Monday, October 7, 2013

NLDS Recap: Pirates and Dodgers One Win from NLCS

Think back to late June of the 2013 regular season; how many of you thought this would be a headline Oct. 7? The Pirates were enjoying good fortune but had yet to establish a season in which they played well enough end to end to reach the playoffs since 1992. The Dodgers were about ready to fire manager Don Mattingly when they sat 12 games under .500 on June 21.

A lot has changed since and both teams have a chance Monday to win their respective division series matchups at home. Here is how the pivotal Game 3 went down for each club.

St. Louis Cardinals (3) at Pittsburgh Pirates (5) – Pirates lead series 2-1
  • Give props to Carlos Beltran. He hit his second homer of the series and 16th career postseason bomb, putting him ahead of Babe Ruth on the all-time list.
  • Francisco Liriano did exactly what he needed – pitch the Bucs toward the late innings with a chance to win it. Liriano went six innings allowing two runs and just five base runners while striking out five.
  • Andrew McCutchen has reached base eight times in 13 plate appearances.
  • 11 of the 13 Pirates’ RBIs in the series have been driven in by Marlon Byrd (3), Pedro Alvarez (4) and Russell Martin (4)
Game 4 Probables
Cardinals – Michael Wacha (4-1 2.78 ERA)
Pirates – Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26 ERA)

Atlanta Braves (6) at Los Angeles Dodgers (13)
  • Neither rookie looked good in this one – Hyun-Jin Ryu was removed for a pinch-hitter after three innings of four-run ball. Julio Teheran was worse lasting just 2.2 innings, giving up six runs.
  • Great work by reliever Chris Capuano – 3 IP, 0 hits, 3 BB and 0 runs. He stopped the bleeding and allowed the Dodgers to go wild on offense.
  • Hanley Ramirez has a 1.802 OPS in the series (I know it is a small sample, but I love looking at it) and Yasiel Puig continues to set the table and deliver runs in all sorts of ways.
  • Second baseman Mark Ellis is having himself a series too - .500/.636/.750
  • There were rumblings that the Dodgers may ask Game 1 winner Clayton Kershaw to go on three days’ rest to put a dagger in the Braves season. We’ll see…
Game 4 Probables
Braves – Freddy Garcia (4-7, 4.37 ERA)
Dodgers – Ricky Nolasco (13-11, 3.70 ERA)

Both American League Division Series pick back up Monday as well as the scenes shift to Detroit and Tampa.

Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers – Series tied 1-1

Game 3 Probables
Athletics – Jarrod Parker (12-8, 3.97 ERA)
Tigers – Anibal Sanchez (14-8, 2.57 ERA & 202 Ks)

The Tigers were 51-30 at home while the A’s went 44-37 on the road this season.

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays – Red Sox lead series 2-0

Probables
Red Sox - Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA).
Rays - Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76 ERA regular season; 1-0, 0.00 ERA this postseason)

Rays were 51-30 at home while the Red Sox went 44-37 on the road.

Another four-game schedule today for baseball junkies! Enjoy the games!

NLDS logo courtesy of sportslogos.net

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