Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Tuesday brought the first day of the American League playoffs, with four matchups in the Wild Card Round. Eight AL teams are locked in best-of-three series to advance to the ALDS.
You probably already know about the A’s game. If not, you’ll find out as you scroll down. The lack of exclamation points and all-caps in these first few sentences should cue you in to the result. Click here to read the full recap.
As for the other games, the first involved the No. 3 Minnesota Twins and No. 6 Houston Astros. The Twins took an early lead against Zack Greinke, but the Astros came back to tie it in the 7th and then put together a rally against Sergio Romo in the 9th to win it. Final: Astros win 4-1
Next up was the No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays against the No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays. This one was all Rays all day. Blake Snell was masterful into the 6th, and the bullpen held up behind him. Tampa Bay scored in the 4th to take control, and then Manuel Margot homered to pad the lead. It wasn’t far from their victory over the A’s in the 2019 Wild Card Game. Final: Rays win 3-1
Finally, the No. 4 Cleveland Indians hosted the No. 5 New York Yankees, in the primetime slot just like you’d expect for two second-place teams. The daunting task of facing Cy Young favorite Shane Bieber turned out to be no match for New York’s ridiculous lineup, who smashed him for seven runs by the 5th inning. Then they kept scoring off the bullpen. Overall there were homers by Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and Brett Gardner, which sounds about right. Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole tied an all-time postseason record by striking out 13 batters with no walks. Final: Yankees win 12-3
Now brace yourselves, because Wednesday brings something we’ve never seen before in MLB history: Eight playoff games in one day. The National League joins the party with their four Wild Card Round matchups, so all 16 postseason teams will be in action. The A’s start at noon, on ESPN. Click here to see the live bracket.
- Gallegos and Merkin: White Sox-A’s Game 2 FAQ (ESPN, 3 ET)
- Hickey: How Bassitt Turned Season Around During Time Athletics Were Shut Down Over COVID
- The Athletic podcast: Melissa Lockard and Adam Copeland recap Game 1
- Bleav podcast (Ben Ross): Guest is KEN KORACH
- Shea: Dave Flemming, Jessica Mendoza on A’s call: empty Coliseum benefits White Sox ($)
- Lockard: Two decisions loomed large in the A’s series-opening loss to the White Sox ($$$)
- Nico: A Prescient Tim Anderson: “They Didn’t Do Their Homework”
- News: A’s postseason roster
- Game 1: A’s fall into old postseason habits in 4-1 loss
MLB News & Interest
- You already read it above
- Oh wait there’s one thing: Phegs is in the playoffs! Meet me at the next bullet point for the link.
- Adams (roundup): Cubs Select Josh Phegley, Designate Josh Osich
- Today in Baseball History
Game 1 Highlights
Loss! Almost literally a rerun of the 2019 Wild Card Game. White Sox lead best-of-three series, 1-0.
Best of Twitter
Kick their ass, C-Bass! (In baseball terms.)
Liam Hendriks said Chris Bassitt’s turnaround came when he “embraced his inner weird” and didn’t care what others think. Liam’s favorite weird quality about avid Red Bull-drinking Bassitt? “He starts running around the clubhouse like a crazed out sugar-high toddler.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 30, 2020
... But this is the perfect mindset for the situation.
I should quickly add that Bassitt in essence said the same of himself. "Take my numbers, and throw them out the window. It don’t mean a damn thing. ... I don’t care how good a month I had in September. It don’t mean a single thing."— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 29, 2020
One more Bassitt tweet
Chris Bassitt says it's special getting a start against the White Sox in the postseason: "It's kind of like playing against your friends." Still knows a lot of players on that side.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 29, 2020
Reminder of the stakes, as if you needed one
The White Sox haven’t won a playoff series since their 2005 title, while the Athletics haven’t won a playoff round since 2006 (ALDS vs. MIN). I was at both of those series, for those who might ask.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 29, 2020
This is gonna be such a fun lineup to follow for years