The season is officially over and the Wild Card spots have been set! Let’s see how it came to be over the weekend.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays finished their season in the Bronx against the Yankees to try to spoil their Wild Card clinch. Shane McClanahan pitched three innings and gave up one run. Nelson Cruz hit his 32nd home run. Francisco Mejia went 2-for-3. The Rays won 4-3.
Shane Baz pitched 2.2 innings and gave up one run. Brandon Lowe hit three home runs in the game. Mike Zunino hit his 33rd home run. Randy Arozarena went 3-for-4. Manuel Margot went 2-for-5. The Rays won 12-2 and got their 100th win of the season.
Michael Wacha started for the Rays and pitched five scoreless innings. The Rays were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Josh Fleming got the loss in the 1-0 game. The next game the Rays will play will be at home on Thursday against the wild card winner.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox played in D.C. against the Nationals to end the season. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched five scoreless innings. J.D. Martinez went 2-for-4. Hunter Renfroe hit his 31st home run. Bobby Dalbec hit his 25th home run. The Red Sox won 4-2.
Tanner Houck pitched five scoreless innings. Rafael Devers hit his 36th home run. Enrique Hernandez went 2-for-4 and hit his 20th home run. The Sox won 5-3.
Chris Sale pitched the season finale. He lasted 2.2 innings and gave up two runs. He left the game with the bases loaded and one out. Hirokazu Sawamura got out of the trouble by getting a much-needed double play to end the inning. Alex Verdugo tied the game at 5 with a double in the 7th inning. Devers hit two home runs with the second giving the lead in the 9th inning. Sox won 7-5 and like the Yankees, will have Monday off to prepare for Tuesday night at home.
Rafael Devers confirmed "the man". pic.twitter.com/a7DBwVlPwj — Red Sox (@RedSox) October 3, 2021
NEW YORK YANKEES
With the magic number being two for the Yankees to clinch a Wild Card spot, they needed to win their game (plus a loss by the Red Sox or Mariners). Nestor Cortes Jr pitched 4.2 innings and gave up two runs. Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, and Brett Gardner went 2-for-4. A strange move by Aaron Boone in the 8th inning had Domingo German pitch his first game since July. He went scoreless but it got stranger. Instead of having Aroldis Chapman pitch the 9th down by one run at home, Boone decided to have German start the 9th inning followed by Albert Abreu, who gave up the two extra runs the Rays needed to win. The offense had the go-ahead run on base but strikeouts by Gary Sanchez and Rougned Odor ended the threat. The Yanks lost 4-3.
JUST WIN AND YOU ARE IN
Because the Mariners later lost their game against the Angels, the magic number is now one. All the Yankees need to do is win and they are in. Jordan Montgomery pitched 2.2 innings and gave up SEVEN runs. The game isn’t a “must-win” per se but still needed to clinch a spot and avoid a Game 163. Anthony Rizzo hit his 22nd home run. The Yanks lost an ugly one 12-2.
Before the game, it was announced that DJ LeMahieu was placed in the IL with a sports hernia. The Yankees had a plan as far as their pitching goes and Jameson Taillon gave the Yankees what they needed. He went 3.1 scoreless innings. Wandy Peralta followed with 1.1 scoreless innings. Clay Holmes pitched a scoreless inning after. Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Aroldis Chapman followed with scoreless innings. The Yankees just needed one run to win. Aaron Judge was 0-for-3 entering the 9th inning with Tyler Wade on third, who pinch-ran for Rougned Odor after his single, and Rizzo on first. Judge delivered with a single and the Yanks clinched their post-season spot with the score of 1-0.
All Rise to the Occasion. pic.twitter.com/EOtbLMglep — New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 3, 2021
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Steven Matz started against the Orioles. He pitched seven innings and gave up two runs. Danny Jansen went 2-for-4 and hit his 10th home run. Corey Dickerson went 2-for-4 and hit his 6th home run. Santiago Espinal went 2-for-3 with a walk. The Jays won 6-4.
Alek Manoah pitched seven innings and gave up one run. Vladimir Guerrero Jr went 2-for-5 and hit his 47th home run. George Springer went 4-for-5 and hit his 20th home run. Bo Bichette went 2-for-4 and hit his 29th home run. Teoscar Hernandez hit his 32nd home run. The Jays won 10-1.
Hyun Jin Ryu pitched five innings and gave up two runs. Springer hit two home runs in the game, including a grand slam. Guerrero Jr hit his 48th home run. Marcus Semien hit his 45th home run. Teoscar Hernandez went 3-for-5. The Jays won 12-2 and were ready to play Game 163 if needed but with the wins by the Red Sox and Yankees, their season ended on Sunday with a 91-71 record. Semien and Robbie Ray will be free agents during the off-season. It will be interesting to see if the Jays sign both.
Hear that? That's TORONTO LOUD 🗣 pic.twitter.com/HaZ7qABLvU — Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) October 3, 2021
Thomas Eshelman pitched 2.2 innings against the Blue Jays and gave up two runs. Kelvin Gutierrez hit his 3rd home run. Austin Hays went 2-for-4. The O’s lost 6-4.
John Means pitched three innings and gave up seven runs. Trey Mancini went 1-for-3. The O’s lost 10-1.
Bruce Zimmerman lasted 0.2 innings and gave up three runs. Tyler Nevins hit his first MLB career home run. Kelvin Gutierrez went 3-for-5. The O’s lost 12-2. They end their season 52-110.
WILD CARD GAME IS SET
Tuesday night will be all eyes on Fenway Park as the best rivalry in sports go head-to-head to try to advance to Tampa. Gerrit Cole with start for the Yankees and Nathan Eovaldi will start for the Red Sox. Be prepared to see Kyle Higashioka and Kevin Plawecki catch their starters. Jose Iglesias is not eligible to be on the post-season roster due to being acquired after the deadline. J.D. Martinez rolled his ankle on second base while running to the outfield between innings. It isn’t known if he will be available on Tuesday. DJ LeMahieu is eligible to return for the ALCS if the Yankees make it that far. It’s a one-and-done playoff game it was in 1978. We have Monday to prepare as the teams enjoy their much-needed off day. Buckle up!
THE AL WILD CARD IS SET! The @Yankees will play the @RedSox at Fenway Park. pic.twitter.com/h5P2kLspkS — FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 3, 2021