NEW YORK — It has begun.
October baseball is here and is in full effect as Game 1 of the Wild Card series in both the American League and National League has showcased the grit and tenacity each of the Wild Card teams possesses.
The first game of the 2022 Postseason kicked off in Cleveland, Ohio, as the American League Central division champions and No. 3 seed Cleveland Guardians hosted the No. 6 seed Tampa Bay Rays. Both Cy Young award winner Shane Beiber and Tampa Bay ace Shane McClanahan were on the hill for their respected squad and pitched through five scoreless innings before surrendering runs in the sixth inning.
The biggest hit of the day came from the bat of Baní, Dominican Republic native José Ramírez. Ramírez hit a two-run home run that went 389 feet to right-center field to give the Guardians the 2-1 edge they needed to snag Game 1, now just one win away from facing the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series.
A rousing “José” chant erupted as the 30-year-old rounded the bases for his second career postseason home run. “It made me feel really good,” Ramírez said on the ovation he received from the Cleveland crowd.
Ramírez led the Guardians in four offensive categories with 29 home runs, 126 RBI — second-most in the American League behind Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (131) — 44 doubles and 69 walks. It is Ramírez’s fifth time playing in the Postseason, and has proven to be a leader in a very young Guardians clubhouse.
“Despite being young, it’s a very talented team. I feel with the talent, we are capable of competing with anybody.”
Ramírez made a vow to the Guardians’ organization and their fans when he penned a seven-year $141 million extension in April of this year, and he’s lived up to his promise as the driving force in the Guardians’ win.
Brooklyn native Triston McKenzie has been slated to face the Rays in Game 2 at Progressive Field. The right-handed pitcher will pitch in his first postseason game since the 2020 playoffs. While the Rays cling onto the grip of ace Tyler Glasnow to keep their season alive for one more game as they face elimination in their fourth-straight postseason appearance.
Phillies Historic Comeback Shoves Cards to Game 2 Elimination Game
Jean Segura and an aggressive Philadelphia Phillies offense helped spearhead a ninth-inning comeback in their Game 1 matchup against the National League Central champions St. Louis Cardinals, as they cold-heartedly optimize on mistakes from the Cardinals bullpen and yank a 6-3 victory Friday afternoon.
The Cardinals’ ninth-inning collapse started with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to Alec Bohm — a very fired-up Bohm, at that, proudly took first base as he drove in the first run for the Phillies’ offense.
An 89-mph slider down-and-away was chased and forced to the opposite side of the infield, passing a diving Tommy Edman. As the ball trickled into the outfield, a very ecstatic leap from Segura perfectly captivated the emotions that were expressed by the Phillies and their fans. Segura’s single would score two and give the Phillies their first lead of the game.
“It means a lot,” Segura said after getting his first taste of Postseason baseball. “But we still have a long way to go. The job is not finished. We win today, come back tomorrow and keep playing baseball.”
An exuberant and ferocious cheer came from Segura and the rest of the Phillies dugout when they took the lead. The bellowing energy was rooted in a season-long — or decade-long — yearning for success after being eight games under .500 in the depths of the National League East on May 31, 2022, and playing their last postseason game in 2011. From that point on, the Phillies have committed themselves to interim manager Rob Thomson, who was given the skipper title after the Phillies parted ways with manager Joe Girardi.
All season long, the Phillies have come from behind to put themselves in a position to compete for a World Series crown. Today was no different.
“When you come from behind, the energy is gonna pump it up. They keep passing the baton and it get to me. I know I get the big hit today but tomorrow maybe it’ll be another guy.”
It was the first time in postseason history that a team scored six-plus runs in the ninth inning after failing to score and trailing the entire game.
Despite the loss, Cardinals lefty and Colombian-born pitcher José Quintana set the standard for the Cardinals’ pitching staff as he graced 5.1 innings of two-hit ball, three strikeouts, and one walk. The Cardinals will rely on Miles Mikolas to take the mound in Game 2 and try to force a winner-take-all Game 3, with hopes of facing the defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series.
Follow Nicole Pérez on Twitter @nicolemperez for more coverage on the 2022 Postseason, and follow us on Instagram latinosportsoficial for exclusive content & photos.
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