MLB Postseason: 5 key moments from Wednesday’s playoff action

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Sean Murphy #12 and Jake Diekman #35 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after they defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-3 in Game Two of the American League Wild Card Round at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Sean Murphy #12 and Jake Diekman #35 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after they defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-3 in Game Two of the American League Wild Card Round at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Here are 5 key moments that determined Wednesday’s MLB Postseason action.

If you are the manager of an MLB Postseason team, all you can really ask is to get your big gun up to the plate at the decisive moment.

But even the game’s biggest stars don’t always deliver. During Wednesday’s eight post-season games, managers of several teams saw that hope come to fruition. One or two came through. But some of those same managers saw their team’s hopes crushed by their veterans’ failure to deliver in the clutch.

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And in at least one critical case, a key player failed to engage a turning point level moment because that player had already gotten himself ejected.

That’s part of the reason why the Minnesota Twins will watch the remainder of the playoffs from the sidelines.

Wednesday’s key moments illustrated the vast panoply of possible ways in which a big game can turn. Three involved classic batter-pitcher confrontations. Rookie baserunning blunders contributed to one loss. And then there was that ejection.

Probably the most interesting fight took place in Atlanta, where the Braves and Cincinnati Reds stumbled through a dozen scoreless innings before the Braves finally scored in the 13th. That game was marked by wasted opportunities, as should be evidenced by the 22 runners the teams combined to leave on base.

In their vain search for that single run, the Braves and Reds produced 37 strikeouts. Meanwhile, until Atlanta mounted its winning rally, they combined to hit 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Doesn’t anybody know how to move a runner anymore?  More on that presently.

Here’s a detailed look at the day’s five key moments.