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Sports MLB playoffs 2019: Three takeaways from Rays' convincing wild-card win over Athletics

09:30  03 october  2019
09:30  03 october  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

Gregor Chisholm: Pennant races aren’t much fun when there’s no trying in baseball

  Gregor Chisholm: Pennant races aren’t much fun when there’s no trying in baseball A Major League Baseball season which began with a select number of teams actively trying to field a contender is predictably ending with a whimper instead of a bang. Following a late-season swoon by the Cubs, the only race worth watching is the American League wild card where three teams entered play on Monday night separated by two games for the final two spots. This might be the age of parity in the NFL and NHL, but MLB is still a league of haves and have nots. Super teams such as the Astros, Dodgers and Yankees will make for compelling television in October, but the disparity hasn’t led to much of a pennant race.

Three takeaways from an improbable Nationals wild - card win . Oh no! Woodruff threw 19 pitches over 99 mph after throwing 29 over that speed all season. Baseball is a power-hitting, hitter-friendly, quick-pull game in 2019 . This is not your father's game, but it is what's in store for the 2019 postseason.

The official Wild Card standings for Major League Baseball . The first half began on April 9 and ended June 11, while the second half started on August 10 and ended October 4. Overall standings are presented here for reference but were not used to determine playoff berths.

The Rays have earned the right to face off with the Astros in the American League Division Series after a 5-1 win over the A's in the AL wild-card game.

Charlie Morton tossed five innings while allowing one unearned run, Yandy Diaz hit two homers and the Rays combined to hit four in total.

There's really not much more to say, but we'll still say some things.

MLB playoffs 2019: Three takeaways from Rays' convincing wild-card win over A's

Don't get it twisted, Charlie Morton is one of the most clutch pitchers in MLB

Yes, the A's missed some opportunities in the wild-card game (more on that later) and no, a lot of people don't know much about Charlie Morton, but over the last three years, Morton has turned into one of the most clutch pitchers in MLB and one of the best in general.

Rays rout Jays to secure American League wild card spot

  Rays rout Jays to secure American League wild card spot Tommy Pham crushed a two-run homer and Austin Meadows blasted a solo home run as the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League wild card spot with a 6-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. The Cleveland Indians lost 8-2 Friday night to the Washington Nationals, allowing the Rays to punch their ticket to the playoffs. The Oakland A's also sealed an AL wild card thanks to Cleveland's loss.The Rays are going to the playoffs for the first time in six years.Tampa Bay right-hander Tyler Glasnow did not allow a hit and walked two while striking out four in 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

Three takeaways from American League wild - card game. The Luis Severino narrative was flat wrong. Severino came back after that abysmal start to throw seven innings of three -run ball against the Indians in the ALDS, four innings of one-run ball against the Astros and then he had a misleading

MLB playoffs 2019 : Three takeaways from an improbable Nationals wild - card win . But the Brewers were playing so that nothing would go over their heads in the outfield and because "At the end of the game, getting down six, five, four outs to go for the win , of course you feel all that pressure

Morton didn't have great control Wednesday, but he fought through five innings and only allowed one run which was unearned after a three-base error on a Marcus Semien ground ball. The 35-year-old righty did enough to earn the win and has now come away with victories in three winner-take-all games in the playoffs since 2017.

He was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2017 as well as Game 7 of the World Series. Since signing with the Astros in 2017, Morton has revitalized his career, going 45-16 and making back-to-back All-Star games. His first year with Tampa Bay has been a great one and he is showing no signs of slowing down with age.

Missed opportunities

The A's were one of the best-hitting MLB teams all year long. They were eighth in runs scored, 11th in on-base percentage, 10th in slugging and 10th in OPS. They finished fifth in home runs and also showed the ability to string hits together and beat teams if they couldn't hit the ball out of the park.

Gregor Chisholm: Rays wrap up wild-card spot on rough night for Blue Jays offence

  Gregor Chisholm: Rays wrap up wild-card spot on rough night for Blue Jays offence The Rays are going back to the post-season for the first time in six years. Tampa Bay clinched one of the two American League wild-card spots with a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday night at the Rogers Centre. The Rays also needed some help from the Nationals, who rallied late to secure an 8-2 win over Cleveland to eliminate the Indians from — post-season contention. The Rays had not finished above third place in their division since 2013, when they won the wild card and later lost to the Red Sox in the AL Division Series. That was the fourth time in six years the Rays made the post-season under former manager Joe Maddon, but they have not been back since.

Back in a do-or-die Wild Card Game for the second year in a row, the Yankees made a statement Wednesday night at The three -time defending AL East champion Boston Red Sox are up next for the Yankees, who Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino set the tone by retiring the Athletics 1-2-3 in

MLB playoffs 2019 : Three takeaways from an improbable Nationals wild - card win . MLB playoffs 2019 : Brewers' Trent Grisham doesn't believe pressure got to him on error.

But Oakland became plagued by a problem late in the season and that problem reared its ugly head again in the wild-card game. While the A's were OK with runners in scoring postion on the season (.252 batting average), they were abysmal down the stretch finishing the year on a 2-for-46 slump.

They struggled again Wednesday, leaving the bases loaded in the first inning and runners on first and third in the fourth. What's worse though is they had at least a runner on base in every single inning of the game except the ninth and yet they could not score an earned run.

The A's couldn't figure out how to plate a runner at the end of the year and it cost them.

A historic skid

This isn't funny anymore.

The A's cannot win a winner-take-all game to save their lives. With their loss to the Rays on Wednesday, Oakland has lost nine straight winner-take-all games. What makes it seem even worse though is when you hear the last time the A's won one.

MLB playoffs 2019: Three takeaways from an improbable Nationals wild-card win

  MLB playoffs 2019: Three takeaways from an improbable Nationals wild-card win The Nationals were down 3-1 with two outs in the eighth inning with Josh Hader on the mound. Then craziness happened.The Nationals took down the Brewers 4-3 with an improbable comeback in the eighth inning.

Athletics . Other Sports. Shop. MLB . Baseball . Yankees fans got their wish as they will now get to see their team advance in the postseason after New York's 8-4 win over the Twins in the American League wild - card Here are three takeaways from the first postseason game of 2017.

Three takeaways from the National League wild - card game. Bad hitting or great pitching? Kyle Freeland was masterful on paper in Tuesday's wild - card game as he tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. But the Cubs did all they could to help extend Freeland's night by

That was in 1973. And again, to make matters worse, six of those nine games have been at home.

Again, this isn't funny anymore.

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a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Yandy Diaz (2) reacts after hitting his second home run of the game against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning of the 2019 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at RingCentral Coliseum.

Three takeaways from Cardinals' series-clinching NLDS Game 5 win over Braves .
This game was over with one out in the first inning.It's hard to call this a game though because the implication of that is two teams were on a level playing field.

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