami up 1-0.

Click here to see the live bracket, including schedule info for the remaining Wild Card Round games.

Next up for the A’s is the ALDS against the Astros. It won’t begin until Monday, as teams need a couple days to gather in their new bubbles and perform intake protocols. Oakland and Houston will play their best-of-five series in Los Angeles, at Dodger Stadium.

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Game 3 Highlights

Win! THE A’S WON A PLAYOFF SERIES!!!

It started weird

Then it warmed up

Then Pinder became a hero

Best of Twitter

Full post-game

NOPE NOPE NOPE

Once more for the people in the back

According to AN, they switched out their second-best jersey for their best jersey

Pinder finally writes his chapter in this team’s story

Apparently Hendriks was indeed available

And Red Bull, if he’s anything like Chris Bassitt

T-shirt coming (seriously though, the design is done and it’ll be released by this afternoon)

Fair enough. Three days off (from playing, at least) until the next game!