Washington Nationals 4 – St. Louis Cardinals 12

The St. Louis Cardinals exacted a fair amount of revenge on the Washington Nationals in Game Two of their National League Division Series. While Game One was decided by a wily old manager outfoxing a rookie skipper with a pinch-hit bait-and-switch, the second playoff game between the two teams never got to a situation where managerial manipulations would matter, as St. Louis put up 12 runs against Jordan Zimmermann and three Washington relievers, including four home runs.

Perhaps the only bright spot for the Nationals in terms of pitching was right-handed reliever Christian Garcia, who came into the game with runners on first and second, and one out to face Matt Holiday in the fourth inning. Garcia induced a slow rolling ground out to himself for the first out, and then struck out Allen Craig to end the inning.

For the Cardinals, it was the Jon Jay show. The St. Louis center fielder not only made an incredible catch in center field …

… but he also went 2 for 5, with a triple and three RBIs. His heroics at the plate were only beaten by Carlos Beltran, who also went 2 for 5, with three RBIs, but the St. Louis right fielder knocked his runs in with two home runs.

While the outcome was satisfying for the Cardinals, the game wasn’t without worries, as starting pitcher Jaime Garcia left the game after only two innings due to a shoulder injury. He has since been removed from the NLDS roster, and potentially the NLCS roster as well.

The series has an off-day today, and starts back up on Wednesday in Washington where the Nationals will have to win two of three games at home to advance.

Here’s how St. Louis Cardinals fans reacted to Monday afternoon’s game. [Viva El Birdos]

Here’s how Washington Nationals fans reacted to Monday afternoon’s game. [Federal Baseball]

New York Yankees 2 – Baltimore Orioles 3

After a short rain delay in Baltimore, the Orioles took the field against the New York Yankees, seeking to exact the similar type of revenge that the Cardinals earned over the Nationals only an hour earlier. They were successful, thanks to adequate pitching from Wei-Yin Chen(nings) through six and a third innings, combined with an excellent effort from the team’s bullpen which struck out four of the ten Yankees batters they faced, and didn’t allow a single run.

If it was redemption for a ninth-inning collapse in Game One that the team was looking for from Monday night’s game, it’s impossible not to mention closer Jim Johnson coming into the game in the ninth inning to face the first three hitters in New York’s lineup, just one day after blowing a tied game by allowing four earned runs, while only getting one batter out. Johnson looked positively untouched by the misery of his previous outing, as he induced two ground balls from Derek Jeter and Ichiro (!) before striking out Alex Rodriguez with three swing and misses.

For the Yankees, they ruined a perfectly good Andy Pettitte start with some poor defense from Jeter, and more intolerable at bats from Rodriguez, who has looked absolutely miserable in the first two games of this series.¬†We can certainly give A-Rod the benefit of the doubt as far as how injuries might be affecting him, but if that’s the case, perhaps a day at designated hitter, lower in the lineup, might be beneficial.

There was one highlight of the game for the Yankees, and it involved Ichiro (!), who had a good game on the base paths even though he only got a single hit (he also reached on an error and a fielder’s choice). In the first inning, with Ichiro on first base, Robinson Cano hit a double down the right field line. The Yankees left fielder rounded third base and tried to score on the play, but was beaten to the plate by a relay throw to catcher Matt Wieters. Fortunately for New York, this didn’t deter Ichiro, as we see below:

The series has an off-day today, and starts back up on Wednesday in New York where the Yankees will have to win two of three games at home to advance.

Here’s how Baltimore Orioles fans reacted to Monday evening’s game. [Camden Chat]

Here’s how New York Yankees fans reacted to Monday afternoon’s game. [River Avenue Blues]

For Today

The San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s will look to avoid elimination against their respective opponents, the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers today. The Giants will have to win three straight at the Great American Ballpark to earn a spot in the NLCS, while the A’s can take some solace in the fact that the three straight games they have to win will all be at home at the Oakland Coliseum.

Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong takes the hill for San Francisco against Cincinnati’s right-handed starter Homer Bailey at 5:30 PM ET. While right-hander Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers will face off against Oakland southpaw Brett Anderson at 9:00 PM ET. Good luck to both Bay Area teams.

And The Rest

Should Buck Showalter have started¬†Wei-Yin Chen(nings) in the seventh inning, which represented the fourth time through the opposition’s batting order? [The Book Blog]

If the San Francisco Giants can get the win today against the Cincinnati Reds and extend their post season life another game, Barry Zito will make the all-important Game Four start. I’m not even kidding. [McCovey Chronicles]

The most exciting and incredible games of 2012. [The Hardball Times]

In-depth research on why managers get fired. [Baseball Prospectus]

David Laurila recaps the first two games of the ALDS involving the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s. [Fangraphs]

Will Leitch on TBS broadcasting playoff baseball games. [Sports On Earth]

Unsurprisingly, Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren is not a fan of the one-game Wild Card playoff contest. [MLB Trade Rumors]