The Miami Marlins had a 2-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs on Oct. 2 in Wrigley Field. Closer Brandon Kintzler came in for the ninth, gave up a leadoff double by Jason Heyward, then struck out Javier Baez, David Bote and Jason Kipnis to send the Marlins to a division series vs. Atlanta.
This made Kintzler — who went to the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami while with the Twins — one of five righthanders with a strong Twins connection to provide the final out among the eight winning teams in the wild-card series.
Sept. 30: Rays 8, Blue Jays 2. Nick Anderson had a 1-2-3 ninth for Rays. The Brainerd High School graduate, now 30, had an outstanding summer for Class AAA Rochester in 2018, but the Twins traded him to Miami on Nov. 20, 2018, for Brian Schales, a non-prospect infielder. Anderson had 110 strikeouts in 65 innings combined for the Marlins and Rays in 2019, and an ERA of 0.55 with 26 strikeouts in 16⅓ innings in this abbreviated season.
Sept. 30: Astros 3, Twins 1. Ryan Pressly had a 1-2-3 ninth to eliminate the Twins. Pressly was a Rule 5 draftee for the 2013 season. He pitched in 281 games for the Twins before a trade to Houston on July 27, 2018, for pitcher Jorge Alcala and outfielder Gilberto Celestino. Now 31, Pressly was an AL All-Star as a setup reliever in 2019 and became the Astros closer with 12 saves in this mini-season.
Oct. 1: Athletics 6, White Sox 4. A’s closer Liam Hendriks struck out the side in ninth. Hendriks, now 31, was signed by Twins out of Australia in 2007, pitched in 30 career games for the Twins before being claimed on waivers by the Cubs in December 2013. He kicked around for two years and then joined the A’s organization in 2016. He was designated for assingment in July 2018 but remained in the organization, and in 2019 he turned into a dominant All-Star closer. Combined, he had 161 strikeouts in 110 innings the past two seasons.
Oct. 1: Dodgers 3, Brewers 1. Brusdar Graterol gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth to get a save. He turned 22 in August. A top Twins prospect, he went to the Dodgers in a trade for Kenta Maeda on Feb. 10. Graterol relieved in 23 games (3.09 ERA) for the Dodgers.