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2020 American League Wild Card Series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2020 American League Wild Card Series were four best-of-three series in Major League Baseball (MLB) to determine participating teams in the 2020 American League Division Series. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB expanded the postseason instead of holding the regular Wild Card Game for each league. All games for each series were played at the higher seeded team's home ballpark.

The matchups were:

Background

On September 15, 2020, MLB announced the playoff bracket for the 2020 season, which was shortened to 60 regular season games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The postseason consisted of eight teams from each league: the top two teams from each division, plus the teams from each division with the next two best records. The Wild Card Series were best-of-three series, as opposed to the play-in game format of the Wild Card Game from previous seasons, while the Division Series, League Championship Series, and World Series were their normal lengths. All Wild Card Series games were played at the home field of the higher seeded team.[1]

Matchups

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay won the series, 2–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 September 29 Toronto Blue Jays – 1, Tampa Bay Rays – 3 Tropicana Field 3:06 N/A[2] 
2 September 30 Toronto Blue Jays – 2, Tampa Bay Rays – 8 Tropicana Field 3:05 N/A[3]

Oakland Athletics vs. Chicago White Sox

Oakland won the series, 2–1.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 September 29 Chicago White Sox – 4, Oakland Athletics – 1 Oakland Coliseum 2:53 N/A[4] 
2 September 30 Chicago White Sox – 3, Oakland Athletics – 5 Oakland Coliseum 3:05 N/A[5] 
3 October 1 Chicago White Sox – 4, Oakland Athletics – 6 Oakland Coliseum 4:09 N/A[6]

Minnesota Twins vs. Houston Astros

Houston won the series, 2–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 September 29 Houston Astros – 4, Minnesota Twins – 1 Target Field 3:49 N/A[7] 
2 September 30 Houston Astros – 3, Minnesota Twins – 1 Target Field 3:32 N/A[8]

Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees

New York won the series, 2–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 September 29 New York Yankees – 12, Cleveland Indians – 3 Progressive Field 3:17 N/A[9] 
2 September 30 New York Yankees – 10, Cleveland Indians – 9 Progressive Field 4:50 N/A[10]

Tampa Bay vs. Toronto

This is the first postseason series between the Rays and Blue Jays.

Game 1

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:07 pm (EDT) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 0
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 X 3 4 0
WP: Blake Snell (1–0)   LP: Robbie Ray (0–1)   Sv: Pete Fairbanks (1)
Home runs:
TOR: None
TB: Manuel Margot (1)
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

Game 2

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 4:07 pm (EDT) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 2
Tampa Bay 1 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 X 8 12 0
WP: Tyler Glasnow (1–0)   LP: Hyun-jin Ryu (0–1)
Home runs:
TOR: Danny Jansen 2 (2)
TB: Mike Zunino (1), Hunter Renfroe (1)
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

Oakland vs. Chicago

This is the first postseason series between the Athletics and White Sox.

Game 1

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:08 pm (PDT) at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 9 0
Oakland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 0
WP: Lucas Giolito (1–0)   LP: Jesus Luzardo (0–1)   Sv: Álex Colomé (1)
Home runs:
CWS: Adam Engel (1), Jose Abreu (1), Yasmani Grandal (1)
OAK: None
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

Game 2

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:10 pm (PDT) at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 3 10 2
Oakland 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 X 5 7 0
WP: Chris Bassitt (1–0)   LP: Dallas Keuchel (0–1)   Sv: Jake Diekman (1)
Home runs:
CWS: Yasmani Grandal (2)
OAK: Marcus Semien (1), Khris Davis (1)
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

Game 3

Thursday, October 1, 2020 12:10 pm (PDT) at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 12 1
Oakland 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 0 X 6 8 1
WP: Frankie Montas (1–0)   LP: Evan Marshall (0–1)   Sv: Liam Hendriks (1)
Home runs:
CWS: Luis Robert (1)
OAK: Sean Murphy (1)
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

This was the White Sox first winner-take-all elimination game in the club's 119-year history. The Athletics had lost nine straight such winner-take-all elimination games until this win.[11]

Minnesota vs. Houston

This is the first postseason meeting between the Twins and Astros.

Game 1

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 1:08 pm (CDT) at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 4 8 0
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
WP: Framber Valdez (1–0)   LP: Sergio Romo (0–1)
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

The decision for this game would fall to the bullpen for both teams in this brief series, matching Zack Greinke versus Kenta Maeda. Greinke went four innings and allowed a run on two hits and three walks, while Maeda went five innings and allowed just two hits. The Astros left nine on base while the Twins left seven. George Springer tied the game on a RBI single in the seventh. In the ninth inning, the Twins would crumble. Sergio Romo got the first two outs of the inning, but he started it by allowing consecutive singles and a fielding choice that loaded the bases. Facing Jose Altuve with the bases loaded, he would walk him to score in the go-ahead run. Caleb Thielbar would replace Romo and have his fourth pitch hit by Michael Brantley for a single that scored two runs before the inning ended. Framber Valdez, who had taken over for Greinke in the fifth, would allow two singles in the ninth (the only hits he allowed in his five innings of work), but he would seal the game on a double play that gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the series. This was the Twins’ 17th straight postseason loss, setting a team record for major professional sports in North America.[12]

Game 2

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:08 pm (CDT) at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 5 1
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
WP: Cristian Javier (1–0)   LP: Cody Stashak (0–1)   Sv: Ryan Pressly (1)
Home runs:
HOU: Carlos Correa (1)
MIN: None
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

José Urquidy threw four innings for the Astros and allowed a run before handing it to the bullpen, who pitched 4.2 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. Jose Berrios matched him with five innings with one run allowed, but Cody Stashak allowed the go-ahead run on a home run by Carlos Correa. In total, the bullpen allowed three hits and two runs. This was the Twins' 18th straight postseason loss, extending their record. This was Dusty Baker's first playoff series win since the 2003 National League Division Series while he was manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Cleveland vs. New York

This is the fifth postseason meeting between the Indians and Yankees, with both teams splitting their first four postseason meetings. The Indians previously won the 1997 American League Division Series 3–2 and the 2007 American League Division Series 3–1, while the Yankees previously won the 1998 American League Championship Series 4–2 and the 2017 American League Division Series 3–2.

Game 1

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 7:08 pm (EDT) at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 2 0 1 2 2 0 4 0 1 12 15 0
Cleveland 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 8 0
WP: Gerrit Cole (1–0)   LP: Shane Bieber (0–1)
Home runs:
NYY: Aaron Judge (1), Gleyber Torres (1), Brett Gardner (1), Giancarlo Stanton (1)
CLE: Josh Naylor (1)
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

The first game matched the prime stars for both squads in Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber, with the latter having won the pitching Triple Crown for the 2020 season. The Yankees took an early lead when Aaron Judge hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Bieber, who had allowed the leadoff hitter in DJ LeMahieu to get on base with a single. Luke Voit increased the lead to three in the third inning on a double. The Indians countered with a run on a José Ramírez double that made it 3-1, but a Carlos Santana strike out culled the chance for more with runners on the corner. The Yankees responded with a Brett Gardner RBI double and a subsequent LeMahieu RBI single to make it 5–1. Josh Naylor made it 5–2 on a home run, while Gleyber Torres responded with a home run of his own to make it 7–2. The Yankees blew the game further open with runs driven in by Urshela, Torres, and Gardner to make for four runs in the seventh before finishing with a Giancarlo Stanton home run. The Indians closed the scoring with a Tyler Naquin RBI single that made the final score 12–3. Cole struck out thirteen batters in seven innings while allowing two runs on six hits. He was the second pitcher to throw thirteen strikeouts with zero walks and the first since Tom Seaver did so in Game 1 of the 1973 National League Championship Series. Bieber allowed seven runs on nine hits while striking out seven with two walks that saw him last 4 2/3 innings. [13]

Game 2

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:08 pm (EDT) at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 1 0 4 1 2 0 0 2 10 8 0
Cleveland 4 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 0 9 10 2
WP: Aroldis Chapman (1–0)   LP: Brad Hand (0–1)
Home runs:
NYY: Giancarlo Stanton (2), Gio Urshela (1), Gary Sanchez (1)
CLE: None
Attendance: N/A
Boxscore

Masahiro Tanaka was matched against Carlos Carrasco, but neither starter would factor into the final result. Tanaka pitched four innings but allowed six runs on five hits with three strikeouts and walks, while Carrasco allowed four runs on two hits with three walks to six strikeouts on three innings. The Indians led 4-0 on RBI doubles by José Ramírez & Josh Naylor and a Roberto Perez RBI single in the first inning. Giancarlo Stanton made it 4-1 with a home run in the second inning. The fourth inning saw the Yankees take the lead after driving Carrasco from the game on a triple and two walks. Gio Urshela, facing James Karinchak, hit a grand slam on a full count to take the lead. Phil Maton took over after two walks and managed to strand the runners to alleviate further damage. In the next inning, he allowed a run to score on a sacrifice fly by Stanton. Tanaka was driven out of the game in the fifth after allowing a double and a walk to be replaced by Chad Green. Ramirez would tie the game on a two-run double. Triston McKenzie took over for the sixth to pitch for Cleveland. A walk followed by a home run by Gary Sanchez meant an 8-6 lead for New York. Zack Britton managed to garner the first two outs of the seventh before being taken out for Jonathan Loaisiga after walking two batters. Jordan Luplow would tie the game on a two-run double. Loaisiga would allow the first two batters to reach on walks in the eighth and was replaced by Aroldis Chapman. On the first pitch he saw, César Hernández hit a single that would break the tie at eight and give them the lead. Brad Hand was sent out to save the ninth inning for the Indians. He allowed a walk and two singles to load the bases. This would be followed by a strikeout before a sacrifice fly by Sanchez to tie the game at nine. With two outs, LeMahieu would break the tie on an RBI single to make it 10-9. Chapman would strike out three of the four batters he saw to finish the game for the Yankees.

This extended the Indians consecutive playoff losing streak to eight games. This was the fourth time in the last five years that the Indians were eliminated from the postseason at home. At four hours and 50 minutes, this set a record as the longest nine-inning game in MLB history. [14] This was also Francisco Lindor's last game with the Cleveland Indians, as he was traded along with Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets in the off-season.[15][16]

Broadcasting

The games were televised on ESPN, and TBS in the United States, with ABC showing the first game of the Twins–Astros series and ESPN2 showing the second game. TBS aired the entirety of the Rays–Blue Jays series. Sportsnet, a property of Toronto Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications, broadcast games in Canada.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ "MLB sets playoff bubbles: Schedule, neutral-site locations and everything else to know for 2020 postseason". cbssports.com. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  2. ^ "Game 1 boxscore – Toronto at Tampa Bay". MLB.com.
  3. ^ "Game 2 boxscore – Toronto at Tampa Bay". MLB.com.
  4. ^ "Game 1 boxscore – Chicago at Oakland". MLB.com.
  5. ^ "Game 2 boxscore – Chicago at Oakland". MLB.com.
  6. ^ "Game 3 boxscore – Chicago at Oakland". MLB.com.
  7. ^ "Game 1 boxscore – Houston at Minnesota". MLB.com.
  8. ^ "Game 2 boxscore – Houston at Minnesota". MLB.com.
  9. ^ "Game 1 boxscore – New York at Cleveland". MLB.com.
  10. ^ "Game 2 boxscore – New York at Cleveland". MLB.com.
  11. ^ "Athletics outlast White Sox in winner-take-all Game 3 to reach ALDS". USAtoday.com. USA Today. October 1, 2020. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "The Twins 18 straight postseason losses put in persepctive". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  13. ^ "2020 American League Wild Card Series (ALWC) Game 1, New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians, September 29, 2020".
  14. ^ "New York Yankees advance, beat Cleveland Indians in longest 9-inning game in MLB history". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 30, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  15. ^ Puma, Mike (2021-01-07). "Mets trade for Indians stars Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco". New York Post. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  16. ^ "2020 American League Wild Card Series (ALWC) Game 2, New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians, September 30, 2020".
  17. ^ "MLB playoff schedule 2020: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels for every series". sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
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