MLB Postseason opens with two thrilling Wildcard games

MLB Wildcard finishes up with implications for the future of the playoff format


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Kyle Schwarber hits a solo homerun in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

Jonathan Albers, Editor

Major League Baseball opened its postseason with great, historic match ups that had fans on the edge of their seat. The first of the two was the New York Yankees at the Boston Red Sox. The division rivals were in for a good game as soon as the first pitch was thrown. The second match up was the St. Louis Cardinals at the Los Angeles Dodgers. These teams have wildcard history in the early 2000s, but there was no deja vu.

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

These division rivals are no stranger to big games, and this was no exception. The Yankees had to claw and scratch wins early on in the season. They battled injury and adversity, and they succeeded at making the Postseason. The Red Sox had quite the opposite path to October. They started the season red hot, and looked like World Series contenders right out of the gate. Then they struggled, and had a hard time fending off other American League foes for their payoff spot. But in the end, the fans got to see this rivalry in the playoffs once again.

The Red Sox struck first, with a Xander Bogaerts two run home run to dead center in the top of the first off of starting pitcher Garret Cole. The home run ball plagued Cole once again, with Kyle Schwarber hitting a no doubter in the bottom of the third.  The Yankees would get one back off of an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in the top of the 6th. Alex Verdugo would pick up an RBI in back to back innings, making the game six to one. The Yankees would score one more time off of a solo homer by Giancarlo Stanton. The final score was 6-2 Red Sox.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

These two historic franchises have faced off in the wildcard game before, and it was just as thrilling. The Dodgers started Max Scherzer, who has been lights out for the Dodgers after the trade deadline. The Cardinals started Adam Wainwright, who is having a career year at the ripe age of 40. The big money Dodgers were going to have their hands full against the Black magic, voodoo Cardinals. This game was one for the ages.

Scherzer struggles to put Cardinal batters down easily, and his struggles started very early. In the top of the first, Tommy Edmund scored on a wild pitch by Scherzer. Things did not look good for Scherzer early, but the first inning run would be the only one he would allow over the next 4 1/3 innings pitched. Wainwright was dominant for about 5 of his 5 1/3 innings. Only giving up a run on a Justin Turner solo shot in the bottom of the fourth. The game would remain 1-1 until the bottom of the 9th, when Chris Taylor hit a 2-run walk off home run the left field.

Big implications on playoff format future

The MLB playoff format has been criticized during recent years. Fans believe that a one-game elimination format for the wildcard is not enough. There have been many teams who dominate in the regular season, but their season ends in one night.

Enter the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates won 98 games in 2015, and hosted the Chicago Cubs for the wildcard game. the Pirates fell to the Cubs and their season was over just like that. This year’s example would be the Yankees. They finished the regular season with a record with 92 wins and 70 losses. The Yankees have competed with the best of the best all season long, but their season was decided by one game. Fans believe that this wildcard format is bad for baseball, and viewership as a whole. The Yankees have one of the biggest fan bases in the sports world, and their season was decided by one playoff game, while all other games in MLB playoffs are played in a series.

As outrage continues, the thought of a change in the playoff format becomes more of a reality. Will Major League Baseball listen to their fan base? Or will they fail to change the sport for the better?