Sweeps, upsets and game fives
As the MLB postseason is winding down, every game is critical to a team’s success, and one mistake can be the difference between going home or glory.
This year’s postseason has been one for the books. As the most highly touted team has been knocked out in the 1st round. The Los Angeles Dodgers were regarded by most to be the best NL team coming into the playoffs this year. The Dodgers with a 106-56 record, were expected to run the table and contend for the World Series.
Many thought Los Angeles was going to breeze past the Washington Nationals. But at the top of the 10th the game tied at 2-2 the base loaded, 36-year-old veteran Howie Kendricks hit a long ball that shook the city of Los Angeles. The grand slam gave the Nats a handsome lead going into the bottom of the 10th but the Dodgers wouldn’t respond. It was an extra-inning grand slam that sent the Dodgers home earlier than expected, as well as provide the Nationals in their first series win in their history.
The other series in the NLDS, the underdog prevailed once more as the young slugging Atlanta Braves entered game five against the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite having home-field advantage, the Braves but were soundly defeated by the Cardinals 13-1. The Cardinals knocked in 10 runs in the first inning, which killed all of Atlanta’s momentum, as they weren’t able to rally back to win the game. Between Atlanta’s starter, Mike Foltynewicz and reliever Max Fried the terrible two had a combined ERA 16.36.
The Houston Astros came into the ALDS series against the Tampa Bay Rays with the upper hand. The Astros who were the World Champions in 2017, and ALCS runners up in last year’s pennant race had a lineup with a boatload more playoff experience than the Rays who haven’t been in the postseason since 2013. But the lack of experience meant nothing to the Rays, as they battled hard with Astros taking the series to game five, for a chance to go to the ALCS. But with Houston scoring four in the first inning, the Rays just couldn’t seem to battle back only scoring a run in the second, and it was all Astros the rest of the night.
What has seemed to be an October tradition every time the Twins make the playoffs, they had the tall task of playing the Yankees. With the Twins coming off a record-breaking season, they broke the single season home run record with 307. Twins fans all over were finally excited to show off their new team in the postseason.
The Yankees swept the Twins in three games and advance to the ALCS. But Twins fans shouldn’t be disappointed, as the Bomba squad was injury-stricken all year, and did not have much playoff experience. The Twins have much to look for next year.
As for the victors of the division series, the NLCS will feature the Washington Nationals against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the ALCS will feature the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros.