DS Recap – Friday, 10/8

NL Pitching Duels, AL Slugfests, and everybody turning two!

Four games today! Every series, back-to-back-to-back-to-back taking us right into the weekend. The NL teams got involved today, and while we’re only two games deep into the ALDS, there’s been something for everybody. Pitchers duels! Slugfests! Epic comebacks! Joc Jams!

And speaking of the Joc Jams, this year is seeing a continuation of the ongoing trend that as the dingers go, so goes the team:

Don’t let A-Rod convince you they’re rally killers, kids.

Let’s hit these bad boys in order of start time.

 

Astros 9, White Sox 4

 

Chicago got out to an early lead, scoring their first run in the top of the first inning on an Eloy Jiménez groundout, but the Astros got a pair of their own across the plate in the second inning on a Kyle Tucker single and Chas McCormick sac fly. It was goose eggs for both teams until the fifth inning when things got dramatic.

Leury García kicked things off with a single, but then Adam Engel hit a hot shot right at Alex Bregman, who snared it and thought about the double play at first. He realized a little late that Leury was already back at the bag so he ended up doing uh, this:

One can’t help but think of The Legend Of Raúl Ibañez when you see such a throw.

After Engel’s lineout, it was Tim Anderson’s turn to sting one, nearly taking off Framber Valdez’ head along with it. He had to duck so quick his hat nearly flew off:

Luis Robert and Jose Abreu followed up with line drives of their own, plus a Yasmani Grandal sac fly meant the Sox put up three in the top of the inning to take the lead back 4-2.

But it wasn’t meant to last as Lucas Giolito walked Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman around a Michael Brantley flyout, and was pulled for Garrett Crochet…who then walked Yordan Alvarez to load the bases. Yuli Gurriel cashed in with a single that scored Altuve and Bregman, and we were all tied up at 4.

The sixth inning passed uneventfully thanks in part to this very smooth DP that resulted from some slick fielding by Ryan Tepera and Leury García:

It was looking like this one might come down to the wire until Yordan Alvarez sent one back up the middle to turn runners on the corner with one out into a run:

But that wasn’t all, as Carlos Correa added another two runs with a bases-clearing double, with the five-run rally capped off with this Kyle Tucker 2-run shot:

The Sox did manage to put two baserunners on in the top of the 9th, but that would be all they could muster, adding another notch to the ignominy of the AL Central’s postseason performance:

The Sox are down but not out as the series heads to Chicago and the south side tries to even things up on Sunday night.

Series Score: Astros 2 – 0 White Sox

Brewers 2, Atlanta 1

 

It looked like this game was off to an ugly start for the Brew Crew, as Corbin Burnes walked Jorge Soler and Freddie Freeman to start the game, with a passed ball allowing Soler to get over to third. But then, Ozzie Albies grounded into a 3-2 double play that neutralized the threat.

One more wild pitch allowed Freeman to reach third base, but Austin Riley struck out to end the top half and no harm was done.

 

Meanwhile, Charlie Morton toed the rubber in the bottom of the first and struck out the side, setting the tone for the next five innings.

Morton’s fastball was his go-to in that first inning, but his curveball was also absolutely filthy, with several of them looking almost physically impossible, like this one:

Following the bumpy top of the first, Burnes also settled into a groove, dotting those absolutely mean high-90s cutters as he has all year:

 

In the end, it was Charlie who blinked first. Morton had walked pinch hitter Daniel Vogelbach (hitting in Burnes’s spot and who was in turn replaced by pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr.) but induced a trio of fly balls to end the inning without any drama. The first runner got on base in the bottom of the seventh as well, when Avisaíl García was hit by a pitch. However, this time the next fly ball, off the bat of Rowdy Tellez, wasn’t so harmless:

It’s well-established that I can’t get enough of beefy lads hitting dingers, but when that beefy lad is also a nice Jewish boy? I’m getting all verklempt over here.

But wait! As I said, Burnes was out of the game at this point and while Adrian Houser got through his half of the seventh without issue, he was also stung by the long ball in the top of the eighth, off of the bat of pinch hitter Joc Pederson:

!פּלַקַתַ

Thankfully for Houser, nobody was on base for Joc, and both dingers would account for the entirety of the scoring. I am going to assume this is the first postseason game where all of the RBIs were delivered by Nice Jewish Boys. You love to see it.

Atlanta will look to even up the series at 1-1 tomorrow as they send Max Fried to the mound (I never thought a Milwaukee/Atlanta series would feature this many Jewish players so prominently,) although they’ll have their work cut out for them as Brandon Woodruff will look to give the Brew Crew the upper hand before things go south.

Series Score: Brewers 1 – 0 Atlanta

 

Red Sox 14, Rays 6

 

What a rollercoaster of a game this was. On the second day of The Series Of Shanes: Rays Rookie Edition, it was Shane Baz on the bump for Tampa, but his day didn’t go as well as McClanahan’s. The Red Sox got out to an early lead, scoring two in the top of the first on singles from Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo (a common theme…)

Tampa didn’t take long to strike back, though. Back-to-back singles from Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco followed by a Brandon Lowe K and Nelson Cruz walk loaded the bases, and Yandy Díaz was able to score Arozarena with a single, leaving the bases loaded with one out for…Jordan Luplow?

FOR JORDAN LUPLOW!

All of this happened off of Chris Sale, who was able to get a flyout and strikeout from Manuel Margot and Mike Zunino, respectively, but the damage was done and Tampa had officially chased him from the game after 1.0 innings pitched with five earned runs given up.

After an uneventful second inning, it was Boston’s turn to chase a starter as a Xander Bogaerts dinger ended Baz’ day with just 2.1 IP on his line to go with the three earned runs. He was replaced by Collin McHugh who…gave up another dinger to the next batter Alex Verdugo. Like I said, a theme.

Meanwhile, Tanner Houck had taken over for Chris Sale and Tampa’s bats did not find him nearly as accommodating. The Sox’ bats didn’t cool down, however, with another four runs being scored in the top of the fifth thanks to a solo shot by Enrique Hernández First Last Name

Along with a three-run shot from J.D. Martinez.

The Rays tried to fight back in the sixth with a Ji-Man Choi home run, but it was all they would get back. Meanwhile, Kevin Cash sent Michael Wacha out to the mound without managing to convince him he was pitching against the Yankees, and he gave up a further six runs over 2.2 IP. The final line for Boston? 14 runs on 20 hits. Ouch.

Series Score: Red Sox 1 – 1 Rays

 

Giants 4, Dodgers 0

 

Finally, we head back out west for a true classic of a matchup in the nightcap. But first, this:

Also, there’s been a lot of talk about how this is the first time the Giants and Dodgers have met in the postseason, which is, as it turns out not technically true! Well, you have to go back to 1889 and consider the LA Dodgers and Brooklyn Bridegrooms to be one continuous lineage. You also have to consider the pre-modern World Series as “the postseason” so there’s plenty of caveats here but hey, it’s fun trivia no matter which set of criteria you use.

It’s not news that the Giants run over the course of the season to winning the NL West was unexpected, to say the least, but watching the team work last night it seems almost more difficult to not buy into the Team Of Destiny label, honestly.

This game also lived up to the emergent themes we’re seeing in the DS: Early scoring, of the dinger variety. And who would it be but Buster Posey going oppo into McCovey Cove for two?

There was also a clear influence from the Atlanta/Milwaukee game, as those two runs would be the only ones scored until a Kris Bryant home run in the seventh ended Walker Buehler’s night after 6.1 IP, with six hits, a walk, three earned runs, and five strikeouts to his name.

But when it came to pitching by the bay, the man to talk to was Logan, who spun a true Webb Gem.

 

Heck of a postseason debut for a guy who surprised (in a good way) all year.

But would it really be a DS game without also featuring a beautiful double play? Of course not, so here’s your allotment:

 

When I first saw it at full speed I thought the ball had actually bounced off of LaStella right to Crawford, in which case I would fully be accusing the Giants of dark magicks. Instead, I just have to go with normal magicks.

Either way, SF tacked on another run in the eighth when Brandon Crawford ambushed a first-pitch slider from Alex Vesia and sent it into the stands:

So we’ve got Posey and Crawford going yard, and a sinker/slider guy shutting down a high-powered offense in the postseason in San Francisco? That’s just classic baseball.

Series Score: Giants 1 – 0 Dodgers

 

Phew, that’s a lotta playoff baseball, folks. And if the White Sox can win on Sunday, we’ll get another four spot on Monday. Here’s to hoping!

 

Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers.

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