The division series round of the playoffs is ambling toward a close. We’ve seen three series wrapped up in four games, leaving just the Dodgers and Giants to play one final contest to decide the full LCS picture. Here’s what you missed if you didn’t catch last night’s action.
What happened last night?
ALDS Game 4
Houston Astros 10, Chicago White Sox 1
(HOU wins series 3-1, advances to ALCS)
Another day, another Houston offensive onslaught. The Astros took control of this game early, with Carlos Correa coming through with a big two-out, two-run double in the second to give Houston the lead.
The Astros chased starter Carlos Rodon within three innings, and crushed his replacement, Michael Kopech, for three runs in two-thirds of an inning. The likes of Aaron Bummer and Craig Kimbrel didn’t fare much better, before José Altuve put the finishing touches on in the ninth against Liam Hendriks:
The story of this series was the Houston lineup simply taking a formidable White Sox pitching staff to task. With two or three frontline starters and a handful of potential bullpen aces, Chicago’s success this October looked like it’d be driven by their elite arms covering most available innings and keeping opponents off the board. That never materialized, with the Astros attacking early and often in earning their fifth consecutive ALCS appearance.
NLDS Game 4
(ATL wins series 3-1, advances to the NLCS)
The Braves entered this game in a strong position. They’d completely shut down the Brewer offense through the first three games, and had a chance to close things out at home. Moreover, a Charlie Morton-Eric Lauer pitching matchup seemed to favor Atlanta, but both starters were chased by the fourth inning.
This contest featured a topsy-turvy middle-game. Both clubs scored a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, with the Brewers surging ahead and yielding the lead in consecutive frames. With their season on the line, Milwaukee activated desperation mode and brought Game 2 starter Brandon Woodruff in for the sixth and seventh inning, then Josh Hader for the eighth inning.
It was to no avail. Freddie Freeman broke a 4-4 stalemate by taking Hader deep:
After an uneven season that saw their superstar center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. go down in July, the Braves have once again found themselves in the NLCS. They’ll await whichever NL West juggernaut survives.
NLDS Game 4
It had to come down to a pivotal Game 5. After an epic regular season struggle that came down the final day and ended with the Giants and Dodgers separated by just one win, the two rivals have played to a draw through four games of this series. With their season and their title defense on the line, the Dodgers pulled out a victory and ensured this clash went the distance, as we all knew it should.
The Dodgers wasted no time in Game 4. Trea Turner doubled home a run in the first, and Chris Taylor scored another with a sac fly in the second, running starter Anthony Desclafani from the game after just five outs recorded. On the other side, Walker Buehler, starting on three days rest, had the San Francisco lineup under control. Buehler cruised through the first four innings, ultimately finishing with one run allowed across 4.1 frames.
Oh, and Mookie Betts reminded everyone that he is still Mookie Betts:
YARD? MOOKIE SAID BETTS. pic.twitter.com/iPwL4oTlmz— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 13, 2021
This result sets up the deciding game for Thursday night in San Francisco. Logan Webb lines up to start for the Giants, fresh off his Game 1 gem, while Julio Urías will be on full rest for the Dodgers. It’s sure to be a fun one.
What’s on deck?
Nothing! The conclusion of both ALDS series has left us with a day without baseball.