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Friday, July 12, 2024

MLB 2022 Wild Card and Divisional Series recap

National League bottoms seeds make it to conference Championship Series, while top seeds prevail in the American League

By PATRICK FIGUEROA — sports@theaggie.org


After two weeks of MLB playoff action, four teams remain. Competing in the National League (NL) Championship Series are the fifth-seed San Diego Padres and the sixth-seed Philadelphia Phillies. The American League (AL) Championship Series will feature first-seed Houston Astros and second-seed New York Yankees. 


Wild Card Recap 

The Philadelphia Phillies beat St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0:

The Phillies were able to sweep the Cardinals in the best-of-three Wild Card round. Despite a slow offensive start in game one, the Phillies scored six runs in the ninth inning to beat the Cardinals 6-3 from behind. Game two featured a great performance from Phillies’ pitcher Aaron Nola and a home run from outfielder Bryce Harper, resulting in a 2-0 win that eliminated the Cardinals from the postseason. 


The San Diego Padres beat New York Mets, 2-1:

This was the only series where the teams played three games in the 2022 Wild Card Round. Game one featured a Padres’ offensive onslaught, aided by Mets’ pitcher Max Scherzer’s worst playoff start in his career, leading the Padres to a 7-1 victory. However, the Mets bounced back and won 7-3 in game two, thanks to a four-run seventh inning. In game three, the Padres dominated, winning 6-0. Padres’ pitcher Joe Musgrove gave up just one hit through seven innings — but what stood out more was the Mets’ request for the umpires to check Musgrove’s ears for a foreign substance.


The Cleveland Guardians beat Tampa Bay Rays, 2-0: 

This series featured elite pitching performances from both teams, but the Guardians swept the Rays in two games. Game one highlighted Guardians’ pitcher Shane Bieber and Rays’ pitcher Shane McClanahan, who faced off for seven innings. Ultimately, a two-run home run by Guardians’ third baseman Jose Ramirez in the sixth inning secured the Guardians’ victory. Game two was scoreless for 14.5 innings until Guardians’ outfielder Oscar Gonzalez finally hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 15th inning, advancing the Guardians to the next round. 


The Seattle Mariners beat Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0:

In a battle of two young teams, the Mariners came out on top. Game one featured yet another dominant pitching performance by Luis Castillo, who pitched over seven scoreless innings, helping the Mariners to their first win of the series. In game two, the Mariners rallied back after being down 8-1 in the fifth inning. With a four-run sixth inning, a four-run eighth inning and an Adam Frazier go-ahead double in the ninth, the Mariners completed the comeback and won a playoff series for the fourth time in franchise history. 


Division Series Recap

The Phillies upset defending champion Atlanta Braves, 3-1: 

The Phillies’ underdog story continued after they upset the defending world champion and 101-win division rivals, the Atlanta Braves. They shocked the Braves and their ace pitcher Max Fried in game one by scoring seven runs in the first five innings, winning 7-6. They lost game two but won games three and four in Philadelphia to win the series. Both of these games featured impressive offensive performances, including a three-run home run by Phillies’ first baseman Rhys Hoskins that extended the team’s lead to 4-0 in game three. 


The Padres knock out first-seed Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-1:

Another upset occurred when the Padres beat the 111-win division rival Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres lost game one, but they proceeded to win the next three games, clinching the series. Game two featured Padres’ relief pitcher Robert Suarez getting the team out of a tight inning when the Dodgers had runners in scoring position, which helped them secure a 5-3 win. The Padre bullpen, which did not give up a single run in the series, was also integral to keeping the score low in game three, resulting in a 2-1 win. In game four, the Padres had a five-run seventh inning to come back and take a 5-3 lead. They will advance to the NL championship series (NLCS) for the first time since 1998. 


Houston Astros sweep the Mariners, 3-0:

The Astros are in the AL championship series (ALCS) for the sixth year in a row after sweeping the Mariners. In game one, the Astros rallied from behind with a two-run eighth inning and a walk-off home run by Astros’ outfielder Yordan Alvarez, securing the 7-2 victory. Alvarez hit another clutch home run in game two that helped the Astros win 4-2. Finally, game three stretched for 18 innings until Astros’ rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 18th inning, advancing the Astros to the next round. 


New York Yankees edge out the Guardians, 3-2: 

The most competitive series of the divisional round was between the Guardians and the Yankees. The Yankees won game one, but the Guardians were able to bounce back and win game two and game three. With elimination on the line, Yankees’ ace pitcher Gerritt Cole pitched seven innings, leading the Yankees to a 4-2 win in game four. In a win-or-go-home game five, the Yankees came out on top with a 5-1 victory thanks to outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who both hit home runs. 

The ALCS began on Oct. 19, featuring the Astros and the Yankees. As of Oct. 23, Houston led the series 3-0. The NLCS wrapped up on Oct. 22 with a win by the Phillies, who took the series 4-1.


Written by: Patrick Figueroa — sports@theaggie.org