The postseason continues to advance, and MLB has plenty of interesting series developing. With the Yankees out of the running, we’ll keep you up-to-date on who is making a push for the commissioner’s trophy with daily rundowns of the latest action. Today we’re reviewing the results in the ALDS and NLDS games yesterday, and previewing the three games scheduled for tomorrow.
What happened last night?
NLDS Game 3
(ATL leads series, 2-1)
This game was defined by Brewers manager Craig Counsell’s decision to pinch-hit for pitcher Freddy Peralta in the fifth inning. Peralta was dealing, with four shutout innings on 57 pitches. With men on second and third and one out, I can understand pinch-hitting for the pitcher — though maybe not the choice of Daniel Vogelbach — as the Brewers have struggled to score runs this postseason. However, Vogelbach grounded out, with the runner thrown out at home, and the move fully backfired as reliever Adrian Houser gave up three runs in the next inning.
The Braves pitching staff was light out, throwing a combined shutout starting with five innings of three hit, six strikeout ball from Ian Anderson. Jesse Chavez, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, and Will Smith allowed only three baserunners over the next four innings to finish this one off.
ALDS Game 4
(BOS wins series 3-1, advances to ALCS)
For the second year in a row, Rays manager Kevin Cash’s decision to prematurely pull a pitcher who was dealing looms at the center of their playoff exit. Opener Collin McHugh was mowing through the Red Sox lineup, allowing only one hit in two innings on 18 pitches. However, Cash went to Shane McClanahan in the third, and things unraveled. He recorded only two outs, giving up five runs in the inning including a Rafael Devers three-run home run.
The Rays steadily chipped away at that lead, adding one in the fifth, two in the sixth on a Wander Franco two-run homer, and tied the game with two in the eighth. The valiant effort was not enough, with Kiké Hernández providing the walk-off sac fly in the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox become the first team to punch their ticket to the ALCS, beating the heavily-favorited Rays. They will face the winner of the White Sox-Astros series.
NLDS Game 3
This one was a pitchers’ duel throughout, however, the greatest foe for the batters was a fierce wind blowing in all night long. Max Scherzer logged another vintage postseason performance, striking out 10 in seven innings. The only damage came on a booming Evan Longoria solo home run to leadoff the top of the fifth.
That lone run was all the Giants would need though, as their pitching staff completed a five-hit shutout gem. Alex Wood started against his former employers and struck out four in 4.2 innings. San Francisco then entrusted the game to their three highest-leverage relievers, with Tyler Rogers going 1.2 innings, another former Dodger Jake McGee getting the final two outs of the seventh, and Camilo Doval converting the two-inning save. Pinch-hitter Gavin Lux made it interesting with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending a towering drive to left-center, but the wind claimed its final victim of the night.
Gavin Lux hit the final pitch of the game 106.9 mph and at a 22-degree launch angle. Batters this season, on balls hit 106-107 mph and at 22-degree launch, were 55 for 62 (.887) with 38 home runs. The Dodgers had four such hits this year. All were homers. Lux thought he had one.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 12, 2021
What’s on deck?
ALDS Game 4
Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox
(Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Carlos Rodón)
Time: 2:07 p.m. EST
Venue: Guaranteed Rate Field
This is a makeup of the game rained out yesterday afternoon. Carlos Rodón was Chicago’s best starter and a strong candidate for the AL Cy Young before running into some injury problems at the end of the year, and it was uncertain whether he would be available at all for the postseason. He gets the ball this afternoon in a win-or-go-home scenario. Thanks to the rain-out, the White Sox bullpen got some much-needed rest after an all-out effort in the series-extending Game 3 win. Lance McCullers Jr. has been the Astros’ ace all season, and will look to build off his 6.2 inning scoreless gem in Houston’s Game 1 win.
NLDS Game 4
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves
(Eric Lauer vs. Charlie Morton)
Time: 5:15 p.m. EST
Venue: Truist Park
It will be interesting to see whom either team chooses to start today’s game. They could pitch their respective aces on short rest, with Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and Atlanta’s Charlie Morton having faced off in the Brewers’ Game 1 win. If they decide short rest is not the way to go, Eric Lauer and Huascar Ynoa are the most likely starters for Milwaukee and Atlanta, respectively. Having been shutout in each of the previous two contests, the Brewers offense will need to break out to keep their season alive.
Update, 1:10 pm ET: The Brewers will turn to Lauer, but the Braves will go for the jugular at home with Morton on three days’ rest.
NLDS Game 4
San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
(Anthony DeSclafani vs. Walker Buehler)
Time: 9:07 p.m. EST
Venue: Dodger Stadium
This series has been a tale of two outcomes, with the Giants winning both their games with low-scoring shutouts of the Dodgers and the Dodgers winning their game with a blowout of the Giants. Anthony DeSclafani put together a career year in San Francisco after inking a one-year deal last offseason, and will hope to continue that trend in his first postseason start. The Dodgers have two options for this game. They can either start Walker Buehler on short rest or can pitch a quasi-bullpen game with Tony Gonsolin the likely “starter” on a short leash.
Update, 3:00 pm ET: The Dodgers will indeed go with Buehler on three days’ rest to save their season.