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Sports Eight things we learned from unprecedented day of MLB playoff games

15:35  01 october  2020
15:35  01 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Wednesday was an unprecedented day in Major League Baseball history with eight playoff games taking place over a roughly 13-hour period. The most die-hard baseball fans stuck around until the final out, but those who didn't could probably use a quick refresher on the most important things that

Learn about how Major League Baseball ( MLB ) playoffs work, from postseason wild-card play to the final out of the World Series. Within the Division: If there is a tie at the conclusion of the regular MLB season for any of the divisional or wild-card positions, a one- game playoff will be held the day after

Wednesday was an unprecedented day in Major League Baseball history with eight playoff games taking place over a roughly 13-hour period.

The most die-hard baseball fans stuck around until the final out, but those who didn't could probably use a quick refresher on the most important things that transpired.

DeGrom frustrated after Mets miss playoffs: '8 teams go and we didn't'

  DeGrom frustrated after Mets miss playoffs: '8 teams go and we didn't' The New York Mets waved goodbye to their postseason chances with a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday afternoon. Ace right-hander Jacob deGrom, who started the contest, expressed his disappointment postgame after missing the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season - despite an expanded 2020 field featuring eight National League teams instead of five. "Eight teams go and we didn’t make it," deGrom said, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. "That’s pretty frustrating.

The 2020 MLB playoffs are down to the final two teams, with the It's just the way things are done these days . Greinke had faced 22 batters and thrown 87 pitches when Plus, before a spirited ninth-inning comeback in Game 2, eight Braves pitchers limited the Dodgers to 10 hits and eight walks in

7- game series, a team wins Game 1, loses games 2 and 3, wins Game 4, loses Game 5, and then wins Games 6 and 7. For whatever reason Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona Bay. Only playoff series in MLB history to be cancelled by an umpire strike in the middle of the ninth of Game 4.

Our USA TODAY staffers have opened their notebooks to share their thoughts on each of the eight games on the wild card schedule – focusing on the game-changing (or potentially series-changing) moments.

a baseball player throwing a ball: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman hit .341 with 13 homers and 53 RBI during the regular season, but no hit was bigger than his walk-off single in Game 1 of the wild card series vs. the Reds. © Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman hit .341 with 13 homers and 53 RBI during the regular season, but no hit was bigger than his walk-off single in Game 1 of the wild card series vs. the Reds.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

So let's look back at the winners and losers on what was a wild and wonderful Wednesday of baseball.

HOW IT WENT DOWN: Here's what happened on wild Day 2 of MLB playoffs

Reds vs. Braves

Freddie Freeman’s arc over the last two-and-half months from a battle with COVID-19 to Game 1 walk-off hero deserves more recognition — and he might win NL MVP. Trevor Bauer and the Reds’ bullpen demonstrated why pitching is the strength of this Cincinnati team, but a memo to the lineup: it doesn’t matter when you strand 13 men on base and can’t score in 13 innings.

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Baseball ’s postseason is upon us . With the St. Louis Cardinals clinching the NL Central on the season’s final day , our playoff bracket is set. Here’s a rundown of the matchups, schedules, game times and where to watch on TV. We ’ll update with more information as soon as it’s available.

Maybe it was never feasible for MLB to play in a bubble like the NBA and NHL. But current plan to play during the pandemic is looking irretrievably flawed. Veldheer, an offensive tackle who played for the Colts on Sunday against the Bills, is signing with the Packers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

– Chris Bumbaca

Twins vs. Astros

Carlos Correa has a message for the haters. "I know a lot of people are mad, I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here, but what are they going to say now?” said the Astros shortstop after they advanced to the ALDS. This, of course, is Correa clapping back at critics who wish Houston ill will for their sign-stealing scandal that led to the 2017 World Series title.

– Scott Boeck

Cubs vs. Marlins

The Marlins have a future – and present – ace in Sandy Alcantara. Making his postseason debut Wednesday, the 25-year-old held the Cubs to three hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings, picking up the win as Miami scored five runs in the top of the seventh. Alcantara (acquired in the Marcell Ozuna trade) was an All-Star last season and looked primed for a breakout 2020, beating the Phillies on opening day – but contracted COVID-19 and missed more than a month. He came back with a 2.30 ERA in five September starts to help the Marlins reach the postseason and now has them one win away from the NLDS.

– Jesse Yomtov

A's vs. White Sox

They are the No. 2 seed in the AL, but do the A's have a crisis of confidence with their pitching?

What should have been a buoyant win to stave off elimination instead became a white-knuckle misadventure when manager Bob Melvin tabbed closer Liam Hendriks to pitch the final two innings after starter Chris Bassitt handed them a 5-0 lead. Hendriks couldn't finish it, giving up three runs (one to Bassitt) and yielding to Jake Diekman with the tying runs on base in the ninth.

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Mike Lucas from StandingOSports.com takes a look at what we learned from this weekend's NFL Divisional Round games .

(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights from Major League Baseball 's playoff games on Wednesday: Yankees 5, Astros 0 Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven outstanding innings and the New York Yankees scored four runs against Dallas Keuchel in a 5-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the

They hung on for a 5-3 win, yet could not say who'd they start in Thursday's decisive Game 3. The choice appears to be between Mike Fiers and lefty Sean Manaea, but the White Sox are 15-0 against southpaws this year, including a Game 1 throttling of Jesus Luzardo. Meanwhile, Hendriks threw 49 pitches, putting his Game 3 availability in doubt.

– Gabe Lacques

Rays vs. Blue Jays

The AL’s best team did not have trouble, as Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow proved they belong in the conversation of “best one-two at the top of the rotation” this October. Also, Kevin Cash will have his seemingly never-ending parade of bullpen arms on four days rest to open the ALDS. A valuable experience for a Blue Jays team that should be back in the postseason soon.

– Chris Bumbaca

Cardinals vs. Padres

Meet Dylan Carlson, the 21-year old Cardinals rookie outfielder who batted cleanup for just the second time in the big leagues. He didn't disappoint, finishing with two hits (one double), two runs and two walks in his first career postseason game. Carlson played better in late September after being sent back to the alternate site.

– Scott Boeck

Indians vs. Yankees

The Yankees' offense has come alive and they're heading to the ALDS, but the team's bullpen – a major asset in recent years – is a concern moving forward. Zack Britton struggled with control in Wednesday's win, and it's clear that right-hander Adam Ottavino, who had a 1.90 ERA in 2019 and a 5.89 this year, has lost the trust of manager Aaron Boone as he wasn't used. And sure, Aroldis Chapman is among baseball's elite closers – but do you really trust him in the postseason?

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– Jesse Yomtov

Dodgers vs. Brewers

Julio Urias may get lost in the incredible depth on the Dodgers roster, but he could play a major role in their march to a possible championship. The left-hander tossed three shutout innings in relief of starter Walker Buehler, preserving an early lead and ultimately getting the win.

Urias, 24, is almost equally effective against right-handed batters as he is against lefties. But the reason he's so valuable – especially if Buehler's blister issues linger – is his ability to fill the role of a starter (which he did in 10 of his 11 appearances during the regular season) or be an effective reliever (as he did in 2018, posting a 2.49 ERA and four saves). His three innings of work in Game 1 bridged the gap to Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen – who should still be available, if needed, for Game 2.

– Steve Gardner

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Eight things we learned from unprecedented day of MLB playoff games

Jose Altuve may have the yips, but he's also raking .
Jose Altuve, the Houston Astros' embattled second baseman, is having a rough go of it in the field right now. The prevailing diagnosis is a case of the yips. At any rate, Altuve's sudden inability to make routine throws cost the Astros dearly in Games 2 and 3 of the American League Championship Series and played an outsized role in helping the Tampa Bay Rays grab a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. In Game 4, however, with the Astros on the brink of elimination, Altuve did a fine job redeeming himself, albeit in the batter's box, blasting a solo shot off right-hander Tyler Glasnow in his first at-bat of the game to give Houston a first-inning lead.

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