Monday, October 7, 2019

MLB Playoffs: Day Four

Yesterday, the best teams in the NL moved closer to the NLCS.  Atlanta scored three runs off of St. Louis's closer in the 9th inning to break Cardinal hearts and come away with a 3-1 victory.  It was another sign that this year's Braves team is much more formidable than the Atlanta teams we've seen in recent years.  Atlanta has lost in its last seven appearances in the Division Series, and has not reached the NLCS since 2001.  But that should stop this year.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, have been to the NLCS in each of the last three years, and they are likely to make it four in a row after a 10-4 blowout in Washington.  The Nats basically conceded this game -- holding back all of their best pitchers for Game Four tonight.  It's all up to Max Scherzer, and whether he can hold back an awesome Dodgers attack.

Today is the last day of the year with four MLB games on the schedule.  There are many towns that would love to host a playoff game at 1 PM on October 7.  But since this is MLB, we will get the Rays in their dome.  Thanks to the rest of the American League, who couldn't stop a team with no fans from winning a wild card spot.  The most interesting game of the day will be in Washington, where Max Scherzer and the Nats will try to pull a David-and-Goliath act against the Dodgers.

Here are today's games (all times Central):

12:05 PM:  Houston at Tampa Bay (Houston leads 2-0) (MLB Network)
2:07 PM:  Atlanta at St. Louis (Atlanta leads 2-1) (TBS)
5:40 PM:  Los Angeles at Washington (Los Angeles leads 2-1) (TBS)
7:40 PM:  New York at Minnesota (New York leads 2-1) (Fox Sports 1)


34 comments:

  1. The Rays have jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third, so they may survive for another day.

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  2. Terrible outing for Zack Greinke of the Astros. Houston trails 5-1 going into the 5th.

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  3. I was wrong. Houston trails 8-1 going into the 5th. So we get another game in Tampa. Yay.

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  4. Rays lead 9-3 in the bottom of the 6th. Rays still batting.

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  5. Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the Cardinals lead 2-0 in the bottom of the 2d. It would be nice to see the Cardinals force a Game Five. And I hate the thoughts of them being eliminated at home.

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  6. In the bottom of the 4th, on a gorgeous sunny day in St. Louis, Marcell Ozuna hammers a long fly ball to left field to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.

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  7. The Rays beat the Astros 10-3, and survive for another day.

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  8. The Braves scored three runs in the top of the 5th, and now lead St. Louis 4 to 3 in the bottom of the 6th.

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  9. The Cards go down 1-2-3 in the sixth and are down to their last nine outs. The shadows are getting longer -- both literally and figuratively -- in St. Louis.

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  10. Ronald Acuna leads off the 7th with a fly ball to right field. Cardinal right fielder Tommy Edman loses the ball in the sun, and Acuna scoots all the way to third.

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  11. A whole bunch of pitches later, the Braves have two outs and the bases are loaded. The score is still 4 to 3. Andrew Miller is pitching to Adeiny Hechavarria, who has a chance to break the game open for Atlanta.

    Pitch 1: Swinging strike (0-1)
    Pitch 2: Called strike (0-2)
    Pitch 3: Hechavarria flies out to left

    So the Cardinals survive all of that drama. But they still trail 4-3 going into the bottom of the 7th.

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  12. The Cards go down 1-2-3 in the 7th. Braves lead 4-3.

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  13. The Braves go down in order in the 8th. Still lead 4-3.

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  14. With one out in the bottom of the 8th, Paul Goldschmidt doubles into the left field corner, and the Cards have the tying run in scoring position.

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  15. And just like yesterday, Marcell Ozuna is called out on strikes. He's furious, but that won't do the Cardinals much good. It's all up to Molina:

    Pitch 1: Molina laces a single just over Freeman's outstretched glove at first base, and Goldschmidt races home. The GAME IS TIED AT 3!

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  16. The Braves escape with no further damage. Going into the ninth, the score is: St. Louis 4, Atlanta 4.

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  17. The Cardinals send out Carlos Martinez to pitch. He's the same guy who blew yesterday's game. He'll be facing the top of the order.

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  18. Ronald Acuna, who is a spectacular player, leads off the Braves 9th with a ground rule double to left.

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  19. The Cardinals leave Martinez in to face Freeman. Let's see how that works out:

    Pitch 1: Swinging strike (0-1)
    Pitch 2: Freeman grounds out to second, Acuna advances to third. Two outs.

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  20. Donaldson flies out to left, and Martinez has survived the 9th. The game is still tied at 4, and the Cardinals have a chance to win it in their last at-bat.

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  21. Meanwhile, in Natstown, Scherzer gives up a first-inning home run to Justin Turner. Nats trail 1-0.

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  22. Tommy Edman leads off the Cardinals' 9th with a single. When Paul DeJong whangs a liner to right, Edman takes off for second. But Nick Markakis catches the ball. Now Edman is racing back to the bag so he won't get doubled off. But then Markakis's throw goes wild, so Edman trots back to second. One out. Man on second.

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  23. Matt Wieters, pinch hitting, pops out to right. Two outs and it's up to Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals' lead-off man. Fowler is 8 for his last 69, which is not good for a lead-off hitter. He's facing Shane Greene.

    Greene v. Fowler
    Pitch 1: Ball high (1-0)
    Mound visit
    Pitch 2: Foul (1-1)
    Pitch 3: Ball low (2-1)
    Pitch 4: Foul (2-2)
    Pitch 5: Ball way inside (3-2)
    Pitch 6: Foul line drive to right (3-2)
    Pitch 7: Swinging strike. Three outs. We head to extra innings.

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  24. In the top of the 10th, the Braves hit three long fly balls, all of which are caught. So it is still 4-4 going into the bottom of the 10th.

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  25. Kolton Wong leads off the bottom of the 10th with a ground rule double to left.

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  26. The Braves walk Goldschmidt. Ozuna is not called out on strikes this time -- his grounder forces Goldschmidt at second, and he just beats the throw at first. So now the Cards have men on first and third, there is one out, and Yadier Molina has a chance to win the game against Julio Teheran:

    Teheran v. Molina:

    Pitch 1: Molina hits a high fly to left. As soon as the ball is caught, Wong comes racing home from first, and the CARDINALS HAVE WON THE GAME 5 TO 4.

    The old hero, Yadier Molina, one of the last remaining Cardinals who played on the great Albert Pujols teams, knocks in the tying run and the winning run.

    What a great series this has been! The Cards and Braves will go to Atlanta for GAME FIVE.

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  27. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Dodgers lead the Nats 1-0 after 2.

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  28. In the bottom of the 3d, the Nats load the bases with one out, Anthony Rendon hits a long fly to left, and the game is tied at 1.

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  29. The Dodgers escape any further harm (no one leaves runners on third like the Nats) and the score is still 1-1 after 3.

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  30. After weeks of dry weather, it is suddenly raining at Nats Park. Still 1-1 in the bottom of the 4th.

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  31. Four innings are in the books, and now the rain is pelting down. Still 1-1.

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  32. And that's all from me for tonight.

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