The league divisional series wrapped up day two of action, which saw all eight teams in action. The favorite took home the W in the two ALDS matchups, while the NLDS saw things even up as they head to the site of the underdog for Sunday’s Game 3 matchups.
Justin Verlander did Justin Verlander things in leading the Astros to victory. Tyler Glasnow matched Verlander in zeros on the scoreboard through the first four innings, but things went south in the fifth. Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to stake Verlander to a 2-0 lead. Verlander gave up one hit and three walks over seven innings and by the time the Rays offense got going, it was too late. Houston takes a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 will feature Blake Snell starting for the Rays and Gerrit Cole starting for Houston.
The Braves bounced back with a dominant performance from Mike Foltynewicz and cruised to victory to even the series 1-1. Foltynewicz went seven innings and gave up three hits while striking out seven. Josh Donaldson put the Braves up 1-0 with an RBI single in the first, and Adam Duvall added insurance in the seventh inning with a pinch-hit home run. Jack Flaherty gave up four runs in all of September but three runs in this one was too much.
The series heads to St. Louis for Game 3 on Sunday. Mike Soroka will take the mound for the Braves, while Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals.
The Yankees rolled to victory in Game 1 of this series, putting up seven runs in the fifth through seventh innings en route to 10-4 victory over the Twins. This marked the Twins 14th consecutive playoff defeat, with 11 of them coming at the hands of the Yankees.
The Twins jumped on Yankees starter James Paxton early, taking a 2-0 lead in the third. However, the Bronx Bombers responded in the bottom of the third with three runs on an Edwin Encarnacio double, and then an error by C.J. Cron. The Twins tied it and worked to keep some kind of pace heading into the bottom of the sixth, but the Yankees put it away with five runs over two innings. Eight walks by Twins pitchers did not help matters.
Game 2 will feature Masahiro Tanaka starting for the Yankees and Randy Dobnak starting for the Twins.
Stephen Strasburg came to play on Friday and was able to help the Nationals even their series with the top-seeded Dodgers. Strasburg took a perfect game into the fifth inning and finished with six innings of three-hit, one run ball, all while striking out ten. Max Scherzer made a surprise appearance in the eighth and struck out the side on 14 pitches.
The Nationals jumped on Clayton Kershaw early, with three runs in the first two innings. Kershaw settled down, but LA struggled to get back into it. LA did make it interesting in the ninth. Trailing 4-2, Justin Turner led off the inning with a double off Daniel Hudson. After A.J. Pollock and Cody Bellinger were retired, the Nationals elected to intentionally walk Max Muncy as the potential game-tying runner. Will Smith drew a walk to load the bases, before Corey Seager struck out swinging after fouling off four straight pitches.
The series heads back to Washington, D.C. for Game 3 with the Nationals uncertain of their starting pitcher. Scherzer is expected to start, but given his one inning of relief, they’ll want to see how’s feeling. The Dodgers will send out Hyun-Jin Ryu.