Tonight, it’s time for the National League version of the win-or-go-home wild card game. I have to say, I’ve grown to like the wild card game and prefer it to the old format of “eh, you won your division? Cool, here are the Dodgers” that was the old playoff format, where the poor Brewers would just immediately face a 106-win Los Angeles team because that’s the way we do this. Instead, the Dodgers’ reward for not winning their division is to have to survive a game with the St. Louis Cardinals — who got here by winning seventeen games in a row in September — and, potentially, have to burn through their bullpen before they even get to a Division Series matchup with the Giants.
Anyway, at least they have Max Scherzer on the mound, which sounds great until you realize that Scherzer was shaky in his last two starts of the regular season, the most recent of which came a week ago against the Padres, when he gave up five runs in 5.1 innings. The Cardinals will counter with 40-year-old Adam Wainwright, who went 4-0 with a 3.44 ERA in September.
Former VandyBoys in this game: Technically none! Walker Buehler and David Price were left off the Dodgers’ roster for the wild card game. Since you get to pick a new roster for the Division Series, the Dodgers left Buehler — who will be their Game 1 starter on Friday, assuming they win tonight — off the roster, though I have no idea why Price isn’t on the roster. Either way, we can officially say that neither one of them will be appearing in this game.