DODGERS OUTLAST NATIONALS: Andy’s club got down two on the road but put up a stern 7-3 showing in game 3…but the Dodger bats were just too much in game 4 and Ryu closed out the series with 8 strong innings…Mercado, Hernandez, Muncy, Taylor, and Grandal all hit 2 homers a piece and all hit better than .300. Can’t say enough good things about Andy, who is always the first to put sportsmanship ahead of winning, is a pleasure to trade with, and has shown some grace through some difficult personal times. He’s made the playoffs every year he’s been in the league, and he’s won the championship 3 of the past 4 season. He’s never had a losing season, and it took some pretty big WOR years to be able to say that. Thanks for a great season, Andy, and here’s hoping you have a blissful winter!
BOSTON OVER THE RAYS: The Minsky Magic was almost in full effect; having dropped the first 2 games Tampa won the next 2 at home to even the series…but Sale out-dueled Snell in game 5 and, much as they are doing tonight in MLB against the Yankees, the Bosox bats just unleashed and put up double-digit totals in the 6th and final game. Like Andy, Alan has been in the playoffs every year he’s been in the league, although in his cast it’s just one. But Somers won 85 games his first year and Alan won 91 with his upstart, small-market club. Alan is a great Dad, a great guy to catch a ballgame with, and guy with some national media chops. It’s been great having him in this year, and I’m hoping he ends up with enough free time to come back.
HOUSTON OVER CLEVELAND: The actual Indians got swept; Skrovan’s ASFBL group stole a game from the Astros for a better showing. The final game was epic….after pushing the game into 11 innings, the Indian bullpen collapsed and gave up 4 runs in the top of the inning. Undaunted, the offense pushed a tiring Tony Sipp to the wire and hammered a homer off of Matt Strahm to come within a run of keeping it alive before finally succumbing. Steve has had the Indians since 2012 and has made the playoffs three years running…he kissed the ALCS in 2016 and finished up-2 WOR in his first season. He’s a guy committed to making the world a better place, he made it in stand-up and TV, and he’s the kind of guy I’d love hanging out with even if he didn’t invite me to share the owner’s box seats at Anaheim once a year. See you in the spring, Steve!
MILWAUKEE OVER ATLANTA: After a brief stupidity delay (I mucked up the games so badly I had to re-run them from scratch), the Braves made a real series of it. The high-leverage games was game 4, where the teams dueled scoreless through 11 and 1/2 innings…Christian Yelich won it with a a walk-off homer off of starter Anibel Sanchez, who was still in the game having thrown only 101 pitches before the final one. Danny has been in the league since 2006 and managed four different teams; he’s taken Atlanta to the playoffs for the first time but finished in positive WOR territory for the third time in four years…and did so in the really competitive NL East where 3 teams had really strong WOR finishes…this is his 5th playoff appearance overall. He just changed jobs this week, and was very stand-up about my stammering into the playoffs. Look forward to having you back next year!
LCS: I’ll have the playoffs set up tomorrow and we’ll try to run the games by Wednesday. Dodgers host the Brewers, Bosox host the Astros.
Congrats to Tony, Rick, Chris, and Jim!