2022 MLB playoffs: Wild Card Series takeaways as Padres, Phillies, Mariners, Guardians jump ahead

2022 MLB playoffs: Wild Card Series takeaways as Padres, Phillies, Mariners, Guardians jump ahead

The 2022 MLB postseason has arrived. The postseason began Friday with the brand new Wild Card Series. MLB has a 12-team postseason format this year, the largest field in the sport’s history (excluding the 2020 pandemic season). The Phillies shocked the Cardinals with a six-run ninth inning to take Game 1 of their Wild Card Series matchup. In the American League, the Mariners and Guardians got wins over the Blue Jays and Rays, respectively. All that remains on Friday’s schedule is Padres-Mets.

As a reminder, the Wild Card Series replaces the one-and-done Wild Card Game and is a mad dash best-of-three with no off-days and all three games at the higher seed’s ballpark. Here is Friday’s scoreboard:

Wild Card Series scores

And here’s what to know from every game on Friday.

Guardians stars put them one win away from ALDS

The Guardians are obviously much more than two players, but heading into the series, their two biggest stars would be four-time All-Star José Ramírez and 2020 Cy Young winner Shane Bieber. They were the stars of Game 1.

Bieber, making his second career playoff start, allowed just one run in 7 2/3 innings of work. He struck out eight and allowed only three hits and one walk. The lone run he allowed was a solo home run to Jose Siri and that briefly gave the Rays the 1-0 lead.

That was in the top of the sixth. In the bottom, Ramírez came through with a two-run homer to right-center field. It gave the Guardians a 2-1 lead and that’s where the score would remain, thanks to Bieber and All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase.

Full takeaways here.

Phillies pull off historic comeback vs. Cardinals

The starting pitchers (Jose Quintana of the Cardinals and Zack Wheeler of the Phillies) combined for 11 2/3 innings of scoreless work on Friday in St. Louis. A pinch-hit, two-run home run from Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh and looked like it would be the entirety of the scoring.

Instead, the Phillies stormed back with a six-run ninth inning to shock everyone. The Cardinals were 74-3 when leading after eight innings in the regular season. They were 93-0 as a franchise when leading by two or more runs after eight innings in the postseason. They are now 93-1.

There might be some carry over, too, as Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley completely lost all command and has an injury to the middle finger on his pitching hand.

Full takeaways here.

Mariners don’t wait long after playoff return

The Mariners played and won their first playoff game in 21 years thanks to a combination of timely hitting out front and a strong start from trade deadline addition Luis Castillo. Seattle jumped on an overly amped Alek Manoah in the early going, plating three in the top of the first inning.

Castillo made it hold up the rest of the way, delivering seven shutout innings in his second career postseason start. The Blue Jays will have to open up Game 2 in better shape if they want to stave off elimination. Full takeaways here.

Padres light up Scherzer to take Game 1 from Mets

Mets right-hander Max Scherzer had one of the worst starts of his career against San Diego. Scherzer’s final line saw him surrender seven runs on seven hits (four of them home runs) across 4 2/3 innings. Those home runs came courtesy of Josh Bell, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar, and Manny Machado.

“Baseball can take you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” Scherzer told reporters after the game. “This is one of the lowest of lows.”

On the other side, Padres starter Yu Darvish was crisp and effective. He allowed only one run in seven innings of work, and gave the Padres’ bullpen a relatively easy night, at least by postseason standards. As a result of all the above, the Mets are now faced with an elimination game on Saturday, while the Padres are one win from an NLDS matchup with the rival Dodgers.

Full takeaways here.

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