After the rainy day in the Midwest (and a good portion of South and Southeast), both the NLCS and the ALCS are now on parallel schedules, playing their respective Game 3’s today. And honestly, the teams that I think most people thought would win did. Though neither opponent was willing to let them do so with much ease. But I guess that’s what makes a game most interesting. I’ve said before that I prefer a well-fought game than a blow-out. Sticking with this mantra, this postseason fits firmly in that category.
In San Francisco, both the Cardinals and the Giants were looking to break up the series tie and jump back in control of the NLCS. But alas, only one team can succeed (because this isn’t soccer or hockey, and the lights in the stadiums allow for no more tie games). Initially, the Giants jumped ahead quickly in the 1st inning after getting 2 outs. Back-to-back singles, an RBI double, loaded bases, and then a 2-RBI double put the Giants on top 4-0 before the Cardinals got out of the 1st inning.
So the Giants spent the next 9 innings defending their early lead, and the Cards did everything in their power to chip away at it. And so they did. The Giants pitching staff kept the Cards rather discouraged, but they grabbed at whatever runs they could scrape together. In the 4th, a 2-out triple scored 2 runs, and an RBI single in the 6th put them within 1 run. But it would be the solo home run in the 7th that would tie up the game and eventually push the game into extra innings. Someone needed to breakthrough.
It would be the Giants in the bottom of the 10th. With no outs, the lead-off batter walked, and then next one singled. It was looking up for the fans bundled up in orange and black by the bay. So the next batter squared up to bunt, which dribbled up to the pitcher; he picked it up the ball and threw it to the 1st baseman. Except he must have thought the 1st baseman had longer arms as the ball sailed just past the glove of the infielder as the runner at 2nd just kept going and scored the walk-off run easily. A walk-off throwing error. And the Giants jumped ahead.
NLCS Game 3: Giants over Cardinals 5-4, Giants lead series 2-1
And then, baseball focused itself to the new “Windy City” (still in the Midwest but about 8 hours southwest) — Kansas City (seriously, winds were almost 20 mph). The Royals were looking to continue powering through this October with their unexpected tenacity and grit to just win. And that they did.
The Orioles’ back-to-back doubles scored their lone run of the game in the 2nd inning. And then the Royals tied it up in the 4th with an RBI ground out, before scoring their winning run in the 6th on a sacrifice fly. Both teams threatened periodically, but neither could add to their scores. It would be enough for the Royals to continue their postseason winning streak (and earning comparisons to the 2007 Rockies).
But really, the talk of the game was the Royals’ 3rd baseman Moustakas (affectionately cheered on as “Moose”), who made far too many amazing and highlight reel worthy defensive plays. He is also the reason that the Royals are more consistent offensively over their postseason opponent. And he is their #9 batter in the roster, a spot usually reserved the weakest batter in your roster. Well, that makes sense. I mean, things must be upside down in the world if the best team in October is Kansas City and their best player is the #9 hitter.
ALCS Game 3: Royals over Orioles 2-1, Royals lead series 3-0
And for “This Day in Yankee History”… on this day in 1964, one Joe Girardi was born. That’s right. A very happy 50th birthday to the Yankees manager! While the Girardis were welcoming their newest addition (and future Yankee player and manager) 50 years ago, the 1964 Yankees were battling the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis for the World Series in Game 6. They would win Game 6 (8-3) to tie up the Series, but fall the next night to the Cardinals to lose the Series and manager Yogi Berra would be fired for the first time in his torrential managerial career.
Happy Birthday, Joe!