2022 MLB playoffs: Wild Card Series takeaways as Padres, Phillies, Mariners, Guardians jump ahead

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The 2022 MLB postseason has arrived. The postseason began Friday with the brand new Wild Card Series. MLB has a 12-team postseason format this year, the largest field in the sport's history (excluding the 2020 pandemic season). The Phillies shocked the Cardinals with a six-run ninth inning to take Game 1 of their Wild Card Series matchup. In the American League, the Mariners and Guardians got wins over the Blue Jays and Rays, respectively. All that remains on Friday's schedule is Padres-Mets. 

As a reminder, the Wild Card Series replaces the one-and-done Wild Card Game and is a mad dash best-of-three with no off-days and all three games at the higher seed's ballpark. Here is Friday's scoreboard:

Wild Card Series scores

And here's what to know from every game on Friday.

Guardians stars put them one win away from ALDS

The Guardians are obviously much more than two players, but heading into the series, their two biggest stars would be four-time All-Star José Ramírez and 2020 Cy Young winner Shane Bieber. They were the stars of Game 1. 

Bieber, making his second career playoff start, allowed just one run in 7 2/3 innings of work. He struck out eight and allowed only three hits and one walk. The lone run he allowed was a solo home run to Jose Siri and that briefly gave the Rays the 1-0 lead. 

That was in the top of the sixth. In the bottom, Ramírez came through with a two-run homer to right-center field. It gave the Guardians a 2-1 lead and that's where the score would remain, thanks to Bieber and All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase. 

Full takeaways here.

Phillies pull off historic comeback vs. Cardinals

The starting pitchers (José Quintana of the Cardinals and Zack Wheeler of the Phillies) combined for 11 2/3 innings of scoreless work on Friday in St. Louis. A pinch-hit, two-run home run from Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh and looked like it would be the entirety of the scoring. 

Instead, the Phillies stormed back with a six-run ninth inning to shock everyone. The Cardinals were 74-3 when leading after eight innings in the regular season. They were 93-0 as a franchise when leading by two or more runs after eight innings in the postseason. They are now 93-1.

There might be some carry over, too, as Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley completely lost all command and has an injury to the middle finger on his pitching hand. 

Full takeaways here.

Mariners don't wait long after playoff return

The Mariners played and won their first playoff game in 21 years thanks to a combination of timely hitting out front and a strong start from trade deadline addition Luis Castillo. Seattle jumped on an overly amped Alek Manoah in the early going, plating three in the top of the first inning. 

Castillo made it hold up the rest of the way, delivering seven shutout innings in his second career postseason start. The Blue Jays will have to open up Game 2 in better shape if they want to stave off elimination. Full takeaways here.

Padres light up Scherzer to take Game 1 from Mets

Mets right-hander Max Scherzer had one of the worst starts of his career against San Diego. Scherzer's final line saw him surrender seven runs on seven hits (four of them home runs) across 4 2/3 innings. Those home runs came courtesy of Josh Bell, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar, and Manny Machado. 

"Baseball can take you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows," Scherzer told reporters after the game. "This is one of the lowest of lows."

On the other side, Padres starter Yu Darvish was crisp and effective. He allowed only one run in seven innings of work, and gave the Padres' bullpen a relatively easy night, at least by postseason standards. As a result of all the above, the Mets are now faced with an elimination game on Saturday, while the Padres are one win from an NLDS matchup with the rival Dodgers.

Full takeaways here

Live updates
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Mariners take the 1-0 lead in the series. That means Game 2 will be an elimination game for Toronto.

October 7, 2022, 11:19 PM
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Munoz with consecutive 93-mph sliders.

October 7, 2022, 10:45 PM
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Concerning HBP for Springer. Appeared to catch him on the wrist, but he's staying in the game.

October 7, 2022, 10:42 PM
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Castillo and the Mariners are through six innings. He's allowed no runs on two hits and no walks. He's struck out two. M's lead 4-0.

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Manoah's day is over. He'd take a mulligan on the first inning, but his final line could've been a lot worse.

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Mariners continue to lead 4-0 through five.

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Mariners add another run on a fielder's choice. It's 4-0 in the top of the fifth.

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Mariners threatening to track on here, with the top of the order making their third looks at Manoah count. 

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Entering the fifth inning in Toronto. If you're joining us late, Alek Manoah has rebounded from a long, rough first inning that saw him throw more than 25 pitches and surrender all three runs.

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Nolan Arenado just had a potential inning-ending double play chopper get through him. Another run scores. It's 5-2. Still only one out in the ninth. Everything going wrong for St. Louis this inning.

October 7, 2022, 9:19 PM
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We're through 3 1/2 innings in Toronto. Blue Jays have more hits, but they trail the Mariners by a 3-0 mark. 

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Pallante gets the ground ball, but it sneaks through the infield to score two runs. Phillies now lead 3-2. A stunning turn here in the ninth inning. Still only one out with runners on the corners.

October 7, 2022, 9:12 PM
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Going with Pallante instead of Flaherty here is definitely an attempt to get a ground-ball double play.

October 7, 2022, 9:08 PM
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Andre Pallante is coming in for the biggest outing of his life. He threw 108 innings this year as a rookie

October 7, 2022, 9:08 PM
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Helsley hasn't thrown this many pitches in a game since June.

October 7, 2022, 9:04 PM
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another pitch gets away from Helsley and it hits Bohm. It's 2-1 and the bases are still loaded with one out. Tough decision for Oli Marmol here 

October 7, 2022, 9:04 PM
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Andre Pallante also up

October 7, 2022, 9:03 PM
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Flaherty is warming up.

October 7, 2022, 9:02 PM
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Phillies have bases loaded with one out now, and Helsley's lost command of the fastball. 

October 7, 2022, 9:02 PM
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Now 30 pitches and the bases are loaded with one out. Hicks and Gallegos already pitched. Not sure who would come in to bail out Helsley here.

October 7, 2022, 9:02 PM
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If nothing else, the Phillies are working Helsley. 25 pitches and the tying run is on base here with one out. Could affect his effectiveness/availability tomorrow.

October 7, 2022, 8:59 PM
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Phillies now have the potential tying run on base with one out in the ninth.

October 7, 2022, 8:59 PM
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Helsley's not quite hitting his spots as well as he usually does.

October 7, 2022, 8:56 PM
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25 pitches through two innings for Castillo. He's thrown just one changeup. It's one of the best changeups in the game, but he doesn't throw it much against righties, and the Blue Jays are very right-handed. In theory, that gives Toronto an advantage because it takes away one of his top weapons, though it hasn't mattered yet.

October 7, 2022, 8:53 PM
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Mariners continue to hold a 3-0 lead over the Blue Jays through two innings.

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Still 2-0 going into the ninth. Helsley will be going for the five-out save.

October 7, 2022, 8:48 PM
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Phillies down to three outs, but they'll have Hoskins, Realmuto and Harper coming to the plate here in the ninth

October 7, 2022, 8:48 PM
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Nothing wrong with his arm, as they say.

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Helsley hurt his finger recently and has been kind of coy about how it's affected his breaking ball. No apparent issues in the eighth, though.

October 7, 2022, 8:44 PM
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Helsley gets Schwarber to pop up to end the 8th. The Cardinals will take at least a 2-0 lead into the ninth.

October 7, 2022, 8:40 PM
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