2022 MLB Wildcard Weekend: A Wild Ride


Scott Morris, Staff Writer

Following the lockout before the start of the season, fans were unsure whether there would be a season. But now here we are, playoff baseball is officially upon us. Four wildcard series took place this past weekend and it was a crazy ride.

The first Wild Card series from the American League took place in Cleveland with the Tampa Bay Rays going up against the Cleveland Guardians. The Rays had Shane McClanahan on the mound, and the Guardians countered with Shane Bieber. The two pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts; each pitched seven strong and effective innings. However, there needed to be a winner in this fantastic game, and the Guardians were able to come out victorious with a 2-1 win. Game 2 of the series would be no different, except this time, it took extra innings to get the game first and only runs across. Guardians’ right fielder Oscar Gonzalez sent the home fans into a frenzy after he crushed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 15th inning, giving the Guardians the series win 2-0. The Guardians will now face the New York Yankees in the first of the American League Divisional Series.

The second series was between the playoff-hungry Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This is the Mariners first playoff appearance since 2001. Behind a stellar pitching performance from Luis Castillo, the Mariners made a statement and won their first playoff game in 21 years 4-0. Game 2 was a must-win for the Blue Jays, if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, Seattle wanted to play spoiler as they swept the series 2-0 with a crazy 10-9 victory. Seattle battled back from a 7-1 deficit in the game to win the series. The Mariners will now travel to Houston to battle the Astros in the second America League Divisional Series.

The first Wild Card of the National League took place in St. Louis between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. This series was instantly an underdog’s favorite. Coming into the series, most people believed that St. Louis would destroy the Phillies, considering how talented their bats were. However, behind stellar pitching from Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, the Phillies silenced the haters and showed that pitching once again matters. The Phillies would pull out a wild come-from-behind win as they scored six runs in the top of the ninth to erase a 2-0 deficit to win the game 6-3. Game 2 was a little less crazy, as the Phillies were the only team to score runs and completed the series in two games. Soon-to-be Hall of Famer Albert Pujols’s bat was silenced as he finished his impressive MLB career and one never to be forgotten. The next test for these relentless Phillies will be the defending World Series Champions as they face the Atlanta Braves in the first National League Divisional Series.

The fourth and final series was the only series that needed all three games to determine a winner. The San Diego Padres took on the New York Mets in Flushing Queens for this instant classic. Game 1 was supposed to be a pitching battle as the Mets sent Max Scherzer to the mound, and the Padres countered with Yu Darvish. However, the Padres were not going to let the 15-year veteran control their fate, as Padres’ hitters figured him out quickly. The Padres put up seven runs against Max as they took Game 1 with a commanding score of 7-1. In game two, the Mets showed up and pulled off a 7-2 win as their bats were on fire throughout. The Mets were in control of their destiny heading into the decisive game of the series, but the bats again went quiet as starting pitcher Joe Musgrove for the Padres only allowed one hit in 7 innings of work. The Padres were able to come into New York and pull out a massive upset victory which will now send them back to California as they face in-state foe Los Angeles Dodgers in the second National League Divisional Series. Check out the MLB on all social platforms for all updates throughout the 2022 MLB Postseason.