Game 162 (The Race for the AL West and Home Field for the Wild Card Game)

Here's a disclaimer: This post isn't all about the Yankees, but rather the scenario that the Yankees have caught themselves in after failing to clinch home field for the Wild Card game earlier. This article is going to be a timeline of the events that unfold on Sunday, October 4, as Texas and Houston fight for the AL West title and those teams plus the Angels and Yankees fight for a favorable Wild Card matchup. If the Yankees win, they will host the Wild Card game in New York on Tuesday with the winner heading to Kansas City for an ALDS matchup with the Royals. All games started at 3:05 or 3:10 PM EDT.

  • New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles
  • Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers
  • Houston Astros @ Arizona Diamondbacks

According to my understanding, here are the scenarios:
  • NYY win OR HOU loss: New York hosts Wild Card game on Tuesday
  • NYY loss, HOU win, AND TEX win (and therefore LAA loss): New York at Houston for the Wild Card game
  • NYY loss, HOU win, AND LAA win (and therefore TEX loss): Game 163 between HOU and TEX to decide the AL West Champion, winner goes to ALDS, and loser hosts NYY on Tuesday for the Wild Card game.
  • LAA win (therefore TEX loss) AND HOU loss: Game 163 between LAA and HOU to decide who is the 2nd AL Wild Card and who plays the Yankees in New York on Tuesday.

Timeline (All times EDT)
Events from 3:05-4:00 PM EDT:
3:05 PM (NYY at BAL, LAA at TEX) - The Yankees are underway in Baltimore while the Angels and Rangers square off in Arlington. 
3:10 PM (HOU at ARI) - The Astros are now underway in Phoenix.
3:13 PM (NYY at BAL): The Yankees waste a huge opportunity with runners on the corners and two outs. Brian McCann flies out to right on the first pitch of his at-bat and leaves a runner on at third (#RISPfail).
3:15 PM (LAA at TEX): Albert Pujols’s 2-run HR gives the Angels a 2-0 lead in the first.
3:21 PM (HOU at ARI): AJ Pollock’s solo HR gives Arizona the 1-0 lead in the first.
3:25 PM (LAA at TEX): Prince Fielder’s RBI single cuts the Angels’ lead to 2-1.

3:29 PM (NYY at BAL): The Yankees really don’t want to win this game. Matt Wieters’s 2-out, 2-RBI single off of Michael Pineda gives the Orioles the 2-0 lead after one inning.

3:34 PM (NYY at BAL): Dustin Ackley’s groundout scores Greg Bird from third. The Yankees cut their deficit in half to 2-1.

3:36 PM (LAA at TEX): Garrett Richards strikes out Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the first with Shin-Soo Choo at third to escape the jam and keep the Angels ahead 2-1.

3:40 PM (NYY at BAL): Jacoby Ellsbury strikes out with Didi Gregorius at second with two outs (#RISPfail).

3:55 PM (HOU at ARI): George Springer’s 1-out, RBI double to center scores Jose Altuve all the way from first and the game is tied at 1.

Score update at 4:00 PM: Astros and Diamondbacks tied at 1 (Bottom 3rd); Angels lead 2-1 (End 3rd); Orioles lead 2-1 (Bottom 3rd).



Events from 4:00-5:00 PM EDT:
4:04 PM (HOU at ARI): Jarrod Saltalamacchia is at the plate for Arizona with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom of the third. Huge moment here.
4:06 PM (HOU at ARI): However, Saltalamacchia strikes out on a 2-2 knuckle curve from Houston’s Lance McCullers and the game remains tied at 1 after three innings in Phoenix.
4:12 PM (NYY at BAL): Didi Gregorius is up in a huge moment here in Baltimore. Dustin Ackley is on third and there are two outs.
4:15 PM (HOU at ARI): Houston’s Jed Lowrie is at the plate with men on first and second with one out. This is a potential scoring opportunity for Houston and they must take advantage of it.
4:15 PM (NYY at BAL): Didi walks, so it’s up to Jacoby Ellsbury now with men on the corners and two outs.
4:17 PM (NYY at BAL): Ellsbury grounds out and it’s another #RISPfail for the Yankees.
4:18 PM (HOU at ARI): No problem for Arizona’s Robbie Ray as he works his way out of the jam by striking out Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro consecutively. Mid-4th in Phoenix.
4:27 PM (HOU at ARI): Arizona’s pitcher, Robbie Ray, doubles with two outs to put men on second and third with two outs. Socrates Brito will come to bat now.
4:29 PM (HOU at ARI): And a balk! Wow! Lance McCullers balks, Jake Lamb scores from third, and Arizona takes the lead 2-1 after four innings.



Score update at 4:30 PM: Diamondbacks leads 2-1 (End 4th), Angels lead 2-1 (Mid 5th), Orioles lead Yankees 2-1 (Bottom 4th)
4:34 PM (NYY at BAL): After Baltimore’s Matt Wieters doubled to lead off the fourth, Michael Pineda retired the next two batters. But on a 2-2 count, JJ Hardy singled and the Orioles led now 3-1.
4:35 PM (NYY at BAL): Chris Capuano? What is he doing in a critical Game 162? Wow. After Hardy’s single, Girardi removes Pineda and puts in Capuano with two outs in the fourth.
4:35 PM (HOU at ARI): Jose Altuve’s 1-out triple puts Houston into position in the top of the fifth.
4:35 PM (LAA at TEX): Adrian Beltre has other ideas than to play a Game 163 as he hits a 2-out, 2-run home run to right to put the Rangers ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
4:38 PM (HOU at ARI): George Springer, the next batter after Altuve, is plunked by Ray and here comes Carlos Correa with runners on the corners and one out.
4:40 PM (NYY at BAL): Bases loaded now. Flaherty doubled and now Capuano walks Reimond intentionally.
4:43 PM (NYY at BAL): Sigh. The Orioles now lead 5-1 as Gerardo Parra’s 2-out, 2-RBI single scores JJ Hardy and Ryan Flaherty. Chris Capuano should not be in this game. What is Joe Girardi thinking?? 5-1 Baltimore, end 4th.
4:44 PM (HOU at ARI). Evan Gattis pinch hits for Colby Rasmus as Randall Delgado replaces Robbie Ray for Arizona.
4:47 PM (HOU at ARI): Evan Gattis’s fielder’s choice grounder to second does the job as Altuve scores and the game is tied at 2.
Score update at 4:50 PM: Astros and Diamondbacks tied at 2 (Mid 5th), Rangers lead Angels 3-2 (End 6th), Orioles lead Yankees 5-1 (Top 5th)
4:54 PM (NYY at BAL): Brian McCann, 0-2 today, comes to the plate with Carlos Beltran on first and Alex Rodriguez on second with one out. Yankees must capitalize here.
4:57 PM (NYY at BAL): Greg Bird strikes out with men on first and second and two outs. Mid 5th now.
Score update at 5:00 PM: Astros and Diamondbacks tied at 2 (Bottom 5th), Rangers lead 3-2 (Mid 7th), Orioles lead Yankees 5-1 (Mid 5th)

Events from 5:00-6:00 PM EDT:

5:02 PM (HOU at ARI): With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Jarrod Saltalamcchia hits a ground-rule double to right; Paul Goldschmidt scores and the Diamondbacks reclaim the lead, now 3-2 at the end of five innings.
5:04 PM (NYY at BAL): LOL. Bryan Mitchell enters to start the 5th and promptly walks Machado and serves up a 2-run home run to Chris Davis. Orioles lead 7-1 and this game is all but over.
5:09 PM (LAA at TEX): Cesar Ramos of the Angels has now entered for Cam Bedrosian in the bottom of the 7th. Texas has men on first and second with none out and hold the 3-2 lead.
5:13 PM (LAA at TEX): Shin-Soo Choo walks and now the bases are loaded with none out for Texas.
5:18 PM (LAA at TEX): Ramos walks Fielder now! Wow. 4-2 Texas. Enough from Ramos who walks two in a row. Mike Morin now enters for the Angels.
5:24 PM (LAA at TEX): Adrian Beltre’s infield single to third makes it 5-2 Texas as the Rangers now pull away in Arlington.
5:25 PM (HOU at ARI): Arizona had men on first and second but Chad Qualls struck out Phil Gosselin with two outs but the Diamondbacks still lead 3-2.
5:25 PM (NYY at BAL): Didi Gregorius’s 1-out triple scores Dustin Ackley from first. Baltimore now leads 7-2. Chris Tillman’s solid day is done, here comes TJ McFarland.
5:26 PM (LAA at TEX): Mitch Moreland extends the Texas lead to 6-2 on a sacrifice fly, scoring Shin-Soo Choo. The Angels need a win to play Game 163 so their chances are decreasing by the moment.
5:28 PM (LAA at TEX): Josh Hamilton’s line drive single to center scores Ryan Strausborger and the Rangers stretch their lead to 7-2.
Score update at 5:30 PM: Diamondbacks lead Astros 3-2 (End 6th), Texas leads Angels 7-2 (Bottom 7th), and the the Orioles lead 7-2 (Mid 6th)
5:31 PM (LAA at TEX): Elvis Andrus doubles and now the Rangers are surely going to win, leading 9-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning.
5:34 PM (LAA at TEX): Miraculously, the Angels finally record their third out of the inning. Rangers lead 9-2 after seven innings in Arlington.
5:35 PM (HOU at ARI): Top 7th in Arizona - Meanwhile, Daniel Hudson is now in the game for Arizona as they attempt to close out the game against Houston.
5:39 PM (HOU at ARI): Houston is not ready to give up. They have runners on the corners now with two outs. George Springer walked and then Carlos Correa singled. Here comes Jake Marisnick against Arizona’s Daniel Hudson.
5:41 PM (HOU at ARI): Wow. The Astros attempt a double steal - it works - and Hudson’s wild pitch means each runner moves up TWO bases! Springer scores on the wild pitch and Correa moves to third! This game is now tied at 3, mid-7th inning.
Score update at 5:45 PM: Astros and Diamondbacks tied at 3 (Mid 7th), Rangers lead 7-2 (Top 8th), Orioles lead Yankees 7-2 (Bottom 6th)
5:47 PM (HOU at ARI): Meanwhile, Arizona has AJ Pollock on second with none out and Paul Goldschmidt at the plate. Could be an opportunity for the Diamondbacks to grab the lead back.
5:48 PM (HOU at ARI): And now a wild pitch by Houston’s Chad Qualls! Wow. Pollock to third with none out.
5:51 PM (HOU at ARI): Paul Goldschmidt delivers. His 2-run home run to left gives the Diamondbacks the lead once again, 5-3! The Yankees breathe a sigh of relief.
5:54 PM (NYY at BAL): It’s now a 7-3 game in Baltimore as Greg Bird’s RBI single scores Carlos Beltran from second. Brad Brach in for Baltimore.
Score update at 6:00 PM: Diamondbacks lead Astros 5-3 (End 7th), Rangers lead Angels 9-2 (End 8th), and Orioles lead Yankees 7-3 (Top 7th)

Events 6:00 PM and on:
6:01 PM (NYY at BAL): Dustin Ackley, up with the bases loaded and one out, grounds into a fielder’s choice at short. Brian McCann scores and now it’s a 7-4 game. Here comes Didi Gregorius, who has been 2-2 today.
6:01 PM (LAA at TEX): Game over. The Rangers win 9-2 and are the American League West champions. The Angels are eliminated from the playoffs.
6:02 PM (HOU at ARI): Brad Ziegler enters for Arizona. The Diamondbacks lead 5-3 and are six outs away from a win and helping the Yankees by sending Houston to New York, and not the other way around.
6:05 PM (NYY at BAL): Booo Didi Gregorius. He pops out with runners on the corners with two outs. Top of the 7th over and the Yankees trail 7-4.
6:10 PM (HOU at ARI): No issue for Brad Ziegler. A scoreless 8th and they are now just three outs away from a win.
6:15 PM (NYY at BAL): Andrew Bailey pitches a scoreless 7th for the Yankees. Onto the 8th in Baltimore.
6:18 PM (HOU at ARI): AJ Pollock, 3-4 with a home run today, is at the plate now against Houston’s Pat Neshek with runners on second and third with two outs. Here’s a chance to put the game away.
6:18 PM (NYY at BAL): In comes Darren O’Day for the 8th for Baltimore.
6:19 PM (HOU at ARI): Pollock flies out. Houston must come back if they want home-field for the Wild Card game on Tuesday. Onto the 9th in Phoenix.
6:22 PM (NYY at BAL): 3-up, 3-down for the Yankees in the 8th. Pathetic effort today.
6:22 PM (HOU at ARI): Ziegler remains in the game to start the 9th inning in Arizona.
6:23 PM (HOU at ARI): Luis Valbuena leads off the 9th for Houston with a single to right. The tying run is now at the plate in the form of Jose Altuve.
6:26 PM (HOU at ARI): Now, Altuve singles to right. Houston has men on first and second with none out and here comes George Springer to the plate.
6:28 PM (HOU at ARI): And as if the Yankees ordered that, Springer grounds into a 4-6-3 double play and now there are 2 outs.
6:29 PM (HOU at ARI): Game over. Brad Ziegler completes the 2-inning save and the Diamondbacks defeat the Astros in a very back-and-forth game, 5-3. 
6:30 PM (NYY at BAL): After Justin Wilson recorded one out in the 8th, here comes Andrew Miller for the Yankees.
6:33 PM (NYY at BAL): Not sure what Joe Girardi is doing, but oh well. Andrew Miller out, Caleb Cotham in - after Miller recorded one out and walked Gerardo Parra.
6:36 PM (NYY at BAL): Chris Davis homers for his 47th home run of the year off of Cotham. 9-4 Baltimore.
6:39 PM (NYY at BAL): The 8th inning is finally over. Orioles lead 9-4 as we head to the 9th.
6:42 PM (NYY at BAL): Zach Britton comes in for Baltimore to try and finish the game.
6:46 PM (NYY at BAL): The Orioles complete their regular season with a 9-4 win and a sweep of the New York Yankees. The Yankees have lost 6 of their last 7 going into the one-game playoff.

Summary
  • The Texas Rangers defeats the Los Angeles Angels 9-2, eliminating the Angels from Game 163 (play-in game for the Wild Card game).
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks defeats the Houston Astros 5-3. The Astros have secured the 2nd American League Wild Card position and will travel to the Bronx to face the Yankees on Tuesday night.
  • The Baltimore Orioles defeats the New York Yankees 9-4. However, because Houston lost, the Yankees will still win the 1st Wild Card position and will host the one-game playoff against the Astros on Tuesday.

Upcoming Game
The 1-game American League Wild Card Playoff will be on Tuesday, October 6 at Yankee Stadium, with the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. The first pitch is at 8:00 PM EDT on ESPN. The winner advances to the American League Division Series (ALDS) and travels to Kansas City for Game 1 (best-of-five series) on Thursday, October 8.

Article by: Bryan Peng
Twitter: @bpeng7
Follow the Bronx Bomber Blog @bronxbomberblog

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