The back-and-forth, win-or-go-home AL Wild Card Game in front of a boisterous Kauffman Stadium crowd will go down as an all-time classic. And it was only the first game of this entire postseason.
If we can remove ourselves from the reality of how it ended, we can reflect on the A-mazement of what has transpired in Oakland over the past three years. But of course, it’s not that easy for the A’s or their fans, writes columnist Anthony Castrovince.
What’s the best way to beat the Giants and the Pirates? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.
Royals manager Ned Yost came out to briefly discuss the call of a foul ball off the bat of Eric Hosmer during the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s AL Wild Card Game, though he was unable to challenge it due to the rules of instant replay. Although fair/foul ball calls are on the list of reviewable plays, it only applies to balls that are hit beyond the first or third-base umpire.
If the Giants are to prolong their bid to win another World Series in another even-numbered year, they’ll have to survive with a lineup for Wednesday’s NL Wild Card Game that includes Gregor Blanco and Travis Ishikawa, whom have been regarded as platoon players for most of their careers.
The Pirates are unmistakably in familiar territory. They hosted and won the National League Wild Card Game last year against the Reds. While they have a lot of pieces from their 2013 club back with the memorable victory in their memory bank, the Pirates’ lineup will look different than it did a year ago.
Jason Grilli, a free agent at season’s end, is at best the fourth-most-prominent member of the Angels’ bullpen, and everyone in front of him in the pecking order — closer Huston Street, setup man Joe Smith and seventh-inning guy Kevin Jepsen — is expected back next season. At this point, though, a chance to be on a winner is more important than a bullpen role for the 37-year-old right-hander.
On Tuesday morning, Josh Hamilton said he was confident he’ll play Thursday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series in Anaheim. After facing live pitching Tuesday afternoon, Hamilton simply gave a thumbs up.
Catcher Russell Martin, who was held out of the final pair of regular-season games with a tweaked left hamstring, said he fully expects to start against the Giants on Wednesday in the National League Wild Card Game.
As important as Rajai Davis is to their postseason hopes, they’re waiting — possibly up until Thursday’s 10 a.m. ET deadline for submitting a 25-man roster — to see whether he’ll be healthy enough to take part in their American League Division Series against the Orioles.