NLCS Game 1: Washington shuts out St. Louis 2-0 on a 1-hitter.

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The Washington Nationals took game 1 of the NLCS, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 on a one-hitter.

The only Cardinals hit was by PH Jose Martinez with two outs in the eighth inning.

Washington starter Anibal Sanchez was then removed from the game.

Howie Kendrick and Yan Gomes each had two hits and an RBI for the Nationals.

Game 2 of the NLCS will be at 4 PM today.

The ALCS between the Yankees and Astros begins tonight. Game 1 at 8 PM.


Sammy Taylor, a C who was on the 1962 Mets, died at the age of 86. Taylor played for the Cubs (1958-1962), Mets (1962-1963), Reds (1963) and Indians (1963). His best year was when he hit 13 HR for the 1959 Cubs. He hit .222-3-20 in 68 games for those 1962 Mets. For his career, he hit .245 with 33 HR, OPS+ 84.

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Starters set for first 3 games of ALCS. Times set for all.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The starters have been set for the first three games of the ALCS.

Game 1 Tanaka NY/ Greinke Hou
Game 2 Paxton NY/ Verlander Hou
Game 3 Severino NY/ Cole Hou

Games 1 and 2 are Saturday and Sunday at 8:08 in Houston. Fox Game 1 , FS1 Game 2

Game 3 in Ny at 4:08 Tuesday (rats, I work until 6 and will miss most of it).  FS1

Game 4 in NY at 808 Wednesday FS1

Game 5 in NY at 808 Thursday (if necessary) FS1

Game 6 in Hou at 408 Saturday if NLCS alive, 808 if NLCS over FS1 (if necessary)

Game 7 in Hou at 738 Sunday  FS1

All times Eastern.

 

Yanks to face Houston in ALCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will face Houston in the ALCS after Houston beat Tampa Bay, 6-1, last night.

I don’t know how long it’ll go on, maybe the Yanks can break the streak, but Gerrit Cole has won 18 decisions in a row, and last night struck out 10 while giving up just 1 run on 2 hits in 8 IP.

Meanwhile, Houston got four in the bottom of the first as Tyler Glasnow was tipping his pitches.

Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS will be at 8 PM, Saturday and Sunday in Houston.


Another one bites the dust. The Phillies fired Gabe Kapler as their manager so there is another opening. There are a lot of ex-Yankees being considered for a lot of openings, We’ll see where and if there are any matches.

Yanks to find out ALCS opponent tonight. NLCS set as both home teams lose Game 5 in stunning fashions.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will find out their ALCS opponent tonight when the Tampa Bay Rays play the Houston Astros in Houston at 7 PM. If Tampa Bay wins, the Yanks have home field throughout the playoffs as long as they stay in (see below). If Houston wins, Houston does.

The NLCS is set as it’ll be St. Louis and Washington. Both away teams stunned the home opponents in the deciding Game 5 of their respective series.

St. Louis scored TEN runs in the top of the first inning and beat Atlanta 13-1. Ten in the top of the first. Talk about sucking the air out of a stadium right away. How would you like to have a ticket to that game, just settle in your seat, and THAT happens?

The defending two-time NL Champion Dodgers got knocked off, 7-3, in 10 innings by the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers blew a 3-1 eighth-inning lead. Since the Dodgers had a better record than the Yankees, the Yankees will now have WS home-field advantage IF Houston gets knocked out by Tampa Bay or the Yankees.

Clayton Kershaw’s postseason struggles continued. Pitching in relief, he gave up back-to-back homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto that tied up the game in the eighth. Kershaw has a 2.44 career regular season ERA, but it’s two runs higher in the postseason.

Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam in the top of the tenth to win it. Even going back to their days as the Montreal Expos, it’s the first time the franchise has won a postseason series since the Montreal Expos beat the Phillies in the 1981 Eastern Division strike-enforced playoff.

Stunning endings, both of them, and the way Washington beat Milwaukee in the WC game and now here against the Dodgers, you wonder…

 

 

While Yanks rest, the other series are all going the distance.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have four days off before Game 1 of the ALCS begins on Saturday. While they have swept the Twins, all of the other series are going the distance.

The NLDS’s will wrap up today. St. Louis at Atlanta, Game 5 at 5 PM Eastern, and Washington at the LA Dodgers at 8:30.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay forced a Game 5 in Houston  7 PM  Thursday night by beating the Astros and Justin Verlander 4-1 last night. The Rays scored three in the first inning. Tommy Pham (3 hits) homered in the first for the Rays, and Willie Adames homered later. Avisail Garcia had four hits. Tampa Bay used an “opener” and went through six pitchers in the win.


Gleyber Torres reminds me of Derek Jeter, and in a good way. Derek hit for a higher average and stole more bases, while Gleyber has more power. But both at a young age show and showed an incredible amount of maturity and poise. You can see Torres becoming, like Jeter was, a long-time Yankee star, and maybe future captain and Hall-of-Famer. Hopefully his career follows the same great path Jeter’s did.


If the Yanks have to play Houston in the next round, it’ll be difficult ot beat them, but the Yanks did beat a trio of great pitchers in 1996 and 1999 when they beat the Braves’ HOF trio of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. But could this Astro trio of Verlander, Cole and Greinke be even better? Let’s see.

2019 Astro trio. Combined record (inc. Greinke’s overall record, time w/AZ this year)
59-16, Combined ERA+ 518

1996 Braves: 54-29, Combined ERA+ 458

1999 Braves: 44-28, Combined ERA+ 376.

It does look like, should Houston win Game 5, that the Yanks of 2019 may have a tougher battle.

But Houston’s overall team ERA of 3.66 was 2nd in the AL…. to Tampa Bay’s. Despite its unconventional use of “openers”, the Rays’ team ERA was 3.65, barely better than Houston’s.

Game 3: Yanks sweep Twins, 5-1, to advance to ALCS. Other series still going on.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees beat the Twins, 5-1, Monday night to sweep the series and advance to the ALCS.

Of the four teams who had a chance to close out the series yesterday, only the Yanks did so.

The Twins have now lost 16 straight postseason games, 13 to the Yankees. The Yankees have beaten the Twins in every postseason match-up against them.

Gleyber Torres got the scoring started with a HR in the top of the second. 1-0 Yankees.

Luis Severino threw four shutout innings, but they were not clean. He got out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the second. For the game, the Twins were 1 for 12 w/RISP.

The Yankees’ defense was superb. Gleyber Torres made a couple of fine plays, teaming up with D.J. LeMahieu on one of them. D.J. made a superb catch of a liner. Didi Gregorius made a diving catch, and Aaron Judge also chipped in with several fine defensive plays. Those fine plays saved runs and broke the Twins heart.

In the third, Gio Urshela led off with a double and scored two outs later on a Brett Gardner single. 2-0.

Severino got out of another jam in the bottom of the third.

In the seventh, Torres doubled and scored one out later on a single by Didi.

The Twins got a run on a HR in the eighth to cut it to 3-1.

The Yankees put the game away in the ninth when Cameron Maybin homered to make it 4-1, then Torres doubled, stole third, Sanchez walked, and Didi singled in another run. 5-1.

Maybin solo HR
Torres 3 hits. 2 doubles, solo HR.  Hit .417 in the three games. Huge hits.
Gregorius 2 hits, 2 RBI.  Big in Games 2 and 3.

Severino 4 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K.  In and out of trouble
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  See below.
Green (WINNER) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton (H, 2) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Chapman (S) 1 1/3 IP,  0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.

Concerns? For the second time in the series, Ottavino faced just one batter and walked him.

Britton was removed after twinging his ankle but should be ok for the ALCS. The Yanks have four days off until the ALCS begins on Saturday. If the Yanks face Houston, the game will be in Houston, and if they face Tampa Bay, the game will be in NY.



Houston lost to Tampa Bay, 10-3, as Zach Greinke got lit up, giving up 3 HR, 6 runs, and getting knocked out in the fourth. Houston leads the series two games to one. Tampa Bay hit 4 HR in the game.  Game 4 tonight at 7 Eastern.

In the NL… (both series will conclude Wednesday).

Washington got a superb outing from Max Scherzer to even the series up at two games each. The final was 6-1 over the Dodgers. Anthony Rendon 3 RBI, Ryan Zimmerman a 3-run HR.

Yadi Molina tied the game in the eighth with a single and won it in the tenth with a SF as St. Louis edged Atlanta 5-4 to even that series at two games each. Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna had back-to-back HR for the Cardinals, and Ozuna hit 2 HR in the game.

Dodgers and Braves go up 2-1 in their NLDS’s.

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The Dodgers put up a 7-spot in the top of the sixth and beat the Washington Nationals 10-4 to go up two games to one in their NLDS. The Nationals had Patrick Corbin, the Game 1 starter and losing pitcher, come out of the bullpen, and it was a disaster, Corbin giving up six runs in just 2/3 of an inning.  Justin Turner had a 3-run HR in that inning. Ex-Yankee Russell Martin had a 2-run HR in the ninth for LA, and 4 RBI for the game.

So far in the postseason, the Nationals have used Strasburg (WC game), Scherzer (Game 2 NLDS) and Corbin (Game 3 NLDS) out of the bullpen as well as starters. It obviously didn’t work last night with Corbin.

In the other NLDS, Former starter turned closer Carlos Martinez, who almost blew Game 1 for St Louis, giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth when the Cardinals had a 4-run lead, DID blow Game 3. He came in with the Cardinals leading 1-0 in the top of the ninth, and gave up 3 runs—all with two out— as the Atlanta Braves beat St. Louis, 3-1, to go up two games to one in their series.

There could be four advances today if LA and Atlanta win, and Houston and the Yankees sweep their series by each winning Game 3 today.

Houston @ Tampa Bay 1 PM MLB Network
Atlanta @ St. Louis 3 PM TBS
LA @ Washington 6:40 PM TBS
YANKEES @ Minnesota 8:40 PM  FS1

All times Eastern.