During MLB’s busy wild-card series, we’ll keep you updated right here on results, must-see moments and what’s next in each matchup.
Game 1: New York Yankees 12, Cleveland Indians 3
What happened? The New York Yankees opened the 2020 postseason with an impressive all around performance, defeating Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Indians 12-3 in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series.
Bieber, who is likely to win the AL Cy Young award, had been dominant during the regular season, winning eight of nine decisions, posting a 1.63 ERA and striking out 122 batters over 77 1.3 innings. In Game 1, it was a completely different story. Bieber was knocked out of his postseason debut in the fifth inning after allowing a season-high seven earned runs.
Shane Bieber, July 24-Aug. 31: 7 runs allowed— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) September 30, 2020
Shane Bieber tonight: 7 runs allowed
Aaron Judge set the tone early, launching Bieber's fourth pitch of the game for a two-run home run. In the fifth inning, Gleyber Torres ended Bieber's evening with another two-run blast. Before Tuesday, Bieber had only allowed seven home runs all season.
It was more than enough support for Gerrit Cole. In his Yankees' postseason debut, the $324 million right-hander limited Cleveland to two runs while striking out 13 over seven innings. Cleveland got very few good swings against Cole aside from Josh Naylor's rocket solo home run in the fourth inning.
What’s next? The Yankees will look to advance to their fourth straight ALDS with a win in Game 2. Veteran right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who posted a 3.56 ERA in 10 regular season starts, will take the ball for New York. Cleveland's season will ride on right-hander Carlos Carrasco. The 33-year-old right-hander missed most of the 2019 season while battling cancer, but has dazzled this season with a 2.91 ERA and 82 strikeouts over 68 innings.
First pitch for Game 2 is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET. The game will air live on ESPN.
You see this? Aaron Judge continues to be a postseason monster. The Yankees never trailed in Game 1 thanks to this first-inning home run.
By hitting his ninth career postseason home run in just his 28th postseason game, Judge also joined elite company in Yankees’ history.
Yankees Most HR in First 28 career Postseason Games:— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) September 29, 2020
Aaron Judge 9
Mickey Mantle 9
Lou Gehrig 9
Game 1: Tampa Bay Rays 3, Toronto Blue Jays 1
What happened? The Rays became the first home team to win in the 2020 postseason, topping the Blue Jays 3-1 in Game 1 of the wild-card series.
The Rays got a stellar outing from starter Blake Snell. The 2018 AL Cy Young winner tied a Rays postseason record by striking out nine batters over 5 2/3 innings. The Blue Jays were hitless against Snell until the sixth inning, when Alejandro Kirk led off with a single. Relievers Diego Castillo, Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks combined to record the final 10 outs.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the fourth inning. Speedy outfielder Randy Arozarena, who has been on a tear, did the damage himself, leading off the frame with a triple and later scoring a wild pitch. The Rays added two big insurance runs in the seventh on Manuel Margot's two-run home run. Until that point, Jays pitching had limited the Rays to just three hits.
Toronto scored its lone run in the eighth when Rowdy Tellez scored on Bo Bichette’s sacrifice fly.
What’s next? The Rays will carry a 1-0 lead into Game 2 on Wednesday afternoon and will have an opportunity to wrap up the best-of-three wild-card series and advance to the ALCS. Tampa Bay will start right-hander Tyler Glasnow, who finished the season with a 4.08 ERA and 91 strikeouts over 57 1.3 innings. Toronto will turn to veteran left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu to extend its season. In his first season with Toronto, Ryu posted a 2.69 ERA in 67 innings.
Game 2 will begin at 4:07 p.m. ET and will air live on TBS.
You see this? Rays outfielder Manuel Margot picked a good time to power up. After homering just once during the regular season, he hit this critical two-run home run that helped Tampa Bay ice the game.
For his career, Margot has hit just 34 home runs in 475 games.
Game 1: Houston Astros 4, Minnesota Twins 1
What happened? The Houston Astros won a tense postseason opener, defeating the Minnesota Twins 4-1.
The game wasn't decided until the ninth inning, when Houston loaded the bases against Twins' reliever Sergio Romo. José Altuve, the maligned former MVP whose name was closely attached to the sign-stealing scandal, drew a two-out walk to force in the go-ahead run.
Houston's ninth-inning rally was aided by a Jorge Polanco throwing error that extended the inning. Michael Brantley put the game away for Houston, adding a two-run single. The loss was Minnesota’s 17th straight in the postseason. The Twins must snap the streak Wednesday, or their season is over.
Two of MLB's highest powered offenses were silenced early by a pair of crafty veteran starters. Minnesota's Kenta Maeda pitched five scoreless innings, limiting Houston to two hits while striking out five over five innings. Astros right-hander Zack Greinke walked three, but only allowed one run. Greinke was surprisingly pulled after four innings, but Framber Valdez took it home with five scoreless innings to earn the win in relief.
What’s next? The Astros will have a chance to wrap up the wild-card series quickly with a win on Wednesday afternoon. With their season on the line, the Twins have already announced right-hander José Berríos will be on the hill for Game 2. Houston is expected to counter with Jose Urquidy, but no official announcement has been made.
Game 2 is scheduled to begin at 1:08 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN 2.
Game 1: Chicago White Sox 4, Oakland A’s 1
What happened? The Chicago White Sox announced their return to the postseason in a big way, as ace Lucas Giolito took a perfect game into the seventh inning and their powerful lineup cracked three homers en route to a 4-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
The White Sox had slipped down to the No. 7 seed in the playoff bracket after a lackluster final few weeks, but they looked like a potential October juggernaut in Game 1 of the wild-card series, their first playoff game since 2008.
Giolito struck out eight and looked completely dominant against the No. 2 seed A’s. He pitched 7 1/3 innings before turning it over to the White Sox bullpen after allowing his second hit at the 100-pitch mark.
The offense, meanwhile, steadily kept the pressure on Oakland. Leadoff man Tim Anderson had three hits, and all the White Sox runs came on homers, with Adam Engel, Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal all going yard.
What’s next? The White Sox take their 1-0 lead into Game 2 on Wednesday needing just one more win to advance to the ALDS. If they play like they did in Game 1, the White Sox will like their chances. In Game 2, they’ll have veteran Dallas Keuchel on the mound. He’s a World Series winner and former Cy Young, so he’s battle-tested. This season, he has a 1.99 ERA through 11 starts. The A’s will counter with Chris Bassitt, a 31-year-old righty who had his best season yet in the big leagues. His 2.29 ERA in 11 starts made a mark in Oakland’s rotation.
They’ll play at 3:10 p.m. ET Wednesday with TV coverage on ESPN.
You see this? This game will largely be remembered for Giolito’s performance, but the most eye-popping moment came when Jose Abreu launched his massive homer off Jesus Luzardo to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead and give Giolito some breathing room.
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