MLB Week in Review (September 27-October 3)

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The MLB postseason is here and the sprint to the World Series has officially begun with the wild card games done and the Division Series underway. The MLB once again go into the postseason with the fairly new wild card games. In the third year of these games the debate still rages on about whether or not they are a good idea. For one side it is the fact that after 162 games everything can come down to one game. In a sport that only does series a single game elimination can seem strange. After six months of teams playing series against each other everything changes in the first round of the postseason. Teams have to adjust from an attitude where a small mistake doesn’t matter as much to an attitude of playing perfectly. For that reason many say that the Wild Card game simply does not make any sense for the sport. It is left too much up to chance in a game that can change at any moment with a bad bounce or one misplayed ball. On the other hand the wild card game provides something that the postseason and the regular does not. Single elimination playoff games are some of the most exciting in sports as everything comes down to one night. They are a part of the sport that keeps fans on the edge of their seats and are always exciting despite the score. Even in baseball these games are big as the fifth or seventh game of a series is always one of the most watched in the postseason. Then there was the inspiration for the wild card game in the tiebreaker games that have provided plenty of thrills throughout the MLB. After a few years where teams had to play one extra game to make it into the postseason the MLB decided to bottle the excitement that surrounded these games. That is where the Wild card games were born and now the fans get to see a tiebreaker every season as the featured game on a single night with all of the pressure on the two teams involved. This year there was the good and the bad in the Wild Card games although both remained thrilling and full of stories. The first would be the American League where Kansas City and the Oakland Athletics faced off to ensure that their playoff appearances last longer than a one game. The Royals were hoping that when they broke their long postseason drought, that it would turn out to be a run in the postseason and not end quickly. The A’s were hoping to show that their resurgence was going to continue and that they belonged in the postseason. The game proved both right though as neither team gave up fighting late into the night. The game went 12 innings before the Royals finished the game with a win only after coming back down 7-3 by the 6th inning. It was the best that a Wild Card game could be as it involved a comeback and then a back and forth battle between the two teams in extra innings. It only ended in the 12th where the Royals were down by a run but earned two in front of their home crowd to ensure a longer stay in the postseason. The National League Wild Card was a bit different though as the San Francisco Giants faced the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants had just finished a season-long battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers and were hoping to remain one of the best teams in the league while the Pirates came into the postseason after a good second half and were attempting to show they belonged. It turns out the Pirates did not belong as the usually quiet offence of the Giants went off on the Pirates pitchers. The 8-0 rout all started in the 4th inning when Brandon Crawford hit a Grand Slam immediately putting the Giants up 4-0. From that point on it was Madison Bumgarner who took over striking out 10 over nine innings in a complete game shutout. It was still a great game, although Pirates fans may disagree, with the Giants putting together a great pitching performance and some offence. Now that the wild card games are over the traditionalists can get back to the way things were as the series begin with the Giants and Royals hoping to make their Wild Card wins stick and lead them to a good postseason performances in the Division Series and Championship Series with the most exciting time in baseball underway.

 

Extra Innings
(More on the week that was in the MLB)

Firing in Minnesota
Those words are rarely seen in Minnesota as they would see their first manager fired in the history of the franchise after management decided they needed a change and fired Ron Gardenhire ending a twelve season reign on the bench

Closing the Season in Style
As the Washington Nationals headed to the postseason as the best team in the National League they didn’t have much to play for in the final game but that didn’t stop Jordan Zimmerman from pitching a no-hitter in the last game of the season

Starting the Playoffs off right
As the playoffs began the Giants were looking to show they were for real even from the wild card and they did so with a Grand Slam in the 4th inning against the Pirates thanks to Brandon Crawford

postseasoni

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