What do 1981, 2001 and 2011 have in common? No, funny guy. I mean other than the last digit in the number. Well, let me tell you then, smart guy. In each of those three years, time guy, Major League Baseball had three series go to a fifth and deciding game. 1981, you ask, inquisitive guy? Yep, affirmative guy. That was the first year that MLB ever used the Wild Card, when a player strike caused the cancellation of several games in the middle of the season, socialist guy.
We’ve already touched on what brought the Yankees and Tigers, and the Phillies and Cardinals to a one game decider, but what about that other series between the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks? Last night, the D’Backs staved off elimination at home against the Brewers with a 10-6 win that ensures at least one more game for both teams.
Heading into the game, there were plenty of jokes to be had at the expense of the two starters, Joe Saunders for Arizona and Randy Wolf for Milwaukee. For humour purposes, the pitchers lived up to expectations, with neither lasting past three innings, and made certain that offense was the key to the game. As such, Ryan Roberts, with a grand slam in the bottom of the first, and Chris Young, with two home runs on the night, were the Diamondbacks’ biggest heroes.
To get a proper sense of how bad the pitching was last night, Micah Owings earned the win for Arizona, and Yuniesky Betancourt went three for four for Milwaukee. Just meditate on that for a minute.
The Diamondbacks victory sets up a Game Five matchup in Milwaukee that will see Ian Kennedy take the mound for Arizona and Yovani Gallardo counter for the Brew Crew. Of note: The Brewers had the best home record in baseball, and the worst road record of any playoff team. First pitch is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 5:00 PM EDT.
Meanwhile, Game Five of the other NLDS series will see Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals visit Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at 8:30 PM EDT.
However, before the National League decides which teams will compete in its Championship Series, there’s the small, but important matter of figuring out who will face the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. Tonight at 8:00 PM EDT, the New York Yankees will rely on rookie starter Ivan Nova, as their opposition, the Detroit Tigers send Doug Fister to the mound.
Wait a minute. Three Game Fives? All falling on years that end in one? And three times five is fifteen. And three plus five is eight. And fifteen plus eight equals twenty-three. And twenty-three times one is . . . still . . . twenty-three. Very spooky stuff.
Playoff baseball, I’m awfully fond of you.
And The Rest
C.C. Sabathia will be available to pitch out of the bullpen tonight, but Justin Verlander not so much.
While Terry Francona has hinted at taking the year off from managing, he hasn’t had any trouble finding employment. The former Boston Red Sox manager will replace Tim McCarver, who was hospitalized with a minor heart procedure, in the booth for the first two games of FOX’s ALCS broadcast.
The NFL gets better television viewership numbers in the United States. We get it. Might as well just disband Major League Baseball, then.
Remember when Sean Rodriguez bowled into Mike Napoli in Game Four of the ALDS between Tampa Bay and Texas? Remember how he looked all shaken up afterwards? Apparently, it had less to do with the hit than it did swallowing a mouthful of chewing tobacco. Gross.
Surprisingly (not really), the Los Angeles Dodgers are having difficulty convincing judges of what they want.
Make no mistake, C.J. Wilson will start Game One of the ALCS no matter who the opposition is.
In this instance, defensive indifference makes sense with two out, but not one.
Do not call Tony LaRussa a whiner!
The Ford C. Frick Award has been finalized. Excitement!
Would the real GM of the Los Angeles Angels please stand up (and scowl a little bit)?
Hey look, we may have been wrong about our predictions heading into yesterday’s games, but we were very right in our fashion sense. Check it out: