I was asked to sum up the two games tonight, so I came up with “The 7th inning” and “Batman”. Yeah, it was those kinds of games. Very cold, but very interesting nonetheless.
Game 1: ALDS 2 — Blue Jays at Royals
Under the sunny skies of the “Heart of America”, it was a brisk 59°. And the game felt like it was two very different games, the first part being solidly in Toronto’s strength, the second being solidly Kansas City. And that has to do mainly with the pitching.
The Blue Jays started their offense in the 3rd with back-to-back doubles to score the first run. And they added on a few more in the 6th. A lead-off single and a walk scored on an RBI single and a 1-out double. The Royals’ starter loaded the bases and was then relieved of duty, so that his reliever got him and the Royals out of the inning further saving them from more scrapes.
Now, let me be fair here: the Blue Jays’ starter Price had a really great night. Right up until the 7th inning. He kept them scoreless and just kind of blew through most of the line-up rather efficiently. But then that special 7th inning happened. Three consecutive singles put the Royals on the board and runners on the corners. A ground out scored another run, and a single tied up the game. Then a 2-out double scored the go-ahead run and forced a pitching change. Price was out of the game after a rather disappointing final inning. Another allowed single scored a 5th run for the Royals that inning.
The Royals tagged on another run in the 8th. With 2 outs and a pitching change, the new reliever walked 2 consecutive batters. A single scored the Royals’ final run. And since one of the Royals’ strengths is their bullpen, it was their bullpen that halted any hope for the Blue Jays’ offense to rally up and get anything later in the game.
Final score: 6-3 Royals. Royals lead series 2-0.
Game 2: NLDS 1 — Cubs at Mets
Okay, in Queens, it was 10 degrees colder than in Kansas City at first pitch, which means that everyone was bundled up like “winter is coming”. And so it was the Dark Knight to rescue Gothamites from the clutches of the visiting club from Second City.
The “Dark Knight”, the Mets’ starter Harvey, really had command and kept command from the start. The Cubs’ starter Lester did a pretty good job too, but he hasn’t been as sharp as he’s been in past seasons, especially with the Mets’ batter racking up pitch counts and hits. The Mets got a 2-out solo home run in the 1st to start things off right for New York.
Then the Cubs came back in the 5th when the lead-off runner (a hit-by-pitch) scored on an RBI double. Then Harvey worked his way out of a jam later with the assist of his great defense behind him. Now with the game tied, the Mets came back in the bottom of the 5th, with 2 1-out singles. A force ground out got the lead runner, but a single scored the second to push the Mets ahead again.
But they weren’t done yet. A 2-out solo home run in the 6th gave the Mets an insurance run. (The ball landed in the pop-up apple the Mets have out in center field that pops up when the Mets hit a home run.) And in the 7th, a lead-off single moved to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt, stole 3rd, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Harvey gave up a 2-out solo home run in the 8th inning that caused the Mets’ to pull him. He was greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation as he made his way back to the dugout. The Mets love their comic book-named heroes. But the Mets really just out-pitched the Cubs, thanks in large part to the Dark Knight. I mean, Batman always was able to do some pretty awesome things.
Final score: 4-2 Mets. Mets lead series 1-0.