Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Division Series Update: Climax & Anticlimax

So yesterday, four teams were in position to advance on a win. Three of them lost.

...it's damn great that the one team that won was the New York Yankees, or else I'd be sleepwalking through this post.

Oh, man, what is there NOT to beam about? Sevvy and Green combined for some sharp pitching early. Torres, Gardy and Didi continued their ALDS dominance, while Cameron Maybin got in on the fun with a late-inning homer, and Chapman's save sealed the deal on an already-beautiful ALDS. I'm very proud of these guys, and I hope this dominance and power carries over to the ALCS, no matter who they play. It's likely that it'll be the Astros, which should be VERY tough...

But seeing as the Rays just beat up Zack Greinke, maybe it'll be easier than I thought. Everybody was teeing off of the Cy Young winner yesterday, including Brandon Lowe, Kevin Kiermaier and Ji-Man Choi, leading to a Rays Game 3 victory over the favored Astros. I'm not exactly saying this spells doom for Houston, because they're likely going with Verlander today against Tyler Glasnow, which was a matchup that did them in last time, but...maybe they're more human than we all thought.

Meanwhile, in the NL...I just can't be happy for long, can I?

The Cards-Braves Game 4 went for 10 innings, with a tied-at-4 thing making it wide open for both teams, despite Dallas Keuchel making his short rest well-known with some home runs for Goldy and Ozuna. But...ultimately, Yadier Molina was the hero, sailing a Julio Teheran fly ball into left for an RBI, capping the game at 10, and...anticlimactically forcing a Game 5 in Atlanta. It worries me how close this matchup is looking. It also worries me that the Braves might be going with Folty for Game 5.

Annnnd Max Scherzer decided that there'll be TWO Game 5s on Wednesday. By sheer force of will, it seems, as only Justin Turner was able to get a run through for LA. Also, the Washington offense is still alive and well, taking Rich Hill out in the third thanks to quick work from Anthony Rendon, who was the non-Scherzer MVP of the game.

As the series goes back to LA on Wednesday, possibly putting the ball back in the hands of Walker Buehler (and maybe Stephen Strasburg?), could this lead to Washington's first-ever playoff advancement. Could my World Series winner pick end up flaring out thanks to a Wild Card? I legitimately have no idea how this one will go now.

Still, while we have time, let's eulogize the fallen:
I legitimately thought the Twins had more of a shot than this. I thought their home runs would seal the fate of the Yankees' uneven pitching. I thought that Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler would have field days with Chad Green. This was not the case. And it's sad, too, because the Twins had become such a fun team, even if they were playing mine.

I do think the Twins will be able to regroup and strengthen for 2020, and they may have more of a shot then if they sand off some of their inadequacies. But this was a heartbreaking end to what seemed like a strong year for them.

Today, we've got one elimination-level game left. If this one goes to five as well, I give up.

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