NLCS 2: LAD vs. MIL, ALCS 1: HOU vs. BOS — Saturday baseball, overcompensating, trudging, weak, and sloppy

Sometimes, it was hard to believe we were watching the supposed four best teams in baseball. The Brewers were trying too hard, the Dodgers played like they were walking through mud, the Astros are a shadow of their World Championship selves, and the Red Sox were just sloppy. Now, truth be told, the Yankees certainly could claim every one of those descriptions at various points this season, so I guess the positive spin is that the Yankees weren’t playing today.

NLCS: Dodgers at Brewers
Actually, neither team in this NL series gave up much for the first half of the game. Both starters only threw 70-something pitches into the 5th and 6th innings, the Dodgers limited to just 2 allowed hits, while the Brewers managed 6 off the Dodgers’ starter. So as the teams pieced together their bullpen to finish the game, the respective opponents nicked away at the scoreboard.

The Brewers struck first with a 1-out solo home run in the 5th. They then loaded up the bases with a single, a double, and a walk before a ground out scored another run. And a 1-out solo home run in the 6th added one more to their side of things.

But then the Dodgers came back in the 7th with a walk, a single, an RBI single, and another single to load the bases. After an out, another walk scored one more run for the Dodgers. In the 8th, a lead-off single scored as part of a big 2-run home run to suddenly put the Dodgers into the lead. That ended up being enough for the Dodgers to tie up the series and take it home with them.

Final score: 4-3 Dodgers, series tied 1-1

ALCS: Astros at Red Sox
The AL teams seemed to continue the drama we last saw in the ALDS between the Red Sox and Yankees. So much for just being part of the rivalry drama. It now seems like it’s just a Red Sox thing this postseason and they’ve invited the Astros to participate now.

It should have been a battle of the aces in Fenway, but the Red Sox’s ace struggled his way through 4 innings, and despite only giving up 1 hit, he allowed also 4 walks. His counterpart breezed through 4 innings before struggling in the 5th and then cleaning it up in the 6th. He only allowed 2 hits and 4 walks. Yes, these ace starters only gave up 3 total hits, but 8 walks between the 2 of them.

In the 2nd, the Astros struck first. With 2 outs, they loaded up the bases and then a single scored 2 runs. But the Red Sox answered back in the 5th by loading up the bases. A walk scored their first run, and a wild pitch scored the tying run. But when the Red Sox batter struck out in the bottom of the 5th, the batter didn’t like the call. The Red Sox manager came out to argue the call and ended up being ejected.

That didn’t help things. The first Astros batter in the top of the 6th was hit by a pitch (one of three tonight) and the next batter made it to 1st due a fielding error. Two outs later, a single scored the run that put them in the lead. Then in a final push for insurance, the Astros led-off the 9th with a solo home run. Then consecutive 1-out walks scored as part of a 3-run home run to complete the victory for the visiting team.

It’s worth noting that collectively the teams only got 8 hits, but still walked 14 batters and struck out 20, plus there were 3 batters hit by a pitch. There was nothing pretty about tonight’s game. Except perhaps if you were rooting against the Red Sox.

Final score: 7-2 Astros, Astros lead series 1-0

Go Yankees!

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