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MLB Playoff Roundup: October 8th

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Four-Game Friday has come to a close, but Division Series play rolls on.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It’s postseason time, and while the Yankees are unfortunately no longer a part of the playoff mix, Pinstripe Alley will be chronicling this zany time of year all month long. Yesterday was one of the most hectic days of the baseball year: Four-Game Friday. It’s the only day of the postseason calendar with four guaranteed playoff games (though others could emerge if other series get more interesting).

So ...

What happened last night?

Four-Game Friday means a lot of summaries in a short of time! So we’ll only do a handful of sentences for each.

ALDS Game 2

Houston Astros 9, Chicago White Sox 4

(HOU leads, 2-0)

There was a good 10-minute stretch or so when it seemed like the White Sox might just find a way to surprise everyone and steal a game from the Astros in Houston. Lucas Giolito was rolling after a two-run Astros second and the dangerous Chicago lineup put a crooked number on the board to jump in front in the top of the fifth by a 4-2 margin.

Alas, Giolito ran out of steam in the home half and the vaunted White Sox bullpen completely fell apart. A two-run single off Garrett Crochet tied the score and both Aaron Bummer and Craig Kimbrel endured a nightmare seventh. By the time the runs had plated and Kyle Tucker’s long ball landed, it was a five-run ballgame, and that was all she wrote. The teams will be off today, but Houston can sweep its way to its fifth ALCS in a row with a win in Chicago tomorrow.

ALDS Game 2

Boston Red Sox 14, Tampa Bay Rays 6

(Series tied, 1-1)

The Rays had command of their game even longer than the White Sox and appeared to be in prime position to join Houston in gearing itself up for a sweep. Chris Sale quite simply didn’t have it and gave up a grand slam to Jordan Luplow of all players to put the Rays in front in the first, 5-2.

Credit where it’s due though — Boston did not roll over and accept the 0-2 deficit. Tanner Houck stemmed the bleeding with five innings of one-run ball while Boston smoked Shane Baz, Collin McHugh, and Matt Wisler to pull ahead, 8-5 after five (thanks in no small part to a three-run bomb by J.D. Martinez). Michael Wacha then learned what happens when he doesn’t have get to face an underachieving Yankees lineup; Boston plated six runs in the last three frames to put the game away.

The Red Sox have now snatched home-field advantage away from the Rays and will try to win back-to-back games at Fenway Park to eliminate the defending AL champions. Wild Card Game winner Nathan Eovaldi will pitch Game 3 tomorrow.

NLDS Game 1

Milwaukee Brewers 2, Atlanta Braves 1

(MIL leads, 1-0)

The unofficial Hank Aaron Bowl was all pitching. Corbin Burnes and Charlie Morton dealt zeroes against each other until Rowdy Tellez put Milwaukee on top with a two-run homer in the seventh.

Joc Pederson countered with a solo shot of his own in the eighth against the Milwaukee bullpen, but a ninth-inning Atlanta rally wasn’t enough to force a mistake from Josh Hader.

NLDS Game 1

San Francisco Giants 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 0

(SF leads, 1-0)

Burnes threw six scoreless innings against Atlanta, but that was nothing compared to surprise Giants ace Logan Webb. The 24-year-old entered this year with a 5.36 ERA in 21 career outings (19 starts), but he turned in an excellent season in 2021. The powerful Dodgers just had no answer for the right-hander whatoever, and Webb twirled 7.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing just five hits and no walks on 10 strikeouts.

Homers from Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, and Brandon Crawford were more than enough to put the Giants ahead, 1-0, in the first-ever postseason matchup between them in the history of LCS and LDS play, post-1969.

What’s on deck?

NLDS Game 2

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves
(Brandon Woodruff vs. Max Fried)

Time: 5:07 p.m. EST

TV: TBS, TBS-INT

Venue: American Family Field

Atlanta was the underdog in this matchup, and if they don’t get back in this series in a hurry, then they will be doing exactly what the White Sox are doing — proving that they only got into the playoffs through a weak division. Woodruff is not going to make their task of tying the series any easier. They have to do better than one run, even against this intimidating Brewers pitching staff. Otherwise, this could turn into a sweep in a hurry.

NLDS Game 2

San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
(Kevin Gausman vs. Julio Urías)

Time: 9:07 p.m. EST

TV: TBS, TBS-INT

Venue: Oracle Park

The Braves’ one run last night might have looked like a feast compared to the Dodgers’ output. Webb and the Giants’ bullpen kept them off the board, and Gausman will aim to match him (or at the very least, also pitch well). The Dodgers’ lineup has now scored just 3 runs in 18 innings this postseason and seems to really be missing Max Muncy. The defending champions better figure out how to score without him in a hurry; otherwise, their long-time rivals could easily send them packing as soon as Monday.