Opinion

Wild Card Games have gotten wild in the past

Atlanta Braves officials picked up trash on the field as security stood by during the eighth inning of the National League Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.
Atlanta Braves officials picked up trash on the field as security stood by during the eighth inning of the National League Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is only the third year of Major League Baseball’s Wild Card Game, but there have been some memorable moments from year’s past. Here is a recap of the previous four games.

2012 AL WILD CARD GAME

Baltimore 5, Texas 1

Joe Saunders, who was acquired in late August from the Diamondbacks, combined with three relievers to baffle the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. The Orioles went three for five with runners in scoring position and put the game away by scoring a pair of runs against Rangers closer Joe Nathan in the ninth inning.

After the game: The Orioles advanced to a ALDS meeting with the Yankees, but New York won in five games.

2012 NL WILD CARD GAME

Cardinals 6, Braves 3

This one is remembered for the infield-fly rule that was called on a ball hit to medium left field. Atlanta trailed by three, but had two runners on with one out in the eighth inning. Andrelton Simmons lofted a fly to left field that shortstop Pete Kozma chased before letting it fall to the ground. Instead of bases-loaded, the Braves had two on with two outs and the Cardinals held on for the win. Atlanta fans littered the field with bottles and cans in protest.

After the game: St. Louis beat Washington in five games in a NLDS, but blew a 3-1 lead in the NLCS and were beating by the Giants.

2013 AL WILD CARD GAME

Rays 4, Indians 0

Alex Cobb tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Tampa Bay won the day after winning a play-in game against Texas to get the second wild card. Desmond Jennings had a two-run double and Delmon Young hit a solo homer for the Rays.

After the game: Tampa Bay then lost to Boston in a ALDS meeting.

2013 NL WILD CARD GAME

Pirates 6, Reds 2

This was the first wild-card game to feature two teams from the same division, and Francisco Liriano’s amazing season that ended with a comeback player of the year award, allowed one run in seven innings. Catcher Russell Martin hit a pair of solo homers for Pittsburgh.

After the game: The Pirates pushed the Cardinals to a fifth game in a NLDS, but St. Louis prevailed.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com.

  Comments