With their closer, Jeurys Familia, in in the top of the ninth inning with the score still stuck at nothing all an unlikely hero emerged for the San Francisco Giants. Infielder, and not everyday player, Conor Gillaspie launched a three run home run off of Familia.
Gillaspie was just a fill in for the night taking over for Eduardo Nunez who hasn’t played since September 25, hampered by a hamstring strain, after being acquired by the Giants just before the trade deadline. Gillaspie, originally a draft pick of the Giants turned first Chicago White Sox then Los Angeles Angels reject, re-signed with the Giants this season.
With the Mets having just three outs left, luck struck the Giants once more, as it so often has over the course of the past six seasons (well only in the “even years”), but it’s hard to believe that the law of averages is allowing for this to happen again this season especially since the Giants have likely already traveled to Chicago where they will play Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, a place where the fans have waited 108 years to see their team finally be the best.
Well, during the regular season that is. After that the playoffs, as the Oakland A’s now-vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane is quoted as saying in the Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball, are a just “f*cking luck.”
Don’t fret just yet Cubs fans, this even year could still be YOUR year! Jon Lester starts tonight for the Cubs and Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the Giants. The Giants’ hero, Gillaspie, will no longer be on the team’s postseason roster as Nunez, an all-star this season, will return to play third base.
Friday, there is a game for everyone. The Blue Jays are already leading the Rangers by two runs thanks to a shot by Troy Tulowitzki off of Rangers’ starter Yu Darvish. After defeating the Rangers by the score of 10-1 in Game 1 of the series, Toronto is looking to keep their 2-0 lead in the game and turn it into a 2-0 lead in the ALDS behind starter J.A. Happ.
It was a surprising show of power and prowess by the Blue Jays who are notoriously bad at hitting left-handers like the Ranger’s Game 1 starter Cole Hamels.
The Red Sox will look to even their series with the Indians at 1:30pm PT and it might not be so easy with Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber on the mound for the Tribe. However, the Red Sox will have their own star starter, lefty David Price, to help them keep the Indians at Bay.
In Thursday’s ALDS Game 1 the Indian’s took Sox starter Rick Porcello deep three times in their eventual 5-4 win. The Red Sox answered back with two home runs of their own off of right-hander Trevor Bauer who lasted just 4.2 innings while allowing six hits and three earned runs.
The Sox and Indians will face off in Cleveland’s Progressive Field at 1:30pm PT.
Meanwhile, the National League was quiet Thursday and both division series will open Friday afternoon.
The Washington Nationals welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to start off the NLDS and it will be another battle of the aces pitting baseball’s best pitcher Clayton Kershaw against a 2016 Cy Young Award candidate in Max Scherzer. That game begins at 2:30pm PT.
The Giants, as previously, noted will travel to Wrigley Field on the north side of Chicago to face the NL Central Division Champion Cubs at 6:30pm PT.
Four games and not enough time to watch them all … which will you choose?