MLB News & Moments You Should Know – Oct. 6

Game 162 ends marathon, with a few electric moments and a firing.

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When MLB expanded the playoff field, the hope was that Game 162 of the season would mean a handful of games to determine who gets into the postseason. Well, that didn’t happen in the first year of this format, but it is likely to happen soon. The only thing on the line Wednesday were achievements, individual and team, as well as saying goodbye to a few longtimers who are retiring. One month from Wednesday is when Game 7 of the World Series is scheduled to be played, so after a marathon of a season, enjoy the sprint to the finish.

This is the final daily installment of this feature as the regular season ends. Thanks to all of our loyal Pitcher List readers for tagging along on this journey. We will still have periodic news updates during the offseason and this feature will return, perhaps with a tweak or three, next season.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

Playoff Matchups

In case you missed it, here are the matchups for the Wild Card Series, which is a best-of-three series with all three games at the higher-seeded team’s stadium. All series run Friday through Sunday.

(Seeding and record in parentheses.)

American League

Houston Astros (1, 106-56) bye, New York Yankees (2, 99-63) bye

Tampa Bay Rays (6, 86-76) at Cleveland Guardians (3, 92-70)

Seattle Mariners (5, 90-72) at Toronto Blue Jays (4, 92-70)

Astros face Mariners-Jays winner, Yankees face Rays-Guardians winner in Division Series

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers (1, 111-51) bye, Atlanta Braves (2, 101-61)

Philadelphia Phillies (6, 87-65) at St. Louis Cardinals (3, 93-65)

San Diego Padres (5, 89-73) at New York Mets (4, 101-61)

Dodgers face Padres-Mets winner, Braves face Phillies-Cardinals winner in Division Series

Game 1 Starters

With Friday just around the corner, some teams have already announced their Game 1 starters for the Wild Card Series. Beginning in the AL, it will be Mariners RHP Luis Castillo vs. Jays RHP Alek Manoah. No starters were revealed by the Rays or Guardians. Over in the NL, Padres RHP Yu Darvish will face Mets RHP Max Scherzer. Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler goes against a pitcher yet to be named by the Cardinals.

Stat Leaders

There are too many stats to list, but with the end of the season, we should point out a few of the leaders. In this case, we will stick to the Triple Crown categories.

Royals Fire Matheny

Following a 9-2 loss to the Guardians that left Kansas City with a 65-97 record, the Royals fired manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred. Matheny had a 165-218 in three seasons with K.C., with two fourth-place finishes before this year’s last place, 21 games behind the Guardians. The move comes less than a month after the Royals fired Dayton Moore as president of baseball operations and named J.J. Picollo executive vice president and general manager. Matheny had managed the Cardinals for seven seasons, including four playoff appearances. Eldred had been the pitching coach since 2017.

Nevin Sticks With Angels

Phil Nevin, the bench coach who took over as interim manager when Joe Maddon was fired, will be the Los Angeles Angels’ manager for next season. Nevin signed a one-year deal to remain in the position he filled on June 7. At that time, the Angels had a 12-game losing streak and a 27-29 record. After Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Oakland A’s, the Angels finished 73-89, 13 games behind the first-place Astros. If you are wondering why just a one-year deal, that was kind of expected with Angels owner Arte Moreno exploring a possible sale.

Another Milestone For Ohtani

Chalk another one up for the unicorn. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani started the season finale and crossed an important threshold, reaching 162 innings for the season. Why was that important? According to the Angels, Ohtani is now the first player in MLB history to have enough innings and plate appearances to qualify for the pitching and hitting leaderboards.

8-for-100

Reaching 100 wins is quite an accomplishment for an MLB team. But 100 losses is like wearing a scarlet letter. There were four teams who reached each plateau, with the Dodgers notching the fourth-most wins in MLB history with 111, matching the 1954 Cleveland Indians. The Astros were next at 106, while the Braves and Mets tied for fourth with 101 (the Braves won the division because they beat the Mets in the season series 10-9). The Yankees’ 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers kept them stuck at 99 wins. On the other side, the Washington Nationals finished with 107 losses to lead MLB, while the A’s had 102 and the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds ended with 100. The Dodgers also become the seventh team to lead not just their league, but all of MLB in both most runs scored and fewest runs allowed, the first since the 1944 Cardinals. The Dodgers’ 344-run differential is tied with the 1936 Yankees for the fourth-most in history.

Ready For The Draft Lottery?

One of the changes as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement in March was the creation of a draft lottery. The 18 teams that did not qualify for the postseason all have a shot at the No. 1 overall pick. The lottery will determine the first six spots for next year’s draft, with the other 12 teams drafting in reverse order of winning percentage. The teams with the worst three records — Nationals, A’s, and Pirates — will each have a 16.5% shot at the No. 1 overall pick. That percentage trickles down to the Milwaukee Brewers with the 18th-best shot at 0.23%. No date has been set for the lottery, but it could take place during the winter meetings, which begin on Dec. 4 in San Diego.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

Fabulous Finale For Vogt

Stephen Vogt is just one of the more pure good guys in MLB, so his final game as a player came with lots of emotion. He started behind the plate for the Oakland A’s and his kids announced him as he walked up to the plate for his first at-bat. And then he did something special in his final at-bat, becoming the 10th player in the Expansion Era (since 1961) to homer for his first and last career hit.

Great Trade

Things all around baseball seemed a little more relaxed for Game 162, so it was no surprise that an exchange of goods was made. Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford signed autographs and got some sweet goodness in return.

Younger Maton Wins Brotherly Battle

Astros reliever Phil Maton and Phillies infielder Nick Maton had not faced each other since they were teens, but they got the chance again in MLB. That came when 29-year-old Phil was on the mound in the top of the eighth at Minute Maid Park and 25-year-old Nick came to the plate. Let’s just say youth was served.

Speaking Of Siblings …

Families are always in the stands of MLB players, especially relatively new ones. Texas Rangers rookie third baseman Josh Jung hasn’t been in The Show long, so his brother was in the stands for his season finale. Josh got him a gift.

Injuries and Other Moves

 

Mets outfielder Starling Marte (nondisplaced fracture of right middle finger) is unlikely to be activated for the Wild Card Series, manager Buck Showalter said.

Mets right-hander Tylor Megill was placed on the injured list with an illness. With no designation of the 10-day IL, it is likely COVID-related.

Right-handed starter Mike Clevinger was placed on the injured list by the Padres with an illness. Right-hander Nabil Crismatt was recalled from Triple-A. As with Megill, there was no 10-day designation.

Left fielder Jesse Winker (neck) was placed on the 10-day IL by the Mariners. Winker could be out the entire postseason. Outfielder Taylor Trammell was recalled from Triple-A. The move came a day after infielder-outfielder Sam Haggerty (groin strain) was placed on the IL and will miss the rest of the season.

Left-handed reliever Colin Poche (oblique) was placed on the 15-day IL by the Rays.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Ohtani or Judge for AL MVP? Former MVPs make their picks — Marc Carig and Daniel Brown, The Athletic

How a coin flip, a random New Jersey woman and Purdue University saved the Mariners Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com

Joey Votto becomes a tourist in Cincinnati — C. Trent Rosecrans, The Athletic

Add context, not asterisks, to MLB record book — Scott Miller, New York Times

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter @DrummerWrites.

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