Andrew McCutchen wants the Wild Card playoff format to change

AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn
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The one-game Wild Card game playoff, introduced in 2012, has been met with mixed reactions. Some like it because of the winner-take-all format adds intrigue. Others dislike it because one game can be decided by so many factors that don’t necessarily have anything to do with either team’s performance.

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is one who dislikes it, and it’s easy to see why. His Pirates were ousted from postseason contention in each of the past two seasons, getting shut out by the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta last year. John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times reports:

“You run into a hot pitcher who has his best stuff and your season is over in one night,” McCutchen said. “It really stings. You play all season to get to the playoffs and it doesn’t seem quite fair that you have no margin for error. It was hard to watch the rest of the playoffs (last year). We had big dreams.”

Perrotto notes that McCutchen will have a chance to speak to MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Friday when he visits the Pirates. “I’m not going to necessarily lobby the union for it, but I think it would be much more fair,” McCutchen said of making the Wild Card playoff into an actual series.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).