2022 National League Wild Card Series
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Philadelphia Phillies (2) Rob Thomson 87–75 (.537), GB: 14
St. Louis Cardinals (0) Oliver Marmol 93–69 (.574), GA: 7
DatesOctober 7–8
TelevisionABC (Game 1)
ESPN2 (Game 2)
TV announcersMichael Kay, Alex Rodriguez and Alden Gonzalez
RadioESPN
Radio announcersRoxy Bernstein and Kyle Peterson
UmpiresVic Carapazza, Laz Díaz, John Libka, Mike Muchlinski, Jeff Nelson (crew chief), D.J. Reyburn
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
San Diego Padres (2) Bob Melvin 89–73 (.549), GB: 22
New York Mets (1) Buck Showalter 101–61 (.623), GB: 0
DatesOctober 7–9
TelevisionESPN
TV announcersKarl Ravech, Eduardo Pérez, David Cone and Buster Olney
RadioESPN
Radio announcersKevin Brown and Chris Burke
UmpiresChris Conroy, Bruce Dreckman, Chris Guccione, Adrian Johnson, Alfonso Márquez (crew chief), Ben May
NLWCS

The 2022 National League Wild Card Series were two best-of-three playoff series in Major League Baseball (MLB) to determine the participating teams of the 2022 National League Division Series. Both Wild Card Series began on October 7, with Game 2s scheduled for October 8 and Game 3s, if necessary, scheduled for October 9. ESPN broadcast both Wild Card Series, and games were broadcast by ESPN Radio.[1]

Background

On March 10, Major League Baseball changed the postseason structure for the first time since 2012, adding a sixth team to the postseason in each league. MLB also added a wild card series where the lowest-seeded division winner, and three wild card teams (each seeded according to regular season record), will play a best-of-three Wild Card round, with the higher seed hosting all three games. The third-seed will play the sixth-seed, and the fourth-seed will play the fifth-seed. This allowed the top two seeds in each league to receive a bye into the Division Series. The postseason structure is similar to the format MLB temporarily used in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, there were no first round byes for the top two seeds in 2020.

The St. Louis Cardinals (93–69) clinched the National League Central on September 27.[2] As the worst National League division winner in terms of record, they were locked into the third seed. The Cardinals are making their fourth straight postseason appearance and first as the NL Central winner since 2019. They will host the Philadelphia Phillies (87–75), who clinched a postseason berth on October 3. Philadelphia was the last team to clinch a postseason berth among the twelve playoff teams and are making their first postseason appearance since 2011.[3] The Phillies won four of the seven match-ups against the Cardinals during the regular-season.[4]

The New York Mets (101–61) clinched a postseason berth on September 19, but failed to win the National League East after losing their division lead on the last weekend of the season by the hands of a three game sweep from Atlanta.[5] The Mets are making their first postseason appearance since 2016 and are the second straight 100-win National League wild card team following the 106-win 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets will host the San Diego Padres (89–73), who clinched a postseason berth on October 2.[6] The Padres are making their first postseason appearance since 2020 and just the second since 2006. San Diego won both series against New York, defeating them two games to one in early June and late July.[7]

As the top two seeds, the Los Angeles Dodgers (111–51) and Atlanta Braves (101–61) earned a bye from the wild card round and homefield advantage in the Division Series.[8][9]

Matchups

(3) St. Louis Cardinals vs. (6) Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia won the series, 2–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 7 Philadelphia Phillies – 6, St. Louis Cardinals – 3 Busch Stadium 3:27 45,911 
2 October 8 Philadelphia Phillies – 2, St. Louis Cardinals – 0 Busch Stadium 3:16 48,515

(4) New York Mets vs. (5) San Diego Padres

San Diego won the series, 2–1.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 7 San Diego Padres – 7, New York Mets – 1 Citi Field 3:02 41,621 
2 October 8 San Diego Padres – 3, New York Mets – 7 Citi Field 4:13 42,156 
3 October 9 San Diego Padres – 6, New York Mets – 0 Citi Field 3:04 39,241

St. Louis vs. Philadelphia

This is just the second postseason match-up between St. Louis and Philadelphia, but there has been a long history between the two teams. In their lone postseason match-up, the two teams previously met in the 2011 National League Division Series, which was won by the Cardinals in five games. The two teams were also involved in one of the more memorable pennant races in MLB history in 1964. It was notable for the Phillies losing a 6+12-game lead with 12 games left in the season to the St. Louis Cardinals.[10] Additionally, the Cardinals and Phillies played in the National League East together for 25 seasons (1969–1993).

Game 1

Friday, October 7, 2022 1:07 pm (CDT) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Philadelphia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 6 5 0
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 5 0
WP: David Robertson (1–0)   LP: Ryan Helsley (0–1)
Home runs:
PHI: None
STL: Juan Yepez (1)
Attendance: 45,911
Boxscore

Game 1 featured a pitching match-up between Phillies ace Zack Wheeler, who had not allowed a run to the Cardinals in 12+23 regular-season innings, and Jose Quintana, a Cardinals trade deadline acquisition. The game was scoreless until a seventh when Juan Yepez hit a pinch-hit two-run home run off of Jose Alvarado, who had just relieved Wheeler that inning. Yepez's home run was the first go-ahead pinch-hit home run in St. Louis Cardinals postseason history.

The score was still 2–0 in the top of the ninth when the Phillies threatened a comeback off of Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley. With the bases loaded, Alec Bohm was hit by a 101-mph fastball to pull the Phillies within one. With the bases still loaded, the next batter Jean Segura hit an opposite-field single to give the Phillies the 3–2 lead. The Phillies added three more runs in the inning to give them a 6–2 lead. The Cardinals scored a run in the last half of the ninth, but Zach Eflin struck out the game-tying run in Yadier Molina to give the Phillies their first postseason victory in 11 years. Before the game, the St. Louis Cardinals had been 93–0 in the postseason when leading by two or more runs entering the ninth inning.[11]

Game 2

Saturday, October 8, 2022 7:37 pm (CDT) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Philadelphia 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
WP: Aaron Nola (1–0)   LP: Miles Mikolas (0–1)   Sv: Zach Eflin (1)
Home runs:
PHI: Bryce Harper (1)
STL: None
Attendance: 48,515
Boxscore

Longtime Phillies ace Aaron Nola started his first postseason game against Miles Mikolas, who produced a 2.38 ERA at home in 14 starts. The Phillies scored two runs via a Bryce Harper solo home run in the second inning and a Kyle Schwarber sac fly in the fifth and it was all the runs they needed. With the win, the Phillies won their first postseason series since the 2010 National League Division Series and advanced to play the Braves in the National League Division Series. For the Cardinals, this was the third straight year they lost in the opening round of the postseason.

Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina both got hits in their last at-bats and were removed to receive standing ovations.[12] Both were playing in the last game of their careers.

New York vs. San Diego

This is the first postseason match-up between New York and San Diego.

Game 1

Friday, October 7, 2022 8:07 pm (EDT) at Citi Field in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 2 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 7 8 0
New York 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
WP: Yu Darvish (1–0)   LP: Max Scherzer (0–1)
Home runs:
SD: Josh Bell (1), Trent Grisham (1), Jurickson Profar (1), Manny Machado (1)
NYM: Eduardo Escobar (1)
Attendance: 41,621
Boxscore

In the top of the first inning, Max Scherzer was greeted with a two-run home run by Padres first baseman Josh Bell. That would be the theme of the night for Scherzer, who gave up four home runs on the night. Scherzer was the second pitcher to allow at least seven runs and four home runs in a postseason game, joining Gene Thompson who did it in the 1939 World Series against the Yankees.[13] Trent Grisham added a solo shot in the second inning. Jurickson Profar's three-run homer off the right field foul pole in the fifth inning broke the game open for the Padres. The next batter, Manny Machado, capped the Padres' scoring with a solo home run.

Padres starter Yu Darvish worked out of jams in the first and second inning but proceeded to settle in as the game went along. He finished with seven innings pitched and one run allowed, which came via a Eduardo Escobar solo home run in the bottom of the fifth.

Game 2

Saturday, October 8, 2022 7:37 pm (EDT) at Citi Field in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 6 0
New York 1 0 0 1 1 0 4 0 X 7 9 0
WP: Jacob deGrom (1–0)   LP: Nick Martinez (0–1)   Sv: Seth Lugo (1)
Home runs:
SD: Trent Grisham (2)
NYM: Francisco Lindor (1), Pete Alonso (1)
Attendance: 42,156
Boxscore

The early innings of Game 2 were a back-and-forth affair. The Mets took 1–0 and 2–1 leads against Padres starter Blake Snell, but the Padres would answer against Mets starter Jacob deGrom to tie the game each time. The Mets, however, would take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning after Pete Alonso's first career postseason home run gave them a 3–2 lead. DeGrom would limit the Padres to just two runs in his six innings of work.

In an unconventional move by Mets manager Buck Showalter, Mets closer Edwin Díaz was called on to enter the game in the top of the seventh inning. Díaz would pitch a scoreless seventh inning before the Mets added four insurance runs against the Padres bullpen in the bottom half of the inning to extend the Mets' lead to 7–2. Díaz would record two outs in the top of the eighth inning before giving way to Adam Ottavino. Ottavino completed the eighth inning, but began to falter after recording two outs in the ninth inning, eventually walking in a run after the Padres had loaded the bases. Showalter called on Seth Lugo to record the final out of the game against Josh Bell, who represented the tying run at the plate with the Mets holding a 7–3 lead. Lugo would induce a groundout to record his first career postseason save and even the series at one game apiece.

Game 3

Sunday, October 9, 2022 7:07 pm (EDT) at Citi Field in Queens, New York
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 6 10 0
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
WP: Joe Musgrove (1–0)   LP: Chris Bassitt (0–1)
Attendance: 39,241
Boxscore

Joe Musgrove pitched seven scoreless innings of one–hit ball and Padres hitters scored six runs off of Chris Bassitt and the Mets bullpen as they advanced to the National League Division Series to face the Dodgers. With the loss, the Mets were the first 100-win or more team to fail to reach the Division Series since the Division Series was implemented in 1995.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ "MLB announces 2022 playoff schedule". MLB.com.
  2. ^ "Cards clinch NL Central, eye another ring for vets". ESPN.com. September 28, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  3. ^ Lauber, Scott. "The drought is over: The Phillies clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2011". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  4. ^ Denton, JOHN. "Cards start looking ahead to Wild Card opponent". MLB.com. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  5. ^ Tredinnick, Andrew. "'We're going to need some help now': Mets' lost weekend in Atlanta can't mean a lost season". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  6. ^ "Padres clinch second playoff berth since 2006". ESPN.com. October 2, 2022. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  7. ^ Vita, Jack. "National League Playoff Picture with 3 Days Remaining in Regular Season". Fastball. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Kershaw K's 10; Dodgers clinch NLDS home field". September 20, 2022.
  9. ^ Heim, Mark (October 5, 2022). "Atlanta Braves clinch fifth NL East title; Division championship gear now available". al.com. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  10. ^ Gelb, Matt. "The Phillies are authoring the club's worst collapse since 1964. They have 7 games to rewrite it". The Athletic. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Phillies @ Cardinals". stories.mlb.com.
  12. ^ Jackson, Wilton. "Pujols, Molina Get Hits in Final At-Bats Before Being Removed to Emotional Standing Ovations". Sports Illustrated.
  13. ^ "Padres @ Mets". stories.mlb.com.
  14. ^ "The #Mets are now the first 100-win team to fail to reach the Division Series since the Division Series was implemented in 1995". twitter.com. October 9, 2022. Retrieved October 9, 2022.