NLDS: D-Backs vs. Dodgers: Series Over 3-0 Dodgers
Well, that was fast. And boy, was I wrong. The Dodgers swept through a Diamondbacks team that had given them trouble all year, despite a game 1 performance from Clayton Kershaw that actually INCREASED his already bloated postseason ERA with four homeruns. The reason? Firstly, they were solo homers. Secondly, the Dodgers offense put on a show, putting up four runs in the first inning and ending Arizona starter Taijuan Walker’s first postseason appearance after only one inning and 48 pitches. In games two and three, the Dodgers continued to dominate, adding 11 more runs and wiping out their toughest divisional rivals. These Dodgers looked shaky late in the season, but early in the playoffs, they’ve shown the dominance that made them the winningest team in the majors this year.
ALDS: Red Sox vs. Astros: Series Over 3-1 Astros
This series unfolded exactly as I predicted with the Red Sox grabbing only the first game at Fenway with a 10 run outburst. Aside from that, Houston’s superior firepower was on display for the entire series, scoring 8 runs in each of the first two home wins. The final game was a see-saw battle that saw BOTH teams going to their aces as relievers in the middle innings. Houston’s Justin Verlander looked shaky in his first ever bullpen performance, giving up a lead-changing two run shot to the first batter he faced before settling down. Boston’s Chris Sale looked strong in relief, throwing four clean innings until he came out for the eighth and was immediately rocked for the game tying run. Closer Craig Kimbrel came in to stop the bleeding, but was vulnerable himself, giving up a crucial insurance run in the ninth. It was a wild game four, with Boston manager John Farrell being ejected early and a ninth-inning, no-outs, inside-the-park homer by Boston rookie third baseman Rafael Devers, but in the end, and as predicted, the Astros had too much firepower for this year’s Red Sox.
ALDS: Yankees vs. Indians: Tied 2-2- Gm 5 Wednesday, 5pm EST
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a series here. The Yankees have come to play and the Indians are lucky to be alive after a game two, thirteenth-inning win to keep home field advantage and then two losses at Yankee Stadium. Not many gave this young Yankee squad with spotty and streaky starting pitching much of a chance against AL juggernaut Cleveland, but these Indians are now in a one game playoff with a Yankee team that hit the most homeruns in the majors this season and has a platoon of gas-throwing relievers in the bullpen. That’s not the situation a team that won 102 games this year wants to be. It will be Yankees veteran C.C. Sabathia against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber for all the marbles in Cleveland tomorrow night. It’s going to be a good one.
NLDS: Cubs vs Nationals: Cubs lead 2-1 Gm 4 Tuesday, 5:30 EST
Baseball is a fickle game and the Nationals are learning that right now. Ace Stephen Strasburg rolled through five scoreless innings of no-hit ball in game one before being pulled. The Nationals lost 3-0. Max Scherzer was dealing for six innings of one-hit ball in game three before giving way to the bullpen with a one run lead. It wasn’t enough. The Cubs scraped out a 2-1 victory despite being stymied for much of the game to snatch the lead in the series, two games to one. They’ll send Jake Arrieta to the mound for game four, coming back from a hamstring injury, hoping to close out the series without returning to the nation’s capital for game five. I just don’t see it happening that way. The Nationals are going to have a few balls bounce their way eventually, right? If they get a few breaks tonight, or if Arrieta is still gimpy from the hamstring injury, we’ll see what happens in a winner-take-all game five.
Tom Capo writes about sports, parenting, food, wine and travel; but seldom all at once. He’s currently working on his first novel and collection of shorter fiction. He lives in the Bay Area with all of his girls; wife Allison, daughter Liliana and dog Artemis.
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