There would be no “chaos” that Major League Baseball and its top analysts tried to foreshadow heading into Sunday.
Both the Yankees and Boston Red Sox won their final game of the regular season to set up the one-night Wild Card Game at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
Entering the final day, the Red Sox, Yankees, and the trailing Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners were all alive for Wild Card spots. If both New York and Boston lost while the Blue Jays and Mariners won, there was the possibility of a four-team playoff to figure out the two-team Wild Card Game.
The Blue Jays held up their end of the bargain by blowing out the Baltimore Orioles to finish the season at 91-71 while the Mariners found trouble with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees could not get its offense going against the Tampa Bay Rays — who won the AL East — but found just enough to squeak by in a 1-0 walk-off triumph to be the first team on Sunday to ensure their playoff spot.
While the Blue Jays jumped on Baltimore in an 11-4 win, the Red Sox fell behind the lowly Washington Nationals 5-1 before hanging six runs in the final four innings to eliminate Toronto, who watched in horror from their dugout at Rogers Centre as Rafael Devers’ two-run home run in the ninth inning put Boston ahead down in D.C. They saw out the 7-5 victory to destroy any hopes of a tiebreaker — though it sets up two hated rivals on one of the biggest stages in baseball.
This will be the sixth time ever that the Yankees and Red Sox will meet in the playoffs. After meeting three times in the playoffs between 1999-2004, the two AL East clubs met in the 2018 ALDS, which the Red Sox won.