ALDS 2022 Game Scenarios 2

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Both American League Division Series took the day off Wednesday, and after those two games, it’s fair to say they probably needed one. (Their fans definitely needed it.) But they both have a crucial Game 2 on Thursday.

Here’s a look at each team’s main storyline in each game.

Mariners: Can they recover from this brutal loss?
There are playoff losses and there are playoff losses. The Mariners inflicted that kind of loss on the Blue Jays with their stunning comeback in Game 2 of their AL Wild Card series, and the Astros fired it to Seattle in Game 1 of the ALDS. Everything you could have expected from Game 1, for the Mariners, basically happened.

They hustled Justin Verlander. They launched Julio Rodríguez. They kept the Minute Maid Park crowd quiet. They went through the first seven innings with a seemingly comfortable 7-3 lead. It was all laid out there in front of them…then it all fell apart at the end in the most horrible way possible. Welcome to postseason baseball, Seattle! The Mariners are a young (rather) team and can be green enough to take such an excruciating loss, especially with their ace on the mound. But if they have a late lead – really, a lead of any amount – there won’t be a single fan who is comfortable. And they probably shouldn’t be.

Astros: Don’t waste that home-court advantage you’ve worked so hard for
The Astros were so close to lose Game 1, ultimately with Yordan Alvarez’s incredible three-run homer, arguably one of the greatest post-season homers. It’s totally reasonable to soak up all those good vibes afterwards, but there was cause for concern in this one, first and foremost Verlander, who looked downright deadly for the first time since one moment.

The Astros had a chance to claw their way back into Game 1, but it’s just as vital that they take Game 2 and retain home-court advantage, especially given what the crowd at T-Mobile Park in Seattle is going to be like the Mariners’ first home playoff game since 2001. Houston is up against one of baseball’s best pitchers in the stretch at Castillo, so they’ll want to do what they can to increase their pitching count and l exhausting, especially considering what the Astros just did to the Mariners bullpen. It’s going to be a maelstrom in Seattle this weekend. The Astros are making sure they have a 2-0 cushion at best when they get there.

Guardians: But seriously, where will the offense come from?
Cleveland is seven World Series wins away, which is quite a thing to say about a team that, in three playoff games, has scored just four runs in 33 innings. We all knew the Guardians’ weakness was their composition — specifically, their power — and that absolutely played out in the playoffs. Steven Kwan’s home run was the only time Cleveland got things moving in Game 1; there were only six other baserunners the entire game. Needless to say, that won’t work against the Yankees, even if his pitchers hit Aaron Judge three times every game like they did in Game 1. (And they’re not going to hit Judge three times every game.)

Not every Yankees starter is Gerrit Cole, but Cortes was an All-Star in his own right, and the Guardians have really struggled against lefties this year, finishing 28th in MLB in OPS against lefties. It was José Ramírez who hit the big hit from Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan in Game 1 of their Wild Card series, and Cleveland will likely need the switch-hitting star to pull it off again with a big hit. sure of a lefty. You can probably count on Bieber to somewhat stifle the Yanks’ offense. But he cannot smother them entirely. Guardians need to start figuring something out on offense, or this streak is going to end very quickly.

Yankees: Will the Bronx sound like this all October?
For the past, oh, 100 years, Yankee Stadium, in its two incarnations, has essentially been the manifestation of October baseball: when you close your eyes and think of fall nights, the intensity of the playoffs , to extreme close-ups of the pitcher’s face as he looks in at the batter, loud mobs roaring with every pitch, you think of the Bronx. But, you know, it’s been a while.

The Yankees lost at the AL Wild Card Game in Boston in 2021, and their ALDS against the Rays in 2020 was played in San Diego without any fans. So, in case you forgot: it gets wild and strong in the Bronx at this time of year. The Yanks seemed to drive their home crowd’s enthusiasm for a soft victory in Game 1 – Cole in particular was spurred on by it – and that will only intensify as the Bombers continue to advance. It’s a vibrant, soaring Yankee Stadium in October. Happy to see you again.

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