ALCS Game 2: Texas Rangers 5, Houston Astros 4
Nathan Eovaldi had another excellent playoff outing, holding the Astros to three runs on five hits and striking out nine Houston batters. Yordan Álvarez had himself a great night, blasting two homers off of Eovaldi in a singleminded effort to bring the Astros all the way back, but the Rangers offense wasn’t messing around tonight. It came out of the gates hot on Marcus Semien and Corey Seager back-to-back singles, racking up three runs before even recording an out.
Framber Valdez recovered well enough to only give up four total runs, ringing up six Rangers hitters in the process. But the damage was already done, even as the Astros began to rally back for four runs. Outside of Yordan Álvarez, only Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley had much to show for Houston. Aroldis Chapman threatened to give the game away in the eighth, but José Leclerc bailed the abuser out and the Astros will head to Arlington down two in the series.
Chas McCormick flashed some leather in center on a slick diving stop in the fourth.
Nathan Eovaldi worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, which probably saved the game all told.
And although Houston took the L today, Yordan still blasted 805 feet of homers, at an average 109 mph exit velocity.
NLCS Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 3
The Philadelphia Phillies followed Texas’ lead and scored in the first to give Zack Wheeler a two-run cushion going against a menacing Arizona lineup. Even thought the Snakes seemed to enter the NLCS with the more daunting offense, it turned out that the Phillies bats were worse menaces to Zac Gallen. Kyle Schwarber hit a moonshot on the first pitch he saw, setting the tone for the Phillies the rest of the game. Bryce Harper hit himself a Happy Birthday homer just two batters later, and Nick Castellanos went full beast mode in the second to hit his fifth home run in three games. Seriously, what is in the water in Philly?
Wheeler was lights-out once again, striking out eight and surrendering just three hits to the D-backs — including a two-run shot from Geraldo Perdomo in the sixth. Alek Thomas drove in Arizona’s third run on a sac fly in the seventh, but the Snakes ultimately fell flat. Both bullpens were effective tonight, giving up one hit each, with old Sox pal Craig Kimbrel earning the save.
Schwarber and Harper blasted these home runs in the bottom of the first — it was clear Schwarber’s was gone off the bat.
Christian Walker had a clutch pick at first to complete a double play and stop the bleeding with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third.
Ketel Marte flashed hot hands at second to get out of the eighth.
Bonus Content: Adolis García cartwheel mid at-bat.