Thursday, November 2, 2017

George Springer Leads Houston Astros To Game Seven Victory, World Series Championship

Players of the Day for Wednesday, November 1, 2017

World Series

George Springer's two-run homer in the second inning off Dodger starter, Yu Darvish, proved decisive as the Houston Astros captured the first World Series championship in franchise history, dating back to 1962, when they entered the National League as the Colt 45s.
Springer: World Series MVP

Houston's 5-1 victory was the first road win for either team.

Springer's blast - his fifth of the series - tied a World Series record held by Reggie Jackson and Chase Utley and capped a three-run, second inning uprising that sent Darvish to the showers early for the second time in the series.

Darvish lasted just 1 2/3 innings, the same span as in game three, when he allowed four runs on six hits in a 5-3 Houston win.

With the lead in hand, Houston's pitchers took over, keeping the Dodgers off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when they plated their only run of the game, when Andre Ethier singled off Charlie Morton, sending home Joc Peterson.

Morton, who gave up just two hits over four innings, was credited with the win, his first of the series, striking out four and issuing one walk.

Especially early on, the Dodgers had their chances, but failed to come through in the clutch, leaving 10 men stranded for the game.

Springer, in addition to his five home runs, drove in seven runs and batted .379. He was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series.

Houston played in the National League from 1962 to 2012, then moved into the AL West division in 2013, losing 111 games in their first year in the new league, but they continued to build and improve. In 2014, they finished the regular season with a record of 70-92. In 2015, they went 86-76, finishing two games behind the Texas Rangers in the division, reaching the playoffs as a wild card.

In 2016, the Astros didn't make the playoffs, going 84-78, but rebounded to a record of 101-61 in 2017, winning the West division by a whopping 21 games. While Houston's regular season home record of 48-33 was impressive, the Astros were beasts on the road, going 53-28.

Houston defeated Boston in the ALDS, three games to one, but, in the championship series, were sent to a seventh game by the Yankees, winning a 4-0 shutout engineered by Charlie Morton, who took the win, allowing two hits over five innings. Lance McCullers completed the whitewash with four innings in relief, allowing only one hit.

The Astros will have ample time to enjoy their championship. Houston's first Spring training game isn't until March 3, 2018.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Chris Taylor, Kenley Jansen Power 3-1 Dodger Win, Force Game Seven With Astros

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 31, 2017

World Series

Taylor: RBI Double
Chris Taylor's sixth-inning double off Houston starter, Justin Verlander, sent Austin Barnes to the plate, tying the game at a run apiece in game six of the World Series. Chase Utley moved to third on the play, and scored when Corey Saeger nearly left the yard, lifting a long fly ball to the wall in right field. Josh Reddick calmly made the catch, but had no chance to get Utley, who tagged up and scored on the sac fly.

Jansen: 2IP, 0H, 3K, 0ER
An inning later, an ebullient Joc Pederson added insurance with a solo home run and closer Kenley Jansen made the runs stand up with two perfect innings in relief for the 3-1 victory over Houston, tying the series at three games each, setting up a fitting final game seven.

Houston's only run came in the third inning on a home run by George Springer, his fourth of the series, but that was all the Astros could produce, despite scoring chances in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Taylor's double was his only hit of the game. He's batting .259 with three homers and seven RBI in the post-season. Jansen, who was saddled with the loss in game five, was nothing short of brilliant, throwing 18 of 19 pitches for strikes against the six batters he faced, striking out three. It was Jansen's second save of the series and fifth in the post-season. Jansen was tied with Colorado's Greg Holland for the National League regular season lead in saves with 41.

The baseball season will officially end sometime late Wednesday night at the conclusion of game seven. First pitch is slated for 8:09 pm ET at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Alex Bregman's Walk-Off Single Delivers 13-12 Houston 10th-Inning Win, 3-2 Edge For Astros

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 29, 2017

World Series

Bregman: Game-winner
With two out in the bottom of the 10th inning, Alex Bregman drove in the winning run with a sharp single to left center, sending the Houston Astros to a 13-12 victory over the LA Dodgers, putting Houston up three games to two and one win away from a franchise-first world championship.

A second-year third baseman, Bregman's heroic stroke was deep enough to send pinch-runner Derek Fisher from second base to the plate with the game-winner. Fisher had been inserted for Brian McCann, who had reached base after being hit by a pitch from LA reliever Kenley Jansen and moved to second on George Springer's walk.

Jansen, the Dodger closer, threw 33 pitches and was laboring in the 10th, bringing into focus manager Dave Roberts decision to pitch him in the ninth inning of Saturday's 6-2 Dodger victory.

Jansen is normally called upon in save situations, when the lead is three runs or fewer. In Saturday's win, the lead was five runs (6-1). Jansen threw 14 pitches in the inning, one of them planted in the stands by Bregman, so it was not surprising that Bregman would respond favorably facing a tiring Jansen on Sunday night (actually Monday morning.

The game itself was nothing short of a classic, as both ace starters - LA's Clayton Kershaw and Houston's Dallas Keuchel - were routed by the opposing batters. Keuchel was the first to go, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits over 3 2/3 innings. The Dodgers got to him for three runs in the first. Kershaw worked into the fifth, squandering almost all of the Dodger lead by allowing six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings.

Houston and LA batters were persistent, the teams scoring runs in 11 of the 20 half innings, including scoring in six of the last eight. Houston socked five home runs to LA's two, and erased of four and three runs, in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. The Dodgers were equal to the challenge, tying the game with three runs in the top of the ninth to produce the extra frame which eventually was their undoing.

AL MVP candidate, Jose Altuve, had a sensational game, going 3-for-5 with a single, double and game-tying three run homer, scoring three times and driving in four. His infield mate, shortstop Alex Correa, was also 3-for-5, singling, doubling, homering and driving in three runs.

The series now shifts back to Los Angeles on Tuesday for game six, going live at 8:09 pm ET at Dodger Stadium. Justin Verlander goes to the mound for Houston against Dodger hurler, Rich Hill. The Dodgers need a win to force a game seven while the Astros seek to end the baseball season with a victory.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

WORLD SERIES: Cody Bellinger Lifts Dodgers In Game Four, Ties Series

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 28, 2017

Work Series

Cody Bellinger emerged from a deep slump to lead the LA Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over Houston Saturday, tying the series at two games apiece.

Bellinger, who entered the game with an 0-for-11 mark in the series, flied out in the second inning and struck out in the fifth before stroking a key one-out double in the seventh inning with Houston up, 1-0. His first World Series hit proved crucial, as Houston manager A.J. Hinch pulled starter Charlie Morton immediately, replacing him with reliever Will Harris.

Bellinger: 2-4, 2R, RBI
Bellinger, a rookie first baseman who hammered 39 home runs during the regular season, tied the game when he scored on Logon Forsythe's single up the middle after Yasiel Puig flied out for the inning's second out.

Houston's first run had come on the only hit off LA starter, Alex Wood, a sixth inning homer by Houston leadoff hitter, George Springer.

Wood arrived a no-hitter into the sixth as he battled with Houston's Morton, who pitched into the seventh. Neither starter received a decision as the game remained tied into the ninth.

In the Dodgers' ninth, Bellinger delivered again, this time with a double off Houston closer, Ken Giles, plating Corey Saeger from second and sending Justin Turner to third base, giving LA a 2-1 advantage.

Once the Dodgers had the lead, the floodgates opened on Houston's porous relief pitching. Joe Musgrave entered the game for the Astros with none out and runners on second and third, fanning Puig for the first out, but, after an intentional walk to Forsythe, Austin Barnes sent another run home on a sac fly before Joc Pederson put the game away with a three-run homer into the right field stands.

With a 6-1 lead, Dodger manager made another in a series of questionable calls, bringing in closer, Kenley Jansen, even though it was not a save opportunity. Jansen threw just 14 pitches, one of which was a 1-2 slider to Alex Bregman, who stroked a solo home run over the wall in left with two outs in the ninth. Jansen finished up by getting Jose Altuve to fly to center, but the use of the team's most reliable reliever in such a situation was considered unusual.

With the win in hand, the tied series resumes for the third straight game in Houston, 8:09 pm on Sunday. The pitching matchup is a repeat of game one starters, with Dallas Keutchel going for Houston and Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

World Series: Houston Takes 2-1 Advantage As Brad Peacock Pitches Perfectly In 5-3 Victory

Players of the Day for Friday, October 27, 2017

World Series

Peacock perfect over 3 2/3
It's not often that a long reliever is singled out as the most important playing in a winning effort, but the 3 2/3 innings of peerless pitching by Houston's Brad Peacock was the determining factor in the Astros winning game three, 5-3, to take a two games to one edge in the World Series.

After the Astros has disposed of Dodger starter, Yu Darvish, in a four-run, second inning uprising, Houston hurler, Lance McCullers soldiered on, giving up a run in the top of the third, but ran into more trouble in the sixth. McCullers walked Corey Seager and allowed a double down the left field line by Justin Turner before whiffing Cody Bellinger for the first out of the inning and an end to his night.

Peacock came on with runners on second and third with one out, and prompted a weak ground out from Yasiel Puig. Seager scored on the play, the run attributed to McCullers. Next, in what was possibly Peacock's only mistake of the night, Turner scored on a wild pitch to Chase Utley, making the score 5-3. Peacock managed to get Utley to foul out to third, ending the inning.

After that, the Dodgers never had a chance. Peacock dominated the final three innings, issuing one walk, fanning four, without giving up as much as a single base hit.

The game ended with Peacock retiring the last seven batters he faced, putting Houston within two games of their first World Series title and the Dodgers wondering what went wrong after winning game one and leading in game two.

McCullers was credited with the win, Peacock earning the save.

Houston batters were 12-for-36 in the game (.333), while the Dodgers managed only four hits in 29 at-bats, a .138 average.

Next up is game four, Saturday, at 8:09 pm ET at Houston's Minute Maid Park. Alex Wood gets the start for the Dodgers, against Houston's Charlie Morton.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

World Series: Houston Evens Series On George Springer Extra Inning Home Run

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

World Series

One of the wildest games in World Series history finally ended in the 11th inning as the Houston Astros took a 7-6 victory at Los Angeles, tying the Dodgers in the series at a game apiece.

Springer: 3-for-5, HR
The Dodgers took a 3-1 edge into the eighth inning, but after Carlos Correa singled home Alex Bregman in the eighth, a solo shot leading off the ninth by Marwin Gonzalez sent the game into extra innings.

In the 10th, balls began to leave Dodger Stadium with frequency. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa belted back-to-back homers in the top of the 10th, but Los Angeles countered with a solo shot by Yasiel Puig and an RBI single by Enrique Hernandez tied the game again at five.

George Springer delivered the winning blow in the top of the 11th, a two-run home run off Dodger reliever, Brandon McCarthy. Chris Devensky got the first two outs in the bottom of the frame before surrendering a solo homer to Charlie Culberson. Devensky regained his poise, ending the game by striking out Yasiel Puig swinging.

Springer, Houston's leadoff batter, had one of his best post-season games, singling in the third inning to set up Houston's first run and doubling with the bases empty in the ninth. He finished 3-for-5, with two RBI, boosting his post=season average to a pedestrian .250, though Houston fans can take comfort that the leadoff man has broken out from an extended slump. Springer batted .285 with 34 home runs and 85 RBI during the regular season.

Thursday is a travel day for the teams, with game three set for an 8:09 pm ET start at Houston's Minute Maid Park on Friday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WORLD SERIES: Dodgers Take Game One, 3-1, On Justin Turner Home Run

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 24, 2017

World Series

Game one of the 2017 World Series was played as though it was scripted in nearby Hollywood as the Dodgers defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1 in Los Angeles.

Turner: 2-run HR
Houston's Dallas Keuchel and LA's Clayton Kershaw dueled to a 1-1 tie through six innings, but, in the seventh, premiere batsman, Justin Turner, turned on a Keuchel delivery and deposited in the left field stands for a 3-1 advantage.

Chris Taylor, who led off the Dodgers' first inning with a solo homer off Keuchel, walked prior to Turner's at-bat and scored on the drive.

With the lead, Kershaw completed the seventh inning, turning in another solid performance, limiting Houston to one run on three hits, striking out 11. The concern for the Astros is that they could be facing Kershaw, possibly the greatest pitcher of this generation, again in game four and possibly, if needed in a game seven.

Turner, who batted .322 during the regular season, is absolutely smoking in the post-season, batting .371 (13-for-35) with four homers and 15 RBI.

Brandon Morrow and Kelly Jansen worked the eighth and ninth, neither giving up a hit or walk. Jansen picked up the save, a World Series first for him.

Game two is Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, first pitch slated for 8:08 pm ET. Rich Hill goers to the mound for the Dodgers against Houston's Justin Verlander.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers Jr. Blank Yanks; Houston Heads To World Series

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 21, 2017

American League

Morton: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER
The Houston Astros captured their first American League pennant with a seventh-game, 4-0 shutout over the New York Yankees Saturday at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

Charlie Morton, who was pounded by the Yankees in game three's 8-1 New York victory, came back with a sparkling five innings of work, blanking the Yankees on two hits over the first five innings.

Lance McCullers Jr. finished off what Morton started, shutting out the Yankees on one hit over the final four innings. McCullers started game four and pitched well, giving up a run on two hits over six innings in an eventual 6-4 Yankee win.

Morton struck out five and issued one walk. McCullers fanned four and walked one.

McCullers: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
Houston's offense was constructed largely off of three key extra base hits. Evan Gattis stroked a fourth-inning solo homer off Yankee starter, C.C. Sabathia. In the fifth, Jose Altuve touched up reliever Tommy Kahnle with another solo shot. Later in the inning, former Yankee Brian McCann delivered a two-run double off Kahnle to complete the game's scoring.

The Astros were in the National League for 51 years, from 1962–2012, playing under the moniker of the Colt .45s their first three seasons. In 2013, they entered the American League, joining the West division. This is the second World Series appearance for Houston, having taken the National League pennant in 2005, losing the World Series to the Chicago White Sox, four games to none.

Houston won its first division title this season, taking the West by 21 games over the LA Angels. In 2015, the Astros made the playoffs as a Wild Card, just two years after they joined the American League and posted a 51-111 record in 2013.

The Astros are seeking their first World Series championship in franchise history.

National League

There were no National League games on Saturday. The LA Dodgers will host the first two games of the World Series against the Houston Astros beginning Tuesday, October 24. First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 pm ET.

FOX will televise the 2017 World Series live via national over-the-air broadcast.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

ALCS: Astros Force Game 7 As Justin Verlander, Jose Altuve Lead Houston To 7-1 Win

Players of the Day for Friday, October 20, 2017

American League

Verlander: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER
Justin Verlander stymied the Yankees for the second time in a week, blanking New York on five hits over seven innings as the Astros forced a game seven showdown in the AL Championship Series with a 7-1 win in Houston.

Verlander battled with Yankee starter, Luis Severino, until the Astros broke through with three runs in the fifth inning, keyed by Jose Altuve's two-run, two-out single to left field. Altuve also added a solo home run leading off the eighth inning, as the Astros plated four runs in the frame, blowing the game wide open.

Altuve: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
Verlander, who fanned eight and walked one in the win, is 4-0 in the 2017 post-season. Against the Yankees, he is 2-0, allowing one run on ten hits in 16 innings, including his complete game, 2-1 victory in game two. He's struck out 21 Yankee batters over that span, including Aaron Judge four times in the two games.

Three-time AL batting champion, Altuve, is batting .405 in the post-season, with four homers and seven RBI. Since game two, Altuve had gone hitless against the Yankees before breaking out on Friday. The home run was his first in the ALCS.

Houston's win brings up game seven on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the World Series to face the Dodgers. Game time is 8:08 pm ET at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

National League

There were no National League games on Friday as the Dodgers captured the NL flag on Thursday, defeating the Cubs, four games to one in the NLCS. Los Angeles awaits their American League opponent in the World Series, which begins Tuesday, October 24.

Friday, October 20, 2017

NLCS: Dodgers Advance To World Series On Three Homers By Enrique Hernandez, Down Cubs, 11-1

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 19, 2017

National League

Hernandez: 3 HR, 7 RBI
Left fielder Enrique Hernandez socked three home runs - one a grand slam - and drove in seven runs as the Dodgers defeated the Cubs, 11-1, advancing to the World Series by taking the NL Championship, four games to one.

Hernandez belted a solo homer in the second inning, punched out his grand slam in the third, and capped off LA's coronation as NL champions with a two-run blast in the ninth.

A part-time player and pinch hitter, Hernandez only had 297 at-bats in the 2017 regular season, batting .215 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI. The 26-year-old native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, had his best single day at the plate in his three full seasons with the Dodgers.

LA captured the NL pennant for the first time since 1988 and did so with style, winning the NL West division by 11 games over Arizona. Their 104-58 record was the best in the majors and gives them home field advantage against their eventual AL opponents, either the Yankees or Astros.

In the playoffs, LA was nearly unbeatable, sweeping the Diamondbacks in three straight, by a combined score of 20-11. In the NLCS, their dominance was even more pronounced, winning four of five by a combined score of 28-8. The only Chicago win was a 3-2 victory in game four.

In the four championship series wins, Dodger pitching allowed five runs total, for an ERA of 1.25.

The World Series opens on Tuesday, October 24, in Los Angeles.

American League

There were no games in the American League on Thursday. The ALCS resumes Friday, 8:08 pm ET, in Houston with the Yankees leading the Astros three games to two. With a victory, the Yankees would advance to the World Series. If the Astros win, game seven would be Saturday, October 21, at 8:08 pm ET, in Houston.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cubs Stay Alive In NLCS As Javier Baez Socks A Pair; Gary Sanchez, Masahiro Tanaka Lead Yankees To 3-2 Edge In ALCS

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 18, 2017

American League

Tanaka: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER
Masahiro Tanaka blanked Houston for seven full innings and catcher Gary Sanchez homered and singled in four at-bats, driving in two runs as the Yankees took a 3-2 lead in the ALCS with a 5-0 whitewash of the Astros in game five.

Sanchez: 2-4, 2 RBI
After keying Tuesday's thrilling 6-4 victory, Sanchez was again at the center of the action, singling in Chase Headley in the fifth and socking a solo homer in the seventh to complete the scoring for the Yanks.

After going 0-for-11 in the first three games of the series, Sanchez raised his game, going 3-for-7 with a home run and five RBI in the last two games.

Tanaka out-dueled Houston starter Dallas Keuchel, who defeated him in game one. Keuchel was touched-up for four runs on seven hits, lasting just 4 2/3 innings. Tanaka earned his second win in three post-season starts this year, fanning eight and walking one. His ERA over 20 innings is a sparkling 0.90.

Game six is back at Houston on Friday at 8:08 pm ET. The Yankees can advance to the World Series with a win, while Houston hopes to extend the series to a game seven.

National League

Baez: 2 HRs
The LA Dodgers took their first loss of the post-season, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Cubs at wrigley Field in game four of the NLCS.

The Cubs staved off elimination with a solid pitching performance from Jake Arrieta (6 2/3, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 9 K) and solo homers from Willson Contreras and Javier Baez, who stroked two for Chicago, one in the second and another in the fifth, which turned out to be the game-winner.

After going 0-for-20 in the post-season, Baez got off the slump with a pair of long balls.

The Cubs still have their backs to the wall in game five, Thursday at 8:08 pm ET in Chicago. The Dodgers need one more win to advance to the World Series.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Yankees Storm Back With 8-1 Win On HRs by Aaron Judge, Todd Frazier

Players of the Day for Monday, October 16, 2017
Todd Frazier

American League

Down two games to none to Houston in the ALCS, the Yankees returned home to New York with a resounding 8-1 triumph in game three.
Aaron Judge

C.C. Sabathia continued his post-season exceptionalism with six shutout innings, allowing the Astros just three hits, walking four, fanning five.

Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge each stroked three-run homers, putting the game out of reach by the fourth inning.

Frazier got things started with his second-inning blast and Judge put a final stamp on the scoring in the fourth with his first homer of the series, the Yankees plating five runs in the frame.

Game four of the series is scheduled for a 5:08 pm ET start on Tuesday.

National League

There were no games in the National League on Monday.

The Dodgers and Cubs resume the best-of-seven NLCS Tuesday at Wrigley Field in Chicago at 9:00 pm ET. Los Angeles holds a two games to none lead in the series.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Justin Turner's Walk-Off Homer Sends Dodgers to 2-0 Lead Over Cubs in NLCS

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 15, 2017

National League

Turner: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI
Game two of the NLCS went the same way as the first, though in more dramatic fashion, as Justin Turner belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, breaking a 1-1 tie for a 4-1 win, putting the Dodgers up two games to none as the series heads to Chicago for games three, four, and, if necessary, five.

Turner's belt came with two down in the final frame, with Brian Duensing taking the loss, though it was John Lackey who gave up the game-winning home run. After walking Yasiel Puig to open the inning, advancing to second via sacrifice, Duensing struck out Kyle Farmer for the second out.

Lackey came in to nail down the last out and ostensibly send the game to extra innings, but he walked Chris Taylor before facing Turner, who took the second pitch he saw out of the park to center.

Turner drove in all four Dodger runs, plating Charlie Culberson in the fifth to knot the score at 1-1. Turner's post-season numbers are astronomical. This season, he's batting .429 (9-for-21) with two homers, 10 RBI and a stolen base. His career post-season numbers are even more impressive: .377, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 3 SB.

The series resumes Tuesday in Chicago, 9:00 pm ET.

American League

No games in the AL on Sunday as the Astros and Yankees headed to New York in preparation for game three of the ALCS.

The Yankees are down two games to one as they ready for game three, at home, Monday at 8:08 pm ET.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Justin Verlander, Carlos Correa Lead Astros Over Yankees; Yasiel Puig Propels Dodgers In NLCS Game One

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 14, 2017

American League

Verlander: 9 IP, 1 ER, 13 K
Justin Verlander went the distance for the Astros, as Houston forged a two games to none lead in the AL Championship Series with their second straight 2-1 victory over the visiting New York Yankees.

Verlander struck out 13 in the complete game win, touched up for the sole Yankee run in the fifth inning when Aaron Hicks and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back doubles. Hicks doubled into the left-center gap with two outs, and Frazier stroked a ground rule double to the same area, scoring Hicks. The run tied the game after Carlos Correa's solo homer in the fourth put the Astros up, 1-0.

Correa: HR, 2 RBI
Verlander allowed just five hits, winning his third game in this post-season. He's tossed 16 strikeouts in 17 innings, with a 2.04 ERA.

Correa also drove in the game-winning run, as Jose Altuve raced home from first on Correa's one-out double in the bottom of the ninth off Yankee reliever Aroldis Chapman. The 23-year-old shortstop has three homers and nine RBI in the 2017 post-season.

With the two-game lead in hand, Houston heads to New York where games three, four, and five (if necessary) will take place. Game three is Monday at 8:08 pm ET at Yankee Stadium.

National League

The Cobs and Dodgers began the National League Championship Series (NLCS) Saturday with Los Angeles taking the opener, 5-2, rallying from a 2-0 fourth-inning deficit.

Puig: HR, 2 RBI
Clayton Kershaw worked five innings as the starter for LA, but was dinged on a two-run homer by Albert Almora Jr. in the fourth. Following the fifth inning, five Dodger relievers held Chicago scoreless, while Yasiel Puig keyed the comeback with a fifth-inning RBI double and a seventh inning solo homer.

Chris Taylor also belted a solo shot in the sixth, breaking the 2-2 tie.

Puig is batting .467 (7-for-15) in the post-season, with six RBI and one home run.

Game two of the series is Sunday, 7:38 pm ET at Dodger Stadium.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Addison Russell Drives In Four Runs As Cubs Down Nationals, 9-8, Advance To NLCS

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 12, 2017

National League

Taking a big step in defending their 2016 World Series championship, the Chicago Cubs survived game five with a 9-8 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Russell: 2-for-4, 4 RBI

Cubs' shortstop Addison Russell drove in four runs on a pair of doubles to lead Chicago to the three-games-to-two series win.

Down 4-1 in the third inning, Russell grounded out with the bases loaded against Bats' starter, Gio Gonzalez. The Cubs added another run on a wild pitch, cutting Washington's lead to 4-3.

In the fifth, with Max Scherzer on the mound for the Nationals, Russell stroked the first of his two doubles, driving in Contrerras and Ben Zobrist, putting the Cubs up 5-4. Two batters later, Russell scored on a passed ball, adding to Chicago's lead. By the time the inning was over, the Cubs had plated four runs for a 7-4 advantage.

Russell doubled again in the sixth, driving home Zobrist with the eighth run.

After the Nationals scored a pair in the bottom of the sixth, the Cubs added a run in the seventh for a 9-6 score.

Washington did not go easily, putting up single runs in the bottoms of the seventh and eighth innings, but Wade Davis, who ended a threat in the seventh by striking out Rayan Zimmerman, completed a seven-out save by cutting down the side in order in the ninth, getting Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper on swinging strikes to end the game.

Los Angeles will be the host to open the championship series, with the Cubs meeting the Dodgers in game one, Saturday, at 8:08 pm ET.

American League

There were no AL games on Thursday.

The ALCS begins Friday in Houston with the Astros hosting the Yankees at 8:08 pm ET.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Stephen Strasberg, Michael Taylor Help Nationals Tie NLDS With Cubs; Didi Gregorius Powers Yankees Into ALCS

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 11, 2017

American League

Gregorius: 2 HR, 3 RBI
Almost anything can happen in a five-game series, and, for the Cleveland Indians, what happened in the ALDS with the Yankees will not be soon forgotten.

For the second time in the series, the Yankees - or, rather shortstop Didi Gregorius - got to Cleveland ace and likely Cy Young award winner, Cory Kluber, taking deciding game five by a 5-2 score.

Gregorius got the Yankees started with a solo homer in the first inning, and victimized Kluber again in the third, swatting his second home run of the game, this time with Brett Gardner camped out at first base.

Meanwhile, Yankee starter, C.C. Sabathia was mowing down Indians, retiring the first nine straight before getting bounced on four consecutive hits and two runs in the fifth. Sabathia went 4 1/3 innings, fanning nine. Kluber also had a high strikeout total, whiffing six in his 3 2/3 innings.

Gregorius singled later in the game but was left stranded. The Yankees added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth, completing the comeback from being down two games to none by winning two straight at Yankee Stadium and advancing to the league championship series with Houston by downing Cleveland at Progressive Field.

The ALCS with the Astros begins Saturday in Houston. First pitch is slated for 4:08 pm.

National League

Strasberg: 7 IP, 0 ER, 12 K
The Washington Nationals have battled back from a 2-0 deficit to even the NLDS with the Cubs at two games apiece, getting a gem from flu-stricken Stephen Strasberg and a late grand slam by Michael Taylor for a 5-0 win at Chicago.

Taylor: Grand Slam
Strasberg blanked the Cubs on three hits over seven innings, striking out 12 and walking two. His teammates were able to muster a single run in the third inning, but the capable hurler made it hold up. In the top of the eighth, the Nationals loaded the bases, setting up Taylor for the big whack, putting the game out of reach.

After Taylor's slam, Strasberg turned the ball over to reliever Ryan Madsen, who worked a scoreless eighth inning. Sean Doolittle mopped up with a perfect ninth.

Game five is scheduled for Thursday night, 8:08 pm ET. The winner will open the league championship series on Friday in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cody Bellinger Powers Dodgers To Sweep Of Arizona; George Springer Leads Houston Past Boston, 5-4

Players of the Day for Monday, October 9, 2017

American League

George Springer went 3-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a key at-bat as the Houston Astros rallied for a 5-4 win over Boston, taking the ALDS three games to one.
Springer: 3-4, Run, 1 RBI

Leading off the game with a double to deep center, Springer scored Houston's first run on a double play ball struck by Jose Altuve. The Red Sox responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, but Springer untied it with an RBI single in the second for a 2-1 lead.

The score remained the same until the fifth, when Andrew Benintendi scorched a two-run homer to right for a 3-2 Boston lead. In the eighth, Alex Bregman homered to tie the game at three, followed by a single by Evan Gattis. Cameron Maybin ran for Gattis. Springer drew a two-out walk after Maybin took second on a wild pitch. Josh Reddick drove home Maybin with Houston's fourth run, stranding Springer at third.

In the top of the eighth, Carlos Beltran's pinch hit double drove home what would prove to be the game-winner, as Rafael Devers hit an inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Springer had a sensational regular season as Houston's primary leadoff hitter, batting .283 with 34 home runs, 85 RBI and 112 runs.

The Astros will have to wait until Wednesday to see who they will play in the league championship series as the Yankees forced game five in Cleveland, taking their second straight in New York with a 7-3 win over the Indians, tying the series at two games apiece.

National League

Bellinger: HR, 2 RBI
Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but the Cubs rallied for a run in the seventh and another in the eighth for a 2-1 win over Washington and a 2-1 lead in the NLDS series.

Later in the eventing, the LA Dodgers completed the three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks with a 3-1 victory.

Cody Bellinger drove in a first-inning run on a ground out and homered off Zack Greinke in the fifth, providing all the runs Dodger starter, You Darvish, and four relievers, would need. Darvish gave up one run on two hits over five innings, fanning seven. Darvish took the win. Kenley Jansen recorded his second save of the series, allowing a hit but fanning two in a scoreless ninth inning.

Bellinger was the team leader in home runs, swatting 39 with 97 RBI. The 22-year-old is almost certain to be awarded Rookie of the Year honors.

The Dodgers await the winner of the Chicago-Washington series for the NLCS. The Nationals host the Cubs in game four on Tuesday, at 5:38 pm ET. Chicago can wrap up the series with a win.

Monday, October 9, 2017

ALDS: Hanley Ramirez, Masahiro Tanaka Fend Off Elimination For Red Sox, Yankees

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ramirez: 4-for-4, 3 RBI
American League

Like Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz," the Yankees and Red Sox have to believe "there's no place like home."

Both teams faced playoff elimination Sunday, and both came through with home wins, albeit the margin of victory for the Yankees being less than optimal.

Boston got a huge effort from Hanley Ramirez, batting sixth as the DH in Boston's 10-3 romp over the Astros. Ramirez was 4-for-4 with three RBI on three singles and a double.

The Red Sox batters banged out 15 hits after Houston took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Doug Fister, Boston's starter, lasted only 1 1/3 innings, but the Red Sox relief staff held the Astros scoreless for the final eight innings of the one-sided affair, including converted starter, David Price, who turned in four innings of shutout ball.

The series resumes Monday at Fenway Park at 1:08 pm ET. Houston leads, two games to one.

Tanaka: 7 Scoreless
Throughout the regular season, Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka had his share of ups and downs, going 13-12 with a 4.14 ERA, but his post-season performance in game three of the ALDS was exactly what the Yankees needed.

New York rode Tanaka's arm to a 1-0 victory over the Indians, staving off elimination in the best-of-five series.

Tanaka out-lasted Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco, putting down seven scoreless innings on three hits and a walk, striking out seven. Carrasco lasted 5 2/3, but did not allow any runs either. Former Yankee, Andrew Miller, gave up a seventh inning solo home to Greg Bird, which turned out to be the only run of the game.

Yankee relievers finished what Tanaka started. David Robertson got one out but walked a batter in the top of the eighth, bringing on Aroldis Chapman, who endured for a five-out save.

Game four of the series, with Cleveland holding a 2-1 game advantage, is scheduled for Monday, 7:08 pm ET.

National League

There were no games in the National League on Sunday. On Monday, the Cubs host the Nationals at 4:08 pm ET, and the Diamondbacks host the Dodgers at 10:08 ET. The Cubs and Bats are tied one game apiece, while the Dodgers hold a 2-0 edge over Arizona in the best-of-five series.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

NLDS: Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper HRs Power Nationals' Comeback Win Over Cubs

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 7, 2017

National League

The two most prominent features of baseball this season have been home runs and strikeouts, so it may be fitting that in Saturday's game two of the NLDS between the Cubs and Nationals, all of the runs were scored via the long ball, including the tying and winning runs.
Harper: 2-run HR

Washington rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Cubs, 6-3, evening the series at a game apiece.

Jon Lester, the Chicago starter, put in a strong performance, limiting the Nats to one run on just two hits over six innings, but, the Cubs' relief staff could not hold the lead as the game entered the latter stages.

In the eighth, Bryce Harper tied the game at 3-3 with a two-run homer to right and later in the same inning, Ryan Zimmerman belted the game-changing three-run shot into the left field stands.

Zimmerman: 3-run HR
The victimized relievers were Carl Edwards, Jr., who allowed two hits, a walk and was credited with giving up three earned runs, retiring only one batter in the inning. Mike Montgomery came on with one out and allowed two more hits, including Zimmerman's blast.

Harper, who missed half of August and almost all of September due to injury, still managed a solid season, batting .319 with 29 homers and 87 RBI. Zimmerman, who has played all 13 years of his major league career with the Nationals, is almost a no-doubter for NL Comeback Player of the Year, swatting 36 home runs and driving in 108 runs with a .303 batting average during the regular season. In 2016, he hit .218 with 15 HRs and 46 RBI.

The teams get a day off Sunday, resuming the series Monday in Chicago.

Los Angeles took a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five divisional series with an 8-5 victory over the visiting Diamondbacks.

Yasiel Puigled the Dodgers, going 3-for-4, driving in a pair of runs. Logan Forsythe was 3-for-5, scoring three times with an RBI.

The series shifts to Arizona on Monday. First pitch is slated for 7:08 pm ET.

American League

There were no games in the American League on Saturday, but Sunday's games are do-or-die for the two teams from the AL East, Boston and New York. Both the Red sox and Yankees are down two-games-to-none and face elimination as they return to their home fields.

Boston hosts the Astros at 2:38 pm ET in game three. Brad Peacock starts for the Astros. Doug Fister goes to the mound for Boston. The Yankees welcome the Cleveland Indians to Yankee Stadium at 7:38 pm ET. Masahiro Tanaka will try to keep the Yankee hopes alive, facing Cleveland hurler, Carlos Carrasco.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Francisco Lindor's Grand Slam Leads Cleveland Comeback; Justin Turner Drives In 5 As Dodgers Take Game 1

Players of the Day for Friday, October 6, 2017

American League

Houston took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five ALDS with their second straight 8-2 win over Boston. Carlos Correa socked a two run homer off Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz and plated two more with a seventh inning double.

Jose Altuve, who belted three home runs in the first game, went 2-for-3 and is batting .714 in the series.

In Cleveland, the Indians rallied from an 8-3 fifth inning deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in 13 inning, 9-8, taking a two-games-to-none lead in their best-of-five series.

Lindor: Grand Slam
The Yankees mostly built their lead off ace starter, Cory Kluber, who lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits, including a two-run homer by Gary Sanchez in the first innings and an Aaron Hicks three run belt in the third.

Starlin Castro drove in another run in the four-run third. Greg Bird ripped a two-run home run down the left field line to increase the lead to 8-3 in the fifth.

The large lead did the Yankees no good. Francisco Lindor delivered a grand slam in the sixth inning to cut the lead to one run, and Jay Bruce tied the game with a solo shot over the high left field wall in the eighth.

Neither team could muster another run until the 13th inning, when Dean Betances opened the inning by walking Austin Jackson, who promptly stole second. The next batter, Yan Gomes, singled home the game-winner. Game finished 2-for-5, including a key double in the sixth, which kept Cleveland's inning alive for Lindor's eventual slam.

Lindor's home run was his first and only hit of the series, but by no means a fluke. A dangerous hitter, Lindor had 33 home runs and 89 RBI during the regular season.

The series shifts to New York on Sunday, with the Yankees facing elimination in game three, as do the Red Sox in their series with Houston. New York hosts Cleveland Sunday at 7:38 pm ET. Earlier, the Red Sox host the Astros at 2:38 in legendary Fenway Park.

National League

Justin Turner got the Dodgers' post-season started off with a blast, specifically, a three-run, first-inning home run off Arizona starter, Taijuan Walker, who lasted just one inning, giving up four runs. The Dodgers piled on for a 9-5 victory in game one of the NLDS.

Turner: 3-5, HR, 5 RBI
Turner also singled home another run in the fourth inning and completed the Dodgers' scoring with an RBI single in the ninth, totaling five RBI in a 3-for-5 effort. One of the best hitters in the majors, Turner batted .322 during the regular season, tied for second in the NL with Washington's Daniel Murphy. The home run was the third in post-season play for Turner. In 60 post-season at-bats, Turner is batting .383 with three homers and 17 RBI, suggesting that the 32-year-old infielder may possibly be the new "Mr. October."

Clayton Kershaw took the win for LA, holding the Diamondbacks to one run over the first five innings, but giving up three solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings before hitting the shower. J.D. Martinez touched one off in the sixth. Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis went back-to-back in the seventh, ending Kershaw's night.

LA has a 1-0 lead in the series, which continues Saturday in Los Angeles at 9:08 pm ET.

In the other NLDS, Chicago's Kyle Hendricks held the Washington Nationals scoreless on two hits over seven innings as the Cubs took game one, 3-0. Hendricks squared off with Stephen Strasberg, both pitchers putting zeroes on the scoreboard until the Cubs broke through for two runs in the sixth.

Washington hosts the Cubs in game two, Saturday, at 5:38 pm ET.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Jose Altuve Pops Three Homers As Houston Downs Boston, 8-2; Cleveland Tops Yankees, 4-0

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 5, 2017

American League

Jose Altuve belted three solo home runs in the opening game of the AL divisional series, leading the Houston Astros to an 8-2 thrashing of the Boston Red Sox.

Altuve: 3-4, 3 HR, 3 RBI
Altuve's three dingers came in the first, the fifth and the seventh inning, as the Astros outclassed and outscored their visiting rivals from the AL East. Two of Altuve's blasts were off Boston starter, Chris Sale, who was outdeuled by a re-energized Justin Verlander, traded late in the season from Detroit to the Astros.

Sale went five innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. Verlander gave up six hits over six innings, allowing single runs in the second and fourth. Four Houston relievers mopped up over the final three innings.

Altuve, who led the majors with a .346 batting average, is one of the leading candidates for league MVP. His performance on Thursday will likely sway a few votes in his direction.

Game two of the best-of-five series is scheduled for a 2:05 pm ET start, Friday in Houston.

In the other AL division series, Cleveland took a 1-0 lead on the visiting Yankees with a 4-0 victory. Trevor Bauer blanked the Yanks on two hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight. Jay Bruce doubled and scored in the second inning, socked a two-run homer in the fourth and drove in his third run of the game with a fifth-inning sac fly.

The Yankees will try to even the score with the reigning AL champs on Friday in game two. Game time is 5:00 pm at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

National League

There were no games in the National League. The divisional series begin Friday.

Washington hosts Chicago at 7:30 pm ET. The Dodgers host Arizona at 10:30 pm ET.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Paul Goldschmidt Sets Tone As Diamondbacks Win Wild Card, 11-8, Over Colorado

Players of the Day for Wednesday, October 4, 2017

National League

Arizona advanced to the NLDS with an 11-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Goldschmidt: 3-run HR
The game included 30 hits - 17 by the Diamondbacks - four home runs and a record four triples by Arizona. Colorado never led, as Arizona starter, Zack Greinke, kept the Rockies off the board for the initial three innings as his teammates built a 6-0 lead. That would change in the fourth, when the Rockies posted four runs and chased Greinke to the bullpen.

Paul Goldschmidt got the run parade started with a three-run homer in the first after David Peralta and Ketel Marte each singled to start the game. In the second, Peralta singled again, this time driven home by Marte's triple to the right-center gap. Arizona tacked on two more in the third on Daniel Descalso's home run with Jake Lamb on base.

The Rockies chipped away in the latter innings, but Arizona responded with two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth. 14 pitchers appeared in the slug-fest. Obviously, none of them fared particularly well. Oddly enough, Andrew Chafin took the win, getting just one out, inducing a fly ball to center from Charlie Blackmon in the fourth with two out and a man aboard.

After a day off Thursday, the Diamondbacks open the best-of-five NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday at 10:30 pm ET.

The Nationals host the Cubs earlier in the day, their best-of-five series starting at 7:30 pm ET.

American League

There were no AL games on Wednesday. The ALDS best-of-five series between the Yankees and Indians begins on Thursday at 7:30 pm ET.

Boston opens their NLDS at Houston Thursday. Game time is slated for a 4:08 pm ET start.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Aaron Judge Leads Yankees Over Twins, 8-4, In Wild Card Game

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 3, 2017

American League

As expected, the New York Yankees took the single-elimination wild card game over the Minnesota Twins, 8-4, but the manner in which they did so was hardly predictable.

Judge: HR, 3 R, 2 RBI
Yankee starter, Luis Severino, who went 14-6 during the regular season, lasted just 1/3 of an inning, giving up three runs to the Twins in the top of the first before Chad Green came in to stop the bleeding.

Severino gave up a leadoff homer to Bring Dozier and a two-run belt from Eddie Rosario for three Minnesota runs and was pulled after a single by Eduardo Escobar and a Max Kepler double put runners on second and third. Green fanned the next two batters to end the threat.

In the bottom of the first, the Yankees roared right back. Aaron Judge singled to put Brett Gardner on third after he had walked, and Didi Gregorius socked a three-run homer to tie the game.

While Yankee relievers held the Twins to just one more run for the duration of the game, the Yankees put up single runs in the second and third, two in the fifth, and another run in the seventh.

Judge, who is certain to be the AL Rookie of the Year and quite possibly the league MVP, rocked Jose Berrios with a two-run homer in the fourth, putting the Yankees ahead, 7-4, at the time. He also walked to lead off the seventh inning and scored when Aaron Hicks drew a bases-loaded walk, completing the scoring. Judge finished 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBI.

The Yankees leave their home in the Bronx and head to Cleveland, getting a couple of days off in the meantime. They open the ALDS against the Indians on Thursday, October 5. Game time is 7:30 pm ET.

National League

There were no games in the National League on Tuesday. Wednesday night, Arizona hosts Colorado in the wild card game, scheduled to begin at 8:00 pm ET.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Aaron Wilkerson Stops Cards For Brewers; Josh Tomlin Secures Top AL Spot For Indians

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 1, 2017

American League

Tomlin Stops White Sox
With only two games of consequence in the AL on the final day of the season, Houston scored four runs in the seventh inning to top Boston, 4-3, and Josh Tomlin limited the White Sox to one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings, securing the best record in the American League as the Indians defeated Chicago, 3-1.

Tomlin, 10-9, struck out six and didn't issue any walks in Cleveland's 102nd win of the season. The Indians finished at 102-60, 17 games better than second place Minnesota in the AL Central division. Houston led the AL West with a record of 101-61, with a 21-game advantage over the Angels in second.

The match-ups for the post season in the AL are:

Tuesday, October 3: (Wild Card) Minnesota Twins at NY Yankees, 8:00 pm ET
Thursday, October 5, (ALDS) Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros, 4:00 pm ET
Thursday, October 5, (ALDS) Wild Card at Cleveland Indians, 7:30 pm ET

The Yankees and Twin play a single elimination game for the wild card, advancing to the ALDS vs. Cleveland, best of five.

Wilkerson: 1st MLB Win
National League

With no games of any meaning in terms of the post-season, the top performer of the day was Milwaukee Brewers call-up, pitcher Aaron Wilkerson, who stopped the Cardinals dead in their tracks over seven innings in a 6-1 Brewers' victory at St. Louis.

Wilkerson, 28, notched his first major league victory, holding the Cardinals to one run on two hits, the only run coming of the bat of Randall Grichuk, who socked a solo homer in the seventh. Wilkerson didn't walk anyone and fanned five, throwing 86 pitches, 56 for strikes. The right-hander spent the majority of the 2017 season in AA with the Biloxi Shuckers of the Southern League, where he was 11-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 24 starts.

The Brewers ended the regular season in second place in the NL Central, six games behind the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals finished nine games out in third.

Post-season NL Schedule:

Wednesday, October 4: (Wild Card) Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:00 pm ET
Friday, October 6: (NLDS) Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals, 7:30 pm ET
Friday, October 6: (NLDS) Wild Card at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:30 pm ET

The wild card game is single-elimination, one game; the NLDS series are best-of-five.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Drew Pomeranz Stifles Astros, Boston Takes AL East; Kyle Schwarber Leads Cubs Past Reds

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 30, 2017

American League

Pomeranz: Wins clincher
Drew Pomeranz held Houston scoreless through six innings while his Boston teammates piled up the runs, as the Red Sox clinched the AL East crown with a 6-3 victory over the Astros.

Leaving the game after allowing a single to Jose Altuve leading off Houston's seventh inning, Pomeranz allowed three hits and one earned run, as Altuve eventually came around to score as the Astros plated two in the seventh, but, the Red Sox already had established a 5-0 lead and added another run in the bottom of the seventh on Rookie Betts' solo home run.

Pomeranz (17-6) walked two and struck out three in his last start of the regular season.

The win left Boston two games in front of the Yankees in the division, as New York took a 2-1 decision from Toronto in the Bronx. With just one game left in the regular season, the Yankees could no longer catch the Red Sox, who will open the ALDS on the road, either at Cleveland or Houston, pending results from Sunday's games.

Cleveland holds a one game lead over the Astros for the best record in the league. The team with the best record will host the winner of Tuesday's wild card game, Minnesota at New York. The Indians lost, 2-1, to the White Sox on Saturday.

National League

Schwarber: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI
On a day in which only two games had impact, there were an assortment of fresh faces on National League diamonds, along with some which will be recognizable in the upcoming playoffs.

One of those players heading into the post-season is Kyle Schwarber, who socked his 30th home run of the season as the Cubs hammered the Reds at Wrigley Field, 9-0.

Jon Lester threw five scoreless innings, improving to 13-8 for the season, allowing four hits and striking out seven without any walks. Schwarber led a 10-hit Chicago attack, going 2-for-4 with four RBI, including his two-run homer in the second inning which got the Chicago hit parade started.

He also singled in two more runs in the third inning, putting an early mark on the Cubs' second-last game of the regular season.

Schwarber is a hit-or-miss kind of player with immense power. He's batting .211 on the year, with 59 RBI, but 150 strikeouts.

In the games that mattered, St. Louis scored three runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Brewers, 7-6, ending all hope for Milwaukee in their pursuit of the wild card. Colorado took the second wild card spot while losing to the Dodgers, 5-3, but their record is two games up on the Brewers, clinching the final playoff spot on the next-to-last day of the season.

The Rockies play a single elimination game at Arizona on Wednesday, October 4.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Alex Bregman Provides All RBI In Houston Win; Trevor Story Powers Colorado Over Dodgers

Players of the Day for Friday, September 29, 2017

American League

Bregman: HR, 3 RBI
With the regular season coming to a close on Sunday, the Astros and Indians know they must keep winning if they hope to have the best record in the American League.

Entering Friday's games, the Indians had a one-game edge in that department and took care of business by swatting the White Sox, 10-1. Houston faced a more arduous task, playing at Boston, where the Red Sox are still embroiled in a pennant race with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. Houston, thanks to third baseman, Alex Bregman, was up to it, topping the Red Sox 3-2 at Fenway Park, as Bregman drove in all three Houston runs.

While a parade of five Houston hurlers were limiting the Red Sox to five hits and two earned runs, Bregman was going 3-for-4, with a single, double, home run, and, as mentioned, all three RBI.

Bregman got the Astros on the board in the third inning, singling home the first run of the game.He put the Astros up, 3-0, with a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the fifth inning and the Houston bullpen managed to hold on for the win, leaving the Astros exactly where they were a day before, one game behind the Indians in the overall AL standings.

Bregman has had an excellent season, batting .287, with 19 homers and 71 RBI.

Houston will go for their third straight win over the Red Sox on Saturday, in game three of their four-game series, starting at 1:05 pm ET.

National League

Story: 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
The Colorado Rockies reduced their magic number for clinching the second wild card to one with a 9-1 romp over the visiting Dodgers, highlighted by four homers at high-altitude Coors Field.

Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon got things going early for the Rockies, each swatting their 37th home run of the year. Arenado's came in the first with the bases empty. Blackmon's was a second-inning, two-run variety as the Rockies built a 5-0 lead in the first two innings of Dodger starter, Hyun Jin Ryu.

The hitting star was Trevor Story, who went 3-for-4, with a single, triple, and a two-run, fourth inning home run that essentially put the game away. Story has 24 home runs and 82 RBI on the year.

With Milwaukee dogging the Rockies the past month, Colorado has done just enough to stay ahead of the Brewers down the stretch. Since September 7, they are 12-8, while the Brewers have gone 12-7, keeping on the pressure.

Colorado has to win just one more game or Milwaukee lose one to clinch the wild card spot and play the single elimination game at Arizona on Wednesday, October 4. They host the Dodgers Saturday at 8:10 pm ET and Sunday at 3:10 pm ET. Milwaukee plays Saturday and Sunday in St. Louis.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Giancarlo Stanton Belts 2 HR In Miami Win; Carlos Correa, Houston Bomb Boston, 12-2

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 28, 2017

American League
Correa lashes Red Sox

In what very well could be a preview of the ALDS, Houston smashed Boston, 12-2, in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.

The Astros trail Cleveland by one game in the race for the league's best record. The team with the best mark in the regular season has home field advantage throughout the playoffs and will face the wild card team in the opening round of the playoffs. As it stands, Houston would host Boston in a best of five divisional series, so the spanking taken by the Red Sox should prove a warning to the Boston faithful.

With the Yankees losing to the Rays, 9-6, Boston's magic number was reduced to one, the Yankees missing a golden opportunity to close the gap on the Red Sox, who lead the AL East by three games. With three games remaining, a Boston win or a Yankee loss would secure the division title.

Carlos Correa led the Astros' 17-hit assault on seven Boston pitchers with four of his own, scoring three times and driving in three with a pair of singles, a double and a two-run homer - his 24th - in four at-bats.

Correa, who was the 2015 Rookie of the Year and an all star in 2017, is batting .315 with 84 RBI.

Boston hosts Houston Friday at 7:10 pm ET in game two of their season-ending series.

National League

Stanton: 59 HR, 129 RBI
Back home in Miami, Giancarlo Stanton was back in his best groove, swatting a pair of home runs in the Marlins' 7-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Stanton, chasing Babe Ruth and Roger Maris, has already surpassed all non-steroid-era National Leaguers in the category of most home runs in a single season. His homers on Thursday were his 58th and 59th.

Stanton socked a solo shot in the fourth and followed up with a two-run dinger in the eighth inning. He also singled and scored three times. His total of 129 RBI has him tied with Colorado's Nolan Arenado for the National League and major league lead. Nelson Cruz leads the AL with 117.

Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs for the Yankees in 1927, a record that lasted 34 years, until another Yankee, Roger Maris broke the record with 61 in 1961. It is worth noting when Ruth set the mark, the regular season consisted of 154 games. When Maris did it, teams played 162.

Stanton will have three more chances to hit even more baseballs into the far reaches of Marlins Stadium. Miami hosts the Braves for the final three games of the season. Friday's game is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.