Both LCS are now underway, and the Rays once again served up justice by taking down the Astros, 4-2, and the Braves opening up a 1-0 lead on the Dodgers.
The top pitcher billing in Game One of the NLCS lived up to the hype, with each of Walker Buehler and Max Fried allowing only a solo home run (Freddie Freeman, Enrique Hernandez). The bullpens held is down from there until the 9th inning when Austin Riley absolutely cannon-shot a homer of of Blake Treinen:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 13, 2020
From there, the Braves wound up adding a few more and won the opener 5-1:
Unfortunately for the Braves, outfielder Adam Duvall injured himself on a swing – an oblique – and the post-game quote from his manager sure sounded awful: “I don’t expect the outcome to be good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the game. “He popped it.” You “pop” an oblique, and you’re done for months. It’s a big blow for the Braves, given that Duvall has emerged the last two years as a very good power bat for the Braves in a part-time role.
Oddly, much of the early talk in the game was about Walker Buehler’s … pants. In fact, “Walker Buehler pants” was one of the top trends on Twitter for most of the game. And when you saw, you understood why. They, uh, stood out:
Walker Buehler's pants somehow got even tighter pic.twitter.com/QyjdOMnOaE
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 13, 2020
Yes, Walker Buehler's pants are very tight! But, look again, they're also noticeably too short, as well.
Is Walker Buehler wearing someone else's pants? pic.twitter.com/7UPrctNCAI
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) October 13, 2020
Walker Buehler trying to take his pants off after the game. pic.twitter.com/F0tnYMnydx
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 13, 2020
Hey, nothing wrong with tight pants. If Buehler likes his pants painted on and that’s how he performs best, God bless. I’m just saying I understand why it blew up into a huge fun-fest on Twitter. Such is the nature.
… HOWEVER, it was probably not a great idea to ask the guy about it in his post-game press conference, after an NLCS loss, when he’s feeling emotional:
Buehler is dealing with blister issues that limit his outings a bit, but he reached 100 pitches in this one for the first time in a year. So he’ll probably be fine to go for his next start, assuming the series goes that long.
Game Two is today at 5pm CT, with Clayton Kershaw facing youngster Ian Anderson.
Meanwhile, the Rays are now up 2-0 in the ALCS:
Incredible that the Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the 9th, and came away with just one run (scoring on a double-play grounder). Indeed, even after that double-play, they loaded the bases AGAIN in the 9th with two outs, only to see Alex Bregman line out to end it. Bang.
If that’s not enough baseball karma, there is this:
Not a fun day at the office for Alex Bregman pic.twitter.com/BDaaFmUnIa
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) October 12, 2020
Jose Altuve already with 2 errors today in Game 2. pic.twitter.com/qsG54MbJem
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 12, 2020
Incredible catch by outfielder Manny Margot in this one, by the way:
Game Three of the ALCS is tonight at 7:40pm CT, with Ryan Yarbrough (an opener) facing Jose Urquidy.