Sunday, October 11, 2020

MLB Update

For all the nonsense that MLB fans have had to deal with this year, the playoffs pretty quickly resolved themselves down to the best teams in baseball.  The best teams are the Astros, the Rays, the Yankees, the Dodgers, and the Braves.  And as you can see, those are the only teams that won at least two games in the Divisional Series:

(1) Los Angeles 3 - 0 (4) San Diego
(2) Atlanta 3 - 0 (6) Miami

(1) Tampa Bay 3 - 2 (5) New York
(2) Oakland 1 - 3 (6) Houston

All of these series were extremely dull except for the battle between the Rays and the Yankees, which was full of drama (all games played in San Diego):

Game 1:  Tampa Bay 3 - 9 New York
Game 2:  Tampa Bay 7 - 5 New York
Game 3:  New York 4 - 8 Tampa Bay
Game 4:  New York 5 - 1 Tampa Bay

So it was all tied at two games apiece, and the Yanks had their ace, Gerrit Cole, ready to pitch Game Five.  Cole was magnificent -- he carried a no-hitter into the 5th, and gave up only one run -- a home run by Austin Meadows.  But the Yankees only had one run of their own, on a home run by Aaron Judge.  After 5 1/3 innings, Cole had thrown 94 pitches, and the Yanks went to their bullpen.  By the 8th, the score was still tied at 1, and the Yankees had brought in Aroldis Chapman to pitch the last two innings of regulation.  That plan did not work, as Chapman allowed a home run to Mike Brosseau in the bottom of the 8th to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead.  The Yankees did nothing in the ninth -- in fact, both teams finished with a total of three hits each -- and New York had once again been eliminated in heart-breaking fashion.  Consider the Yankees' fate in recent seasons:

2017:  Yankees reach the ALCS, lose to the cheating Astros by four games to three.
2018:  Yankees are hammered three games to one by Boston in the Divisional Series; Bosox cruise to their fourth World Series title in this century.
2019:  Yankees go back to the ALCS, lose to the cheating Astros by four games to two on a tenth-inning home run by Jose Altuve in Game Six off of Aroldis Chapman.
2020:  Yankees are again eliminated by a divisional rival in the Divisional Series; Rays get the game-winning home run in Game Five against Chapman.

That's some real heartbreak.  I wonder if people under 20 actually feel sorry for Yankees' fans.

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