It’s that time of year where four Major League Baseball teams embark on one game that will either end their season or send them on to the next round of the playoffs. Some have argued that it’s not fair only getting one game, one chance, to play in the next round, but most leagues have one game wildcard games.
And the one game playoff instead of the usual three game series or even five or seven game series, makes these games more exciting. It adds anxiety and stress for fans making them want to watch from the first pitch to the final out. The 2017 MLB Wildcard games did not disappoint.
First you had the New York Yankees taking on the Minnesota Twins, both teams that haven’t been in the playoffs in recent years with the Yankees last appearing in 2015 and the Twins last appearance in 2010 (coincidentally against the Yankees). So these teams had a lot of motivation to play well, with the Twins having extra motivation given their playoff history against the Yankees. And within the first three innings, the game was all knotted up. Both teams were locked at 3-3 and it was suddenly a ball game. You stayed glued to the TV wondering who was going to break first and eventually the Yankees pulled ahead and would go on and win the game. But there wasn’t a clear moment when the game was a done deal. The Twins still had a chance to win the game.
Onto the second WC game last night with the Arizona Diamondbacks taking on the Colorado Rockies where the Diamondbacks struck first scoring three runs in the opening inning and would continue to score one run in the second and two runs in the third. But the Rockies were not going to go quietly, scoring four runs in the fourth inning, giving fans a ball game. While yes the Diamondbacks kept scoring to rack up eleven runs to win the game, the Rockies were still giving it their all only losing by three runs.
These two games were exactly what fans wanted, it was a battle until the final out. If the Wildcard games are always going to be like the 2017 WC games then I have no complaints about the format. Let’s just hope that the Yankees and Diamondbacks still have some runs in the tank to make their next round of games just as exciting.