Monday marked the last time this season that four Major League Baseball games will take place on a single day. And much to the delight of everyone who spent all afternoon, evening and night on the couch watching, all four games lived up to the hype one way or another.
But if you didn’t catch all the games, it’s all right; we’ve got you covered. Let’s recap a truly wild day of baseball.
Astros – 5, Red Sox -4
The Astros became the first team to advance to the League Championship Series with a thrilling, back-and-forth win over the Red Sox in Game 4 of their ALDS series.
This game was crazy from start to finish. Boston manager John Farrell got ejected in the second inning while defending the furious Dustin Pedroia following a bases-loaded strikeout. Shortly thereafter, the Red Sox made the surprising decision to use ace Chris Sale in relief. The Astros then made the even-more-surprising decision to use their ace, Justin Verlander in relief.
Verlander, acquired from Detroit in August, allowed a go-ahead two-run home run to Andrew Benintendi before settling down and carrying Houston through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Astros took the lead in the eighth thanks to an Alex Bregman home run and a Josh Reddick RBI single. Ken Giles recorded a two-out save but not before Rafael Devers had whacked an inside-the-park home run.
Inside the park homerun by Rafael Devers pic.twitter.com/8W1rnWzJxC
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) October 9, 2017
All that wackiness (We didn’t even get to Mitch Moreland being throw out at the plate by 15 feet) ended with Houston moving on to its first LCS since 2005 and Boston heading back home.
The Astros are pretty pumped about it.
LET’S GOOOO ?????? pic.twitter.com/VV86jpKO0r
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 9, 2017
Cubs – 2, Nationals – 1
For the second time this series, the Nationals held the Cubs hitless through more than five innings and lost anyway.
Max Scherzer, in fact, didn’t cede a single hit until the seventh, when Ben Zobrist doubled down the left-field line with one out. Dusty Baker immediately went to his bullpen and watched Sammy Solis, Brandon Kintzler and Oliver Perez give up three hits, a walk and two runs (one of which was credited to Scherzer) over the next inning and two thirds. Baker and the Nats lost the lead and the game without using either of their two best relievers, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. Much of the criticism Baker faces is unfair and outdated, but Monday was not a shining moment for him.
How hard is it to be a Nats fan in October? This hard:
Margin of defeat for the Nationals' past 9 postseason losses, going back to 2012 NLDS Game 5.
Nine losses by 12 total runs … oof. pic.twitter.com/bdZGwp6gdX
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 10, 2017
The Cubs would not have won without a sterling performance from midseason acquisition Jose Quintana, who allowed only one (unearned) run over 5 2/3 innings. Pedro Stop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis finished off the Nationals without much drama to put Chicago up 2-1 in this series.
Yankees – 7, Indians – 3
This was perhaps the least competitive game of the day, but that doesn’t mean it was boring. The Yankees took a 4-0 lead on RBI hits from Todd Frazier (another midseason pick-up, in case you’re noticing a trend), Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge. Cleveland cut the deficit to 5-3 in the top of the fifth, but New York padded its lead with a run apiece in the sixth and seventh, the latter score coming on a Gary Sanchez home run.
Less than a week after recording only one out in the AL wild card game, Yankees ace Luis Severino was strong Monday, throwing seven innings while allowing three runs and striking out nine. After 113 pitches, he passed the ball to the bullpen, and though Dellin Betances was erratic in a brief outing, trade-deadline pickup Tommy Kahnle retired all six batters he faced, five on strikeouts, to finish off the Tribe.
Luis Severino is PUMPED after painting the corner at 100mph pic.twitter.com/QjDBtr319Y
— Pitcher List (@ThePitcherList) October 10, 2017
The Yankees’ win ensures that we’ll get at least one Game 5 in this Division Series round. That contest, slated for Wednesday at Progressive Field, will feature CC Sabathia vs. Corey Kluber. It should be very fun.
Dodgers – 3, Diamondbacks – 1
We’ve been calling attention to all the midseason acquisitions who played key roles in their teams wins Tuesday (Verlander, Quintana, Kahnle, Frazier), but arguably no newbie had a better day Monday that Yu Darvish.
Darvish allowed one runs 0ver five innings, while allowing only two hits and no walks and striking out seven. He was pulled, perhaps prematurely, after a leadoff free pass in the sixth, but Tony Cingrani, Brandon Morrow, Kenta Maeda and Kenley Jansen finished out the win for him.
Rookie sensation Cody Bellinger was the other notable her for the Dodgers, homering to left-center field, diving for a clutch stop on a hard ground ball and pulling off an impressive over-the-railing catch on a foul pop.
What a catch by Cody Bellinger! pic.twitter.com/stkOFMm7J9
— Pitcher List (@ThePitcherList) October 10, 2017
With the win, the Dodgers pulled off the Division Series’ only sweep and earned themselves plenty of time to rest before they face either the Cubs or Nationals next week.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 10, 2017