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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

2020 MLB Postseason: MVP candidate Jose Abreu comes down to earth.

For White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, the entire 2020 season has been a pleasant dream. He hit .317 in the regular season, led the league with 60 RBIs, and is being touted as the uncrowned Most Valuable Player.

On top of that, during Tuesday’s first playoff game between the Sox and Oakland Athletics, Abreu hit a decisive two-run home run.

Seeking to advance to the second playoff round, Abreu’s White Sox quickly fell behind 5-0 Wednesday. They arrived at the top of the ninth inning still trailing 5-2 but mounted a two-out charge when Nick Madrigal and Tim Anderson singled, and Yoan Moncada walked to fill the bases.

When Yasmani Grandal also walked, forcing Madrigal across, the score stood 5-3 and Abreu came to the plate facing Jake Diekman with the game on the bases. Moncada represented the tying run at second, Grandal carried the go-ahead run at first, and Abreu waved a bat that had generated 19 regular-season home runs.

From Chicago’s standpoint, Abreu was precisely the right player in precisely the right position at precisely the right moment.

But baseball ain’t always poetry, and the fairy-tale comeback doesn’t always end happily. Abreu got jammed with a first-pitch fastball down in the zone from Diekman and managed only to slap it toward second baseman Nate Orf. The infield out ensured that there would be a decisive third game in this series Thursday in Oakland.