MLB playoffs: Follow Mets-Padres Game 1 live as Mariners, Phillies return to October with a vengeance – Yahoo Sports

MLB playoffs: Follow Mets-Padres Game 1 live as Mariners, Phillies return to October with a vengeance - Yahoo Sports

The 2022 MLB season advances into a brave new world, a 12-team postseason bracket that will decide a champion over the next month. And it’s going to happen really fast. The new best-of-three wildcard series begins Friday and will be decided no later than Sunday. The explosion of high-stakes baseball pits eight teams against each other – Guardians-Rays, Cardinals-Phillies, Blue Jays-Mariners, Mets-Padres – for the right to advance.

The favorites they would face in the next round are known – the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees keep the above seeds. But surely some of these contenders have designs on overturning baseball’s existing world order.

First, they have to get through this weekend. Here’s what Friday’s schedule looks like, and where you can watch.

Game 1: Tampa Bay Radios at Cleveland Guardians – 12:07 p.m., ESPN

Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals – 14:07, ABC

Game 1: Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays – 4:07 p.m., ESPN

Game 1: San Diego Padres at New York Mets – 8:07 p.m., ESPN

[Here’s the full TV schedule for the MLB postseason]

You can follow all the games with live updates and analysis right here on Yahoo Sports.

Mariners jump on Blue Jays as Luis Castillo pitches like an ace

The Mariners will welcome themselves back to the postseason, thank you very much. The club that ended a 21-year October drought came out swinging against their higher-ranked hosts, the Blue Jays. Led by Cal Raleigh‘s two-run home run, they put up three runs in the top of the first inning, then handed the ball off to Luis Castillo.

That turned out to be a lot.

The dynamic ace, obtained from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade deadline hit, blitzed the Blue Jays’ stellar lineup. He struck out five, allowed just six hits and felt completely in control. Hard-throwing reliever Andrés Muñoz cruised through the final five outs to give Seattle its first postseason win since Game 3 of the 2001 ALCS.

Defeated a Blue Jays ace Alec Manoah, the Mariners will go into Game 2 with a chance to advance to the ALDS against the Astros. Saturday’s matchup will pit Mariners starter Robbie Ray against his former club and Kevin Gausmanthe starter signed a nearly identical contract this winter to take his place.

Phillies explode for 6 runs in 9th to topple Cardinals

Entering the ninth inning in St. Louis, it looked like the Cardinals rookie’s first big postseason moment would be the decisive blow in the Game 1 pitcher’s duel. By the end, 10 Phillies had struck out, the Cardinals bullpen had melted, and 11- a player of the year Jean Segura was the hero in his first postseason game.

After a Phillies starter Zack Wheeler (6 1/3 innings) and Cardinals starter Jose Quintana (5 1/3 innings) both posted scoreless outings, it became a battle of the bullpens. The Phillies gave up first, allowing a two-run, pinch-hit homer to rookie Juan Yepez. But the cardinals yielded more completely. Attempting a five-out save, St. Louis closer Ryan Helsley lost his command in the ninth. He got just three of the outs, walked two and struck out Alec Bohm with a wild 101 mph fastball to force in a run. When the Cardinals pulled him, apparently concerned about an injury to his pitching hand — he left his last outing with a jammed finger — they brought. Andre Pallante. The rookie righty made some sense, he gets a lot of grounders and the Cardinals desperately needed a double play. But it didn’t work.

Segura poked a single through the right side that scored two and put the Phillies ahead. Then the floodgates opened. Two more groundouts produced two more runs and Kyle Schwarber‘s sacrifice fly made it 6-2. According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, the Phillies became the first team in postseason history to score 6+ runs in the ninth inning or later after going scoreless.

Recent bullpen conversion Zach Eflin allowed one run back but closed it out, 6-3.

That said, the difference in the game — and perhaps eventually the series — may lie in the extra innings of confidence Wheeler earned from manager Rob Thomson. Stretched thin, the Cardinals’ top relievers couldn’t quite get it done, and now they’ll have serious questions in the bullpen heading into a do-or-die Game 2.

Shane Bieber, José Ramírez help Rangers stifle Rays in Game 1

What decade is it? Behind a vintage ace performance by Shane Bieber and a two-run home run by José Ramírez, the Rangers shut out the Rays in a lightning-quick Game 1. Bieber went 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on a Jose Siri long ball. , and striking out eight.

Rays starter Shane McClanahan was almost as good as Bieber, but he allowed the Ramirez blast that put Cleveland back on top almost immediately after Siri’s home run. From there, Bieber shut it down. Cleveland skipper Terry Francona turned to untouchable closer Emmanuel Clase for the final four outs. In total, the game was done in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Cleveland will enter Saturday’s Game 2 with elimination in the new wild card format. They send young curveball artist Triston McKenzie to the mound against the Rays’ Tyler Glasnow, an ace who only recently returned from Tommy John surgery.

Need to catch up on the top storylines as the postseason begins? We’ve got you covered.

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