The AL East-clinching win Tuesday pretty much locked the Yankees into their spot in the playoff bracket. Thanks to results last night, mathematically, there’s still a chance that they could finish ahead of the Astros for the No. 1 seed in the AL, but realistically, that’s not feasible. The Astros just need one win or a Yankees’ loss to cinch that up, putting the percentage chance the Yankees pull that off at less than one percent, and featuring a lot of decimal places.
We say all that to say this: there doesn’t really need to be any more scoreboard watching in order to keep an eye on the standings. At this point, it’s about seeing who else gets in, at what seeds, and checking in on how they’re playing ahead of any potential matchup with the Yankees.
With that in mind, and with the Yankees winning a memorable game featuring Aaron Judge’s 61st home run, let’s check in on the competition’s action from yesterday.
Arizona Diamondbacks (72-84) 5, Houston Astros (102-54) 2 (10 innings)
The reason the aforementioned race for the No. 1 seed is sill technically alive is that the Astros couldn’t come up with an extra inning win over the Diamondbacks.
Arizona hopped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first against Justin Verlander, but after that Houston’s ace settled down, and would allow just three more hits in the remaining six innings he pitched. On the other side, D-Backs ace Zac Gallen was impressive himself, but eventually Houston evened things up on a fifth inning Chas McCormick home run. Neither team could do much against the other’s bullpens, leading to the game hitting extra innings.
Houston brought in Will Smith for the 10th, but he quickly allowed a bunt single to put runners at the corners, and then a force out that led to a run scoring. Smith would be pulled a bit later after giving up another single, but Arizona’s big blow in the inning was still yet to come. The Astros went to Bryan Abreu, but he couldn’t escape the frame without allowing a big hit to Christian Walker.
Christian Walker delivers some big-time insurance runs! pic.twitter.com/t6NAk9lo8K— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 29, 2022
That put the Astros down three, and their offense went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
Cleveland Guardians (87-68) 2, Tampa Bay Rays (85-70) 1 (10 innings)
Tampa Bay missed out on a chance to gain some ground on Toronto in the race for the four seed, losing on a extra inning walk-off single by Ahmed Rosario.
Starter Tyler Glasnow took the hill for the Rays for the first time since June 14, 2021, as he made his return from Tommy John surgery. In his three innings, Glasnow allowed one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out three. After he exited, the Rays’ bullpen was excellent, combining to allow just two hits and a walk across the remaining six regulation innings. However, Cleveland pitching had a good day themselves, led by Triston McKenzie, who went six innings, giving up one run on three hits.
Eventually the game went to extras, where the Rays couldn’t plate their automatic runner, but the Guardians could, after a couple intentional walks.
Seattle Mariners (84-70) 3, Texas Rangers (66-88) 1
The Mariners were the only Wild Card contender to pick up a win on Monday night, as they rode George Kirby’s good outing to a win.
Texas actually went up early, scoring a run off Kirby in the top of the first. However, Seattle answered quickly in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to RBI from Eugenio Suárez and Mitch Haniger. After that, Kirby retired 14 of the last 18 hitters he faced, finishing with a final line of one run allowed on five hits and a walk in six innings. The Mariners’ bullpen followed that with three perfect innings, including a ninth inning from Paul Sewald that took just five pitches.
- Boston Red Sox (74-81) 3, Baltimore Orioles (80-75) 1: The Orioles took another step towards elimination as they dropped another game in Boston. Red Sox starter Rich Hill threw six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and a walk, while striking out nine. By the time Baltimore got on the board in the eighth inning, it was too little, too late.