Wednesday night's postgame celebration was different than the Rays' regular-season ritual following wins. This time, they could finally exhale after a 4-0 win over the Indians in the American League Wild Card Game.
After six years of missing the postseason, the Indians earned the right to host the AL Wild Card Game, but the script took an unexpected turn. Danny Salazar started strong before running into trouble, and Rays right-hander Alex Cobb had his way with the Indians, sending the Tribe to a 4-0 loss that turned a promising fall into an early winter.
This October lasted only one day, and one game. Steamrolled in every way by the Pirates during a 6-2 defeat in the do-or-die National League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night at PNC Park, the 90-win Reds are one and done, their season is completed again sooner than expected.
For Marlon Byrd, it was well worth the wait. The veteran outfielder had played in 1,250 regular-season Major League games without a playoff appearance. Byrd made his postseason debut Tuesday night one to remember.
It didn't take long for Danny Salazar to show why the Indians handed him the ball in the do-or-die AL Wild Card Game. From the very beginning, he handled this giant moment with the poise Cleveland expected.