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11.04.2019 05:00
Winning the wild-card game doesn't guarantee postseason success Antworten

League Baseball Bradley Zimmer Jersey , but it does strike up important doses of confidence and momentum moving into the divisional series.Since the wild-card game was introduced in 2012, two winners have gone on to play in the World Series, with the 2014 San Francisco Giants being the only wild-card winner to win a championship.The wild-card winners from the past two years have experienced a mixed bag of results, as both American League winners advanced to the ALCS, while the victors out of the National League won one combined game in the NLDS.All four participants in the 2018 wild-card games have been at this stage before, but only the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees won the winner-takes-all contest in previous seasons. Wild-Card ScheduleTuesday, October 2Colorado at Chicago Cubs (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN or ESPN app) Wednesday, October 3Oakland at New York Yankees (8 p.m. ET, TBS, Watch TBS app) PicksCubs over RockiesOn paper, there are plenty of factors suggesting the Chicago Cubs will get another shot at the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS.The Cubs have home-field advantage for Tuesday's NL wild-card game, carry a plethora of postseason experience from winning the World Series in 2016 and have Jon Lester starting against the Colorado Rockies.In case you needed anything else to sway your pick, the Cubs have experience from winning a wild-card game in 2015 Brandon Guyer Jersey , while the Rockies came up short a year ago in Arizona.However, it's that defeat from 2017 and the loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West tiebreaker Monday that could give the Rockies the necessary motivation to rally around each other and upset the Cubs at Wrigley Field.In order for the Rockies to achieve success, Charlie Blackmon must set the tone at the top of the order and stop Lester from getting into a rhythm on the mound.Rick Scuteri/Associated PressAlthough his regular-season batting average slipped under .300 for the first time since 2015, Blackmon recorded 314 total bases, 182 hits and scored 119 runs.It doesn't matter how Blackmon reaches base in the first inning, he just needs to be standing on first base with the opportunity to be advanced.If the Rockies are able to put a few runners on base in the first few innings, their power hitters like Nolan Arenado should drive in a run or two.The Cubs won't be facing a postseason legend, but they'll need to follow a similar game plan at the plate by placing runners on base early and often.Chicago is third in the MLB in batting average and on-base percentage, but it managed three hits against the Brewers Monday.Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated PressAs long as the top of the Cubs' order gets to Kyle Freeland, they should set up a rematch with the Brewers, but if things go the way they did Monday, it might be a nervy nine innings for Cubs fans.Yankees over AthleticsThere's a decent chance the AL wild-card game turns in a home run derby in the first inning.The Yankees and Athletics were two of the top three home-run hitting teams in the regular season, as they combined to hit 494 balls over the fence.If Wednesday's game was just a home-run hitting contest between Khris Davis and Giancarlo Stanton, we'd be okay with that as well.Ben Margot/Associated PressGiven the quality of sluggers on each roster, Wednesday could be difficult on both pitching staffs , even if everyone available is on at least two days of rest.In the six regular-season meetings between the Yankees and Athletics, the victorious side scored at least five runs.In those contests, an average of 10.1 runs were scored per game, with the Athletics averaging 5.5 runs and the Yankees averaging 4.6 runs.Additionally, three of the last four AL wild-card games have featured seven runs or more, with the Yankees winning the 2017 iteration 8-4 over the Minnesota Twins.Oakland's formula for a victory Wednesday involves an all-around effort at the plate, a strategy that should allow Davis to see as many pitches as possible.In their two wins over the Yankees in Oakland at the start of September, the Athletics received 16 hits from the first five batters in their order.Oakland enters with no shortage of confidence, but the Yankees went 53-28 at home in the regular season and possess a tough collection of pitchers.As long as the Yankees starter can go six innings, they should be in great shape as they hand the ball over to Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman.Omar Rawlings/Getty ImagesIf the Yankees hand Chapman a lead in the ninth inning, they should be packing their bags for Boston soon after, as the closer's struck out 41 batters in 28.1 career postseason innings and conceded a single home run in the playoffs.Getting to Chapman might be difficult at times, but the Yankees are more than capable of replicating their wild-card win from a year ago to set up an AL East showdown with the Red Sox in the ALDS.Follow Joe on Twitter Josh Tomlin Jersey , JTansey90.Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Nola finished off a stellar season in typically dominant fashion.Nola pitched seven shutout innings to help the Philadelphia Phillies snap a nine-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.In his final start of the year, Nola (17-6) allowed two hits and struck out eight with four walks. The right-hander ended 2018 with a 2.37 ERA and 224 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings. He likely will fall short of a NL Cy Young award after stumbling a bit in September. Nola entered 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA and nine home runs allowed in September before returning to the form his displayed for most of the season on Saturday.“It feels good,” Nola said, “but I think it feels better for us as a team.”Rather than focus on any particular statistic, Nola said he was happiest about staying healthy and making all of his starts. His aim every outing is a team goal.“Just try to win ballgames and try to go deep in ballgames,” he said.After taking a month off, Nola will begin tuning up for 2019.“Just stay consistent, keep working on my delivery and try to learn more and more about the game,” he said.Cesar Hernandez had a two-run single in the seventh inning to back Nola.The NL East champion Braves will play either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Colorado Rockies in the NLDS, and Atlanta still could host the series. The Braves (90-71) and Dodgers have the same record entering the regular-season finale on Sunday while Colorado entered Saturday with a 90-70 mark.Atlanta had no answer for Nola.“You just try to keep it close and hopefully his clicker will run out,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We just couldn’t get anything going.”Nola allowed only Ronald Acuna Jr.’s single to lead off the game and Nick Markakis’ single to start the fourth. The closest the Braves came to scoring was in the second inning when Nola walked the first two batters. But the right-hander got Kurt Suzuki to line out, struck out Ozzie Albies and then intentionally walked Charlie Culberson to load the bases before finally striking out starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.Sanchez matched Nola, giving up three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in six shutout innings.“He did everything he could do to get us a chance,” Snitker said.With one out and two runners on in the seventh, manager Gabe Kapler chose to pinch-hit for Nola. Jonny Venters (5-2) intentionally walked pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos to load the bases before Hernandez hit a sharp liner under shortstop Culberson’s glove into left field that scored two. Odubel Herrera helped the Phillies take a 3-0 lead when he beat out a potential double-play grounder to short.Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save in 19 chances.The victory was Philadelphia’s first since Sept. 19. The Phillies’ slide started with a four-game sweep at Atlanta last weekend when they still were mathematically alive in the playoff race. The Phillies were outscored 70-21 during the losing streak that capped a late-season collapse. Philadelphia went from 15 games over .500 and 1 ½ games in front of Atlanta for first place on Aug. 7 to four games under .500 and 12 games back of the Braves on Sept. 28.NOLA NUMBERSNola joined Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander as the only Phillies pitchers to strike out 200 or more batters and hold opponents to a batting average of .200 or lower. And the right-hander is the fourth Philadelphia hurler to record 224 or more strikeouts in a season Carlos Carrasco Jersey , joining Jim Bunning, Alexander and Curt Schilling.MARKAKIS’ MILESTONEMarkakis played in his 2,000th game, becoming the fifth active player to reach the milestone. Adrian Beltre (2,931), Albert Pujols (2,692), Miguel Cabrera (2,264) and Robinson Cano (2,077) are the active players ahead of Markakis.TRAINER’S ROOMPhillies: C Jorge Alfaro (quad) was replaced by Andrew Knapp at the start of the third inning.UP NEXTBraves RHP Kevin Gausman (10-10, 3.93) opposes Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (1-1, 6.00) on Sunday afternoon in the regular-season finale.

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