The MLB playoffs 2010 are already into history. The rest of the MLB playoffs will be hard-pressed to find a bigger event than Roy Halladay’s no hitter, at least until the World Series. But Halladay wasn’t the only star of the postseason’s opening day, as there were two other games in the background. While Halladay and the Phillies exceeded their expectations as favorites, the other two home teams could not hold up as well. In the American League, the playoffs have started with the expected chaos, which could get deeper today.
The postseason started with early controversy in Tampa Bay, as the Rays got victimized. A 2-1 pitch to Carlos Pena with the bases loaded was wrongly ruled as a foul tip, leading to a strikeout. From then on in, Cliff Lee was barely challenged, while David Price wasn’t so lucky.
The first game of the playoffs looked like so many others from the last postseason, as Lee dominated on his way to victory. This time, it was for the Rangers, as they stole home field from the top-seeded Rays. Their 5-1 win was the Rangers’ second ever postseason win, and they have dreams of a few more this year.
The Rangers were a popular upset pick, and they backed that up yesterday. Now the Rays have to hope their questionable rotation beyond Price can hold up, or else today might be their last home game of the year.
Later on, the Yankees attempted to be playoff road warriors as well against the Twins. It didn’t go well early on, as the Twins jumped on C.C. Sabathia for a 3-0 lead. However, the usual formula held, as the Yankees once more found a way to foil the Twins. A four-run sixth inning, a Mark Teixeira home run, and a four-out Mariano Rivera save preserved a 6-4 win.
The MLB playoffs do not have the Yankees as the undisputed favorite this year. Yet despite their increased weaknesses, and despite losing home field advantage, they still could not get knocked off by the Twins. Minnesota must turn it around tonight, or face another potential ALDS sweep at New York’s hand.
Thus far, the road teams look to have the advantage in the American League. The only home team to hold serve yesterday was the Phillies, with no small help from Halladay. The Phillies were already hyped as the overwhelming National League favorite, and budding World Series favorite. After Halladay’s historic night, such hype will become defining, especially if Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels finish the Reds off.
Although Philadelphia was the center of attention yesterday, the playoffs opened with impressive statements from Texas and New York as well. They will attempt to make bigger ones today, while Atlanta and San Francisco are the last to start their World Series runs.
SI.com- “Baseball Musings: Day 1”
CBS Sports- “Back outdoors, same result”