One thing these playoffs have not been starved for is drama. Extra innings, one-run games, furious comebacks. Baseball has gotta be loving it:
Cumulative MLB postseason ratings up 15% thus far over last year, w avg of 3.8M viewers/game, and is most watched since 2010
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) October 4, 2014
Of course, some of that drama could come out of it soon, given that three of the four divisional series are now at 2-0 …
- The latest 2-0 goes to the Giants, who beat the Nationals 2-1 in 18 innings last night. The game, which lasted 6:23, was the longest postseason game in baseball history. The winner was a homer by Brandon Belt, but the real craziness came in the 9th: the Nationals were all set to win a 1-0 shutout behind a dominant start by Jordan Zimmermann. With two outs and no one on, Zimmermann walked Joe Panik. At 100 pitches, he was then taken out in favor of closer Drew Storen (1.12 ERA this season, but a 3.39 xFIP, which you now know means his ERA was probably a lot of good fortune), who immediately gave up a single and a double, and the game was tied. Without a nice play at the plate, the Giants would have taken the lead right there.
- So now the Nationals join the Angels and Tigers as top regular season teams trying to survive a 2-0 deficit in the divisional series. Baseball is rough. The Giants host the Nationals in Game 3 on Monday at 2pm CT.
- (What got into Yusmeiro Petit this year for the Giants? You may remember him as the guy who humbled the Cubs in the resumed rainout game, but he was actually doing that to teams all year in a swing role for the Giants. He’s breaking out at age 28/29, and he pitched six scoreless innings last night (3 hits, 1 BB, 7 K) to help shore up the win. And, despite having pitched 399 innings, mostly in relief, over 119 appearances (56 starts) and parts of seven big league seasons, Petit is only arbitration eligible for the first time next year. Giants must be tickled that they got him on a minor league deal back in 2012. See? These signings matter.)
- The only NLDS series not featuring a 2-0 lead is the one between the Dodgers and Cardinals (praise be to the anti-voodoo gods), thanks to the Dodgers pulling out a 3-2 win last night. Up 2-0 for most of the game, the Dodgers let the Cardinals come back once again on a two-run homer by Matt Carpenter in the 8th. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Matt Kemp followed suit with a homer in the bottom of the 8th, and Kenley Jansen nailed things down in the 9th.
- Yadier Molina did some more jawing in this one, causing the ump to have to walk Yasiel Puig back toward his dugout after Puig took exception to a high and tight pitch in his first at bat (recall, it was a Puig plunking that ultimately started the events the night before). More on that item in a moment.
- The series now heads to St. Louis for an 8:30pm CT start on Monday in Game 3.