Saturday, October 4, 2014

MLB Playoffs, Day 2

According to Steely Dan, they've got a name for the winners in the world, and in the National League, the winners are the Cardinals and the Giants.  They have combined to win the last four National League pennants, and on Friday they showed the Dodgers and Nats who rules the roost in the Senior Circuit.  The Nats, who had the best record in the NL, finallyin the day,  got to use Stephen Strasburg in a playoff game.  But San Francisco punched a bunch of singles off of Strasburg, took advantage of some shaky Nats defense, and built up a 3-0 lead.  From there, they rolled to a 3-2 victory and a huge road win.

A few hours later, the Dodgers appeared to be cruising at home against St. Louis -- the Dodgers were up 6-1 after five innings and they had Clayton Kershaw on the mound.  Kershaw has been absolutely dominant all year -- he went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA this year.  But he completely fell apart in the seventh inning, giving up four singles and a double to blow the lead.  The Cardinals put up eight runs in the seventh, and held on for a 10-9 win.

But while the results in the National League seem to fit the notion that some teams are winners, and others are losers, the games in the American League seem to support the notion that short baseball series tend to have random results.  The Tigers -- who have been to the ALCS for three years in a row -- were up 6-3 in the bottom of the 8th, only to see their bullpen give up four runs as the Orioles stormed to a 7-6 victory to take command of the series.  So far, the O's are the only team to win at home in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the best team in the American League -- the Los Angeles Angels -- lost their second consecutive game at home to the wild card Kansas City Royals.  Both losses were in 11 innings.  This time, Kansas City won 4-1.  In 22 innings at home, in the two most important games of the year, the Angels scored a total of 3 runs.

American League Championship Series:Kansas City leads Los Angeles 2-0
Baltimore leads Detroit 2-0

National League Championship Series:
San Francisco leads Washington 1-0
St. Louis leads Los Angeles 1-0

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