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Top Plays of the 2019 Wild Card Round

Joker in hand

The National League and American League Wild Card games were held on Monday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 2, 2019 to determine which team would face the #1 seed in each league in the Division Series. In a win or go home matchup, a “turning point” of the game, in the words of Chicago Cubs radio broadcaster Pat Hughes, is even more critical, since the teams’ hopes of advancing to the next round rest on the outcome of that game. Here are the main “turning points” of each game.

Monday, October 1

Nationals 4, Brewers 3 (box score)

W: Stephen Strasburg
L: Josh Hader
SV: Daniel Hudson

In the bottom of the 8th inning with a 3-1 deficit to the visitors, the Washington Nationals were facing Milwaukee Brewers closer Hader with the season on the line. Hader struck out the leadoff batter, OF Victor Robles, before facing PH Michael A. Taylor, who was hit by the pitch. The call was upheld after a challenge by Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

Hader would punch out the next batter, INF Trea Turner, before loading the bags by allowing a single to PH Ryan Zimmerman and walking INF Anthony Rendon. Young OF Juan Soto was the next man up. Soto singled to right field. The ball rolled past rookie OF Trent Grisham, which cleared the bases to give the home team a 4-3 lead.

Soto made the final out of the inning when he got caught in a rundown at 3rd base but was the hero of the evening after Daniel Hudson entered the game to nail down the save for the Nats.

Tuesday, October 2

Rays 5, Athletics 1 (box score)

W: Charlie Morton
L: Sean Manaea

After INF Yandy Díaz led off the game with a solo shot for the Tampa Bay Rays against Oakland Athletics SP Manaea, Morton worked himself into a jam in the bottom of the inning thanks to a leadoff single by INF Marcus Semien and walks to INF Matt Chapman and OF Mark Canha. INF Jurickson Profar came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded but flied out to right field on a curveball to end the inning.

The A’s were unable to mount a comeback, scoring only one run on eight hits. The Rays got all of their runs on dingers by Díaz (2), OF Avisaíl García and DH Tommy Pham.

The Division Series round begins on Thursday with National League matchups between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves at 5:02 PM ET and the Nationals against the Los Angeles Dodgers at 8:37 PM ET. The American League Division Series will kick off on Friday with the Rays at the Houston Astros at 2:05 PM ET and the Minnesota Twins against the New York Yankees at 7:07 PM ET. Follow the site for more coverage of the significant plays throughout the MLB playoffs!