I hope this isn’t going to be a snoozer of an LDS round in the MLB playoffs, with all of the teams that got byes running over the Wild Card teams. Three of the four bye teams won their openers, though they weren’t exactly blowouts.
Phillies 7, Braves 6 – PHI Leads Series 1-0
The Phillies jumped out to a big lead in their opener with the Braves, carrying over that momentum from the win over the Cardinals in the Wild Card round. Max Fried had nothing. Things got dodgy in the later innings as the bullpen faltered and the Braves started coming back (the Phillies missed David Robertson!), but the Phillies managed to hang on and win by a run.
Nick Castellanos had a big day, and Bryce Harper also had three hits. The highlights:
Game Two is today at 3:35pm CT, with Zack Wheeler facing Kyle Wright.
Astros 8, Mariners 7 – HOU Leads Series 1-0
It was reverse deja vu for the Mariners in this one, coming off a huge comeback win of their own, they were the ones who got got this time. After putting up a big crooked number on Justin Verlander (bad day for aces?), the Mariners carried a healthy lead into the later innings. But the Astros got a couple in the 8th to start the comeback, and then Yordan Alvarez hit one of the hardest homers you’ll ever see to walk the Astros off.
I still can’t get over the factoid from that one: it was the first time a team won in the playoffs on a walk-off homer that on its own overcame a multi-run deficit (i.e., a walk-off three-run homer down two, or a walk-off grand slam down two or three). That had never happened before.
Game Two is tomorrow at 2:37pm CT, with Luis Castillo facing Framber Valdez.
Yankees 4, Guardians 1 – NYY Leads Series 1-0
The Yankees and Guardians played tight and low-scoring into the middle innings, but the Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the 5th and Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer pushed it to 4-1 in the 6th. And that was it for the scoring. I imagine Josh Donaldson is very grateful that the Yankees won, given his massive baserunning gaffe. (Harrison Bader also homered in the game for the Yankees, for whatever feelings you want that to generate.)
I tend to think the Guardians are going to have trouble scoring runs in this series, and Gerrit Cole certainly made it a reality last night.
Game Two is tomorrow night at 6:37pm CT, with Shane Bieber facing Nester Cortes. Another great match-up.
Dodgers 5, Padres 3 – LAD Leads 1-0
Another game with some early scoring, and the Dodgers managed to make their early 5-0 lead hold up. The Dodgers were all over Mike Clevinger, who has been a shell of himself since returning from Tommy John surgery (gonna be an interesting reclamation project this offseason, though). The Padres got to Julio Urias in the 5th for a few runs, but the Dodgers bullpen was nails.
Game Two is tonight at 7:37pm CT, with Yu Darvish facing Clayton Kershaw. It really is fun to see these pitching match-ups.