And then there were four teams that are still left to play in the Division Series! It's tough saying goodbye to two teams in one day, but the Red Sox and Diamondbacks were laid to rest in their homes. It was sad for them yesterday but they were beaten by the two regular season powerhouses so it could have been expected.
Today we only have one game to watch because the Dodgers wanted to win yesterday.
Tomorrow will be interesting with a Game 5 in Cleveland against New York.
Thoughts for Today-
LAD at Ari: Home is good for Arizona and if the Dodgers win tonight, they won't jump in the pool again. Good choice.
Hou at Bos: Home was all Boston needed and let's see if they can tie it up today.
Wash at CHC: Tied series, let's see where this goes at Wrigley Field. We all know how good postseason baseball is here in the past few years.
Cle at NYY: Again, another dominant performance by the home team and Aaron Judge is out of this world. Enough said.
It's been a fun one, so enjoy all the Division Series photos!
Some Thoughts Before These Games-
Hou at Bos: Maybe Boston could use the home crowd to catch a break from the dominance of the Astros so far. Hitting and pitching have all come in Houston's favor, with their batting average at the league-best .343 and scoring eight run each game. Houston's pitchers have a 2.00 ERA and have limited Boston to just 2 runs per game. Something needs to change in Boston to turn the tide of the series while they still can and being at home can help.
Cle at NYY: Despite being down by two games, New York is not too far off from Cleveland in the stats department. In fact, New York has a better batting average than Cleveland does, .207 to their .194. What's the difference between these two then? Pitching in where it's at with Cleveland at a 3.27 ERA to New York's 4.66 ERA. New York's pitching needs to improve at home if they want to win these next games.
Some Thoughts For Today-
Ari at LAD: Robbie Ray gets the start for Arizona as they try to even the series on the road against Rich Hill and the Dodgers. Hill's ERA is 4.50 for the postseason and his record is 1-2. In last season's NLDS vs. Washington, Hill had a 6.43 ERA in that game but he cleaned it up in the NLCS with a two-hitter against Chicago. Robbie Ray's only postseason experience was a relief stint in the Wild Card game on Wednesday and he gave up one run on two hits. Anything could happen tonight with these two pitchers.
CHC at Wash: Jon Lester takes it for Chicago as they go to take a 2-0 lead vs. Washington. Gio Gonzalez will start the game for them today. Lester is very dependable in postseason situations after playing in this time for seven years. His postseason ERA is 2.63 and has a 1.76 ERA for two NLDS games. Gonzalez has three years of experience here and has a 3.93 ERA, which is not too bad. His last game in the NLDS was not his prettiest start (three runs on four hits), so he is looking to bury that tonight. Should be a good game tonight.
All teams get to play today in the busiest day in the playoffs.
Here are some fun things to look for in the two new games-
Ari at LAD: The Dodgers only had a losing record to two teams this year, the Rockies (9-10) and the Diamondbacks (8-11). Looks to be a great series here with the biggest threat for the Dodgers' World Series run being already in the NLDS (Stats from @SNstats).
CHC at Was: The defending World Series champions face the team that cannot get past the first round. Whoever wins this one will be able to silence critics in some way. The Cubs are not seen as powerful as last season while the Nationals are not seen as a threat in the postseason. This game will also see more of Bryce Harper as he is trying to fully return from injury. It will also be great to see him play against former childhood teammate Kris Bryant and see what they can do.
What a show from the Diamondbacks last night! Kept us on the edge of our seats until they finally relieved us.
AL Division Series begins today with Boston going to Houston and giving us a good series. Houston is relatively new here so we will see how they react to a Red Sox team who has been here but also has some young faces as well.
It's like New York never left us! They will face World Series favorited Cleveland and try to upset that prediction. Anything can happen here.
Another day, another Wild Card! This one takes out to Phoenix where two National League West teams face each other for the chance to play another NL West team. Crazy, right? I would prefer wild though.
This is a pretty even match up, despite the Rockies dropping their last few games and risking making the postseason. Both teams play well head-to-head so this could be a close game.
For the Diamondbacks, Zack Greinke needs to be great in this and not give up too many solo shots. JD Martinez needs to be himself, along with Paul Goldschmidt. They have veterans who have been here before and that will help.
For the Rockies, Nolan Arenado is one of the best third basemen in the game so he has the ability to stop plays from happening. Charlie Blackmon is the best lead-off hitter and if he starts out strong, then that will give them a good feeling. It's been some years for this team as well but they can do well in a familiar place.
Big congratulations to the Yankees on punching their ticket to Cleveland for a tough series. It was a long game but it gave the fans action on all forms and it was a well-fought game. Here's to more of those!
Our first Wild Card playoff game! We've waited long enough for this all year long and now here we are in October watching the first game in New York City.
The Twins are a good success story and it will be great for them if they advance further, but the Yankees are a storied franchise and have one of the best players this season.
It would be hard to not be able to see Aaron Judge play again until late March but it will also be hard to see a team who deserves good things fall short.
It's a toss-up between who I want to win but I feel that the Yankees should be able to win with their star players. It will be a win-win situation no matter what though.
Here are the final results of the Rookie of the Year race for the two top candidates. Both finished with great opening seasons yesterday and this is what happened in their final week:
9/25 vs. KC: 2-for-4, two runs (123, 124), two home runs (49, 50), three RBIs (106, 107, 108)
9/26 vs. TB: 1-for-3, one double (23), one RBI (109), one run (125)
9/27 vs. TB: 1-for-2, one double (24), two RBIs (110, 111)
9/28 vs. TB: 1-for-4, one run (126), one RBI (112), one home run (51)
9/29 vs. Tor: 1-for-3, one run (127), one RBI (113)
9/30 vs. Tor: 1-for-3, one run (128), one home run (52), one RBI (114)
Through 6 games-
Batting Avg.: .368
Home Runs: 4
On-Base Percentage: .556
Batting Avg.: .284
Home Runs: 52
Stolen Bases: 9
Slugging Percentage: .627
On-Base Percentage: .422
Records Broken This Year-
MLB Rookie Home Run Record
Franchise Record for Most Home Runs at Home
Longest Home Run This Season
Highest Exit Velocity in MLB
Most Walks in a Rookie Season
Most Consecutive Strike Outs
Longest Home Runs Tracked in the HR Derby
Longest Home Run-
496 feet on 6/11 vs. Baltimore
If we ever see a rookie like Judge or better, we will be seeing one of the best rookies of all time. Judge is so good that he is one of the serious contenders for the MVP race and will likely receive votes. He could win but he will for sure win the Rookie of the Year race. Anyone who hits over 50 home runs should be considered an award and especially if they broke a record doing so. It was a blast seeing baseball electrified by the presence of Judge and his power stroke and the summer was owned by him. He deserves the Rookie of the Year no doubt and it will be great to see his season get rewarded.
9/25 vs. SD: 0-for-3
9/26 vs. SD: 0-for-2, one run (87), one RBI (95)
9/27 vs. SD: 0-for-3, one RBI (96)
9/29 at Col: 0-for-4
9/30 at Col: 1-for-4
10/1 at Col: 1-for-3, one RBI (97)
Through 6 games-
Batting Avg.: .105
On-Base Percentage: .200
Batting Avg.: .266
Home Runs: 39
Stolen Bases: 10
Slugging Percentage: .581
On-Base Percentage: .350
Records Broken This Year:
National League Home Run Rookie Record
Franchise Home Run Rookie Record
Fastest to Hit 24 Home Runs In A Debut
Youngest All-Star Position Player in Franchise History
Longest Home Run:
446 on 8/6 vs. New York Mets
Bellinger surprised everyone because he was not expected to be here this season but he made his mark early on by showing off his power hitting abilities. He became a mainstay for the Dodgers and replaced veteran Adrian Gonzalez at first base. Did anyone see that happening? He also broke Mike Piazza's record for the team and that was also crazy. His whole season was crazy because he did so much in a shorter amount of time than everyone else. He is a true rookie, as in he never played in the MLB before this season, and that will be noted and recognized. He will win this award because of how much impact he had in such a short time. He made it look easy and he will be one of the best Dodger rookies, which is a big deal because they produce so many great rookies.
Excited to see these two continue playing in the postseason and then win their awards in November!
Summer isn't complete without baseball.