Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

As the Cubs and Giants headed west to San Francisco, where they’ll resume their NLDS series tonight, the rest of the MLB playoffs were underway.

  • … well, except the Red Sox and Indians, whose game three matchup was postponed until this evening. The Indians lead the series 2-0, which is small sample and all that, but still impressive, given the injuries the Indians have dealt with on the pitching side, and the fact that the Red Sox have been pretty incredible this year. The series isn’t over, but things are looking good for a team that many counted out after they lost two of their front three starting pitchers.

  • That wasn’t a terrible throw, nor a terrible stop at first base. But because Josh Donaldson had made the aggressive turn at third base and was ready to pounce if the ball got away, it was enough.
  • The Rangers came back from a 5-2 deficit in the game to take a 6-5 lead, but gave up the lead immediately in the 6th inning, and then that 10th inning walk-off sent them home for the rest of the offseason. That’s a 3-0 series sweep for the Blue Jays, who have yet to lose in the playoffs after also beating the Orioles in the Wild Card Game.

  • As for the Rangers, it’s the end of the line for the “best” team in the American League. I don’t want to give a short series more meaning than it should have – you know well that it’s very close to a coin flip most of the time – but it’s hard not to see the sweep and be reminded that the Rangers built their AL-best record on the back of an unbelievably small +8 run differential this year. That’s the kind of run differential you’d expect to see from a team just a few games over .500, not 28(!) games over .500. The Red Sox’s run differential this year was 23 times larger. The Cubs’ was 31 times larger. ELL OH ELL.
  • Meanwhile, over in the other NLDS series, the Dodgers and Nationals played on what was to be their travel day thanks to excessive rains on Saturday in Washington, D.C. as Hurricane Matthew came through. The Nationals tied the series up by beating Rich Hill, and then getting nearly five scoreless innings from their bullpen.
  • Now the teams have to quickly head out west for an afternoon start in Los Angeles in Game Three. Gio Gonzalez will face Kenta Maeda.
  • The Cubs and Giants resume their series tonight at 8:30pm CT, with Jake Arrieta facing Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco. The Cubs lead the series 2-0.

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