2016 Division Series Coverage
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for my daily coverage of both the American League Championship Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jay and the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs!!
Here’s the deal on each Division Series after the conclusion of each day’s Division Series games**:
Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers (*the @ sign signifies the team with home field with advantage):
Game 1: Toronto 10, Texas 1 – Texas ace LHP Cole Hamels got hammered by the Blue Jays’ lineup – a lineup that is notoriously bad against left-handed pitching.
Game 2: Toronto 5, Texas 3 – Starter Yu Darvish allowed four home runs, the most he’s allowed in a single game during his entire career. Texas answered back with two homers of their own but it wasn’t enough to stop the Blue Jays from taking the series to 2-0 over the Rangers.
Game 3: Toronto 7 . Texas 6 in 10 – After a back and forth game where both teams scored in the first, third and sixth innings with the Rangers adding two in the fourth, the score was tied at six apiece for three innings. Josh Donaldson led off the bottom of the tenth with a double off of Texas reliever Matt Bush who then intentionally walked the next batter Edwin Encarnacion. Bush struck out Jose Bautista and the game was nearly over with Russell Martin grounding out to shortstop Elvis Andrus who threw to second baseman Rougned Odor to get Encarnacion but his throw to Mitch Moreland at first was low and wide. The ball got just far enough away from Moreland for reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson to scamper from third to home, beating Moreland’s throw and sending the Rangers home for the offseason.
Toronto Blue Jays advance to American League Championship Series to play the Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox @ Cleveland Indians
Game 1: Boston 4, Cleveland 5 – The Indian’s Robert Perez, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor each hit a solo shot in the third inning off of Boston starter Rick Porcello to get things started. Boston answered back with three home runs of their own from Brock Holt, Sandy Leon and rookie Andrew Benintendi, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Indians at bay in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Game 2: Boston 0 , Cleveland 6 – This recap is too easy and so you’re getting the short version. Boston starter, left-hander David Price, continued his pattern of losing in the postseason making through just 3.1 innings allowing five runs on six hits. Indians’ ace Corey Kluber, on the other hand, pitched seven solid innings allowing three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Dan Otero and Bryan Shaw closed out the game.
Game 3: Postponed due to weather, has been rescheduled for Monday at 3pm PT Boston 3, Cleveland 4 – Cleveland started off the scoring in the fourth when Rookie of the Year candidate Tyler Naquin hit a line drive single that scored both Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall. The only other scoring the Indians needed was by recently acquired veteran Coco Crisp who hit a two-run bomb in the sixth. The Red Sox did manage to score a run in the bottom of the fifth on a double by Benintendi, another run on a sacrifice fly from Big Papi in the bottom of the sixth and their final run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Hanley Ramirez. Clay Buchholz started the game for the Sox and Josh Tomlin started for the Indians. Buchholz made through four innings and Tomlin made it through five but in the end it was Crisp’s decisive blow in the sixth inning that won the game for the Indians!
Cleveland Indians advance to play the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals
Game 1: Washington 3 , Dodgers 4 – Corey Seager took Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer deep and Chase Utley and Justin Turner provided the other three runs with an RBI single and a two-run bomb both in the third inning. That was all the offense that Clayton Kershaw needed to help the Dodgers defeat the Nationals in Game 1.
Game 2: Originally scheduled for Saturday but was postponed due to weather and rescheduled for Sunday at 10am PT – Washington 5 , Dodgers 2 – The Dodgers were 1-9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday with Yasmani Grandal getting up twice with the bases loaded striking out once and grounding out into a double play in the other. Corey Seager went deep for the second time in the series but it wasn’t enough to beat the Nationals. Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill uncharacteristically hung one of his infamously hard to hit curveballs to Jose Lobaton who took him deep for three runs. Last season’s postseason superstar for the Mets, Daniel Murphy, went 3-3 with a pair of RBI.
Game 3: Nationals 8, Dodgers 3 – The Dodgers opened the scoring with an RBI single by Seager that scored Justin Turner. The Nationals answered back but not until they put together a four-run third-inning. Carlos Ruiz plated Joc Pederson for the Dodgers in the fifth inning with a two-run home run bring the score to 4-3. However, the Nationals came back to have a huge top of the ninth that began with a homer by Jayson Werth and continued with a Ryan Zimmerman double that plated both Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. The nail in the Dodger’s coffin was practically sealed when Chris Heisey‘s sacrifice fly drove in Zimmerman for a total of four runs in the ninth. National closer Mark Melancon had a 1-2-3 ninth inning shutting getting both Grandal and Pederson to fly out and Josh Reddick to ground out.
Game 4: Nationals 5, Dodgers 6 – The Dodgers struck early, knocking out Nationals’ starter Joe Ross after just 2.2 innings. Ross allowed four runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three batters. Clayton Kershaw cruised through 6.2 innings. Pitching on short rest, Kershaw did allow five runs on seven hits and two walks but struck out 11, just one batter than his career postseason high of 12 strikeouts in a single game. Kershaw left the game with the score tied at five. The Dodgers added their six run in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs in the inning Joe Blanton hit Andrew Toles with a pitch putting a man on first. Andre Ethier and Utley came up next with a pair of single to plate Toles for the game winning run. Kenley Jansen closed out the ninth for the Dodgers and now both teams are headed back to Washington D.C. for the definitive Game 5.
Game 5: Nationals 3, Dodgers 4 – This game was so crazy it’s getting it’s own post. Please see next post for more information <—–Click Here!
Los Angeles Dodgers advance to face the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series
San Francisco Giants @ Chicago Cubs
Game 1: Giants 0 , Cubs 1 – Both starters the Giants’ Johnny Cueto and Cubs’ Jon Lester pitched great games but Cueto allowed a home run to Cubs’ rookie Javier Baez in the top of the eighth inning. Being the only run scored it eventually cost San Francisco the game.
Game 2: Giants 2, Cubs 5 – Giants starter Jeff Samardzija was taken out after allowing four runs in the second inning. It was the shortest outing of his career. The Giants bullpen though, actually did surprisingly well, allowing just one run through seven innings.
Game 3: Originally scheduled for Sunday but was rescheduled due to weather until Monday 10/10/16 at 6:30pm PT Giants 6, Cubs 5 in 13. Jake Arrieta hit a three-run bomb off of Madison Bumgarner, the only pitcher to ever to have that honor. Bumgarner and Arrieta didn’t factor as much into the game as many thought they would. The Giants slowly added onto their score as the game went on – a run here, a run there and three in the eighth to pull ahead to 5-3 going into the ninth inning. The Cubs scored two runs in the ninth-inning to tie the game and take it into extra innings. It took the game all the way into the bottom of the 13th-inning. Unfortunately with Brandon Crawford on base Joe Panik hit an RBI double, winning the game for the Giants and forcing a Game 4.
Game 4: Giants 5, Cubs 6 – The Giants looked as though they were going to force a Game 5, scoring a run in the first and two in the fourth off of Cubs’ starter John Lackey. Lackey lasted just four innings allowing seven hits, three runs and two walks, while striking out four. The Giants added on two more in the fifth off of reliever Justin Grimm making the score 5-2. However, a combination of relievers Travis Wood, Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman allowed just two hits throughout the remainder of the game, giving the Cubs a chance to comeback. It didn’t appear that they would, that is until the top of the ninth inning. Matt Moore pitched a great eight innings for the Giants but left the game with 120 pitches – giving way to a barrage of pitchers out of the Giants’ weak bullpen and the Cubs took advantage. With one-out in the ninth, Kris Bryant led off the comeback with a single, Anthony Rizzo walked and Ben Zobrist plated Bryant with an RBI double. Wilson Contreras then singled to center scoring both Rizzo and Zobrist making the score 5 all. With Jason Heyward on second after reaching on a bunt and advancing to second on a throwing error by Crawford, young star Javier Baez stepped up to the plate with two outs and singled plating Heyward and sending the “Even Year” Giants home (in an even year!) and the Cubs onto the National League Championship Series.
Chicago Cubs advance to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers!
*The @ sign indicates the team with home field advantage in the Division Series.
**This post will be updated daily until the conclusion of each Division Series