A Wild Wild Card: Yankees and D-Backs Move On

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A Wild Wild Card: Yankees and D-Backs Move On

Chase Bagnall-Koger, Staff Writer

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Baseball has undergone many changes over the years since its invention in 1839. One of the more recent changes to the structure of the MLB playoffs occurred on Nov. 17, 2011, when it was announced that two ‘Wild Card’ teams would be added to the postseason, amounting to a total of 10 teams. The two Wild Card teams in each league face each other in a one-game playoff, and the winner of this game advances to the Division Series of their respective league, be it the National League or the American League. The revised playoff system was first used in the 2012 postseason, and has continued to be used ever since. This year’s Wild Card Games featured the New York Yankees competing with the Minnesota Twins to represent the American League, and the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks representing the National League.

The Minnesota Twins played the New York Yankees on Tuesday, Oct. 3.  The Bronx Bombers hosted the Twins at Yankee Stadium in New York, and were considered by many to be the favorite to win this match up, especially so after beating the Twins in every postseason match they have played in for the last 14 years.  However, the Twins had an incredibly strong start to the game, capitalized by a home run by second baseman Brian Dozier, just minutes into their playoff debut. The Twins tallied 3 runs in the opening frame, and the Yankees’ starting pitcher, CC Sabathia, lasted just one out. At this point, it seemed like the Yankees’ postseason was over just as it began.

Yankee rookie phenom, Aaron Judge, swings at a pitch.

The game was only beginning. The Yankees retaliated in the second half of the first inning with three runs, bringing the score to a tie. They continued to score throughout the game, and held the Twins in check with a strong defense, preventing the Twins from scoring again, except for once more in the third inning. The final score was 4-8, a decisive victory for the Yankees.

Despite their rocky start, this was the outcome many fans predicted. “I was not surprised with the outcome of the game. I expected the Yankees to win and advance to the World Series,”says freshman Samantha Gazda. With the victory over the Twins, they advance to play the Cleveland Indians in a 5-game Division Series.

The Diamondbacks celebrate after their Wild Card win.

The other 2017 Wild Card game was played the following day between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies in Phoenix, Arizona. The D-Backs had an early lead, bringing the score to 3-0 in the first inning when Paul Goldschmidt launched an early three-run homer. They even built up an impressive 6-0 lead in the first couple of innings, and it appeared they would secure the win easily.

However, this was not so. The Rockies’ powerful and potent lineup of hitters struck back with a vengeance, and landed enough runs to take the lead in the 8th inning with a score of 8-7. With few opportunities left to decide who would enter the playoffs, the game turned into an intense battle on the field. After an incredible battle, the Diamondbacks scored three times in their half of the eighth and again at the top of the ninth to finally put it away.

“The game was very back and forth”, said freshman Nina Montero. “It really could have gone either way, but I’m happy the Diamondbacks pulled through and won the game”.  The 11-8 victory means that the Diamondbacks will advance to play the NL West Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Oct. 6.

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