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After viewing the highlights tonight, I must say that Kluber made a mistake to pitch low and inside twice to Didi Gregorius. Still, credit to him for hitting those two home runs. Brett Gardner's at-bat in the 9th inning was the game-breaker, but his previous long at-bat against Andrew Miller also contributed to Miller's pitch-count and helped his team. Yes, it's disappointing for Cleveland fans that they aren't contesting the ALCS.

I concur, from a historical perspective, there would be many fans wanting a Dodgers-Yankees World Series this year, the first since 1981.

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I've never liked anything about Texas as much as I like the Astros right now.

Hoping the Tribe gets it done this season. We were so close last year.

The Yankees will be lucky to be in 4th place in the AL East The Houston Astro's will win the AL west.  The Mariners might compete for a wild card spot, I see them finishing closer to .500 thoug

Again I believe Cleveland over pitched their starters for the second straight year.

Tonight the Cubs will use everything they have to throw at the Nationals.  I think Hendricks and then Quintana then possibly Lackey since he is fresh.  Maddon needs to get Happ in the game for more than a pinch hit role. Leave Zobrist in.  Don't let Schwarber touch a bat.

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57 minutes ago, CrankYanker said:

Don't let Schwarber touch a bat.

What happened to Schwarber? I thought he had bounced back after his demotion to Iowa.

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Just now, Nekhyludov said:

What happened to Schwarber? I thought he had bounced back after his demotion to Iowa.

In the one game he did play he had 4 plate appearances with 3 Ks and a walk.  Plus not to mention he had two errors in the outfield. 

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On 10/10/2017 at 8:26 AM, wabashcr said:

There have long been rumors in baseball circles that both Chapman and Yasiel Puig ratted out innocent people when they were caught trying to defect.  They basically (allegedly) made deals with the government to feed them names of people involved in defecting, in exchange for being allowed to continue to play for the national team.  Supposedly they sold out close friends and family members.  Regardless of whether or not any of it is true, I gather a lot of people in Cuba believe it.  

I was never comfortable with Chapman as a Cub last year.  I obviously wanted him to perform well, but there were more than enough questions about his character to keep from trusting him.  They definitely needed a hammer at the back of the bullpen, and he got the job done.  Even after blowing the save in Game 7, which can be attributed at least in part to how Maddon used him, he came back out and pitched a 1-2-3 9th.  So, credit where it's due.  But he never felt like anything more than a mercenary.  I'm glad the Cubs didn't make an effort to re-sign him.  I'm much happier they ended up with Davis.  

I respect that point if view very much.  It's a lot more honest than pretending he's a good guy.  It's a tough spot as a fan, we watch sports for an escape from reality.  

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Fun way to end a great series last night.  More heartbreak for the Nats.  I can certainly empathize.  Cubs have used all four starters at some point in the last two days.  Quintana threw the fewest amount of pitches, so it will probably either be him or Lackey in game 1 in LA tomorrow night.  Sure felt like whichever team ended up winning last night would have to empty the clip, and will be at a huge disadvantage in the NLCS.  Vegas opened the series at Cubs +140 Dodgers -170.  Seems about right, maybe a bit kind to the Cubbies.

Thought Maddon panicked by putting Davis in with 2 down in the 7th, just like he did with Chapman last year.  I'm sure Joe knows his guys and what they're capable of better than anyone, but asking Davis for a 7 out save was preposterous.  Eventually one of these moves will backfire in a way that his players can't bail him out, and I'm sure he'll own it.

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If you are a Nationals fan, you must wonder why such gifted players consistently under-perform in the postseason. For the Nationals have won 95 games 4 times in the regular season in the last six years, yet they haven't won a postseason series in that time. That 5th inning was quite incredible, and Cubs fans, I'm sorry, you are going to have to will your team to play better than that against the Dodgers in the NLCS.

Consider the following article on the 5th innings yesterday...

For the moment, let’s just look at the fifth inning. And not even the whole fifth inning. Just the top half of the fifth inning. With two runs already in, two outs and Addison Russell on second base, four Cubs reached base safely against Max Scherzer, in this order:

1. Manager Dusty Baker ordered an intentional walk of Jason Heyward, who had a .121 average in 58 at-bats over the past two postseasons as he stepped to the plate.

2. Javier Baez swung and missed at Strike 3, but catcher Matt Wieters missed the ball and it went to the backstop. Baez was going to easily reach first safely, but Wieters threw anyway. Wild. Russell scored, Heyward raced to third and Baez wound up on second base.

3. Tommy La Stella swung and pulled a ball foul down the first-base line. Harmless, right? Wrong. Wieters reached too far out to receive the pitch, and La Stella’s bat made contact. Catcher’s interference, which means La Stella was awarded first base, loading the bases.

4. Scherzer — on in relief of starter Gio Gonzalez — hit Jon Jay in the ankle with a pitch, forcing in Heyward.

That’s … an incredible series of unfortunate events for Scherzer and his Nationals.

An intentional walk of an inept hitter, a strikeout/passed ball, a catcher’s interference/E2 and a hit-by-pitch from the guy who will probably be this year’s NL Cy Young winner.

Little league coaches don’t have to write down that combination in their scorebooks, but it happened to the Nationals on Thursday, in a win-or-go-home game in the MLB playoffs. They are going home.

I have an assignment for you. Next time you see a Nationals fan, give that person a hug.

The Nationals have four seasons of 95 or more wins in the past six years, and they still have yet to win a postseason series since the franchise moved from Montreal after the 2004 season.

This loss hurts just as much as any, if not more. They led 4-1 at a point in the game that had been forgotten by the time Jayson Werth completely missed a catchable line drive off Russell’s bat in the sixth inning. That mistake allowed Ben Zobrist to score all the way from first, Chicago’s ninth run of the game.

In the first four games of this series, the Cubs had scored eight runs, total. They eclipsed that number by the sixth inning of one of the most important games in Nationals franchise history.

Which makes this one of the most heartbreaking losses in Nationals history, and that’s saying something.

Source: https://au.sports.yahoo.com/a/37457454/mlb-playoffs-bizarre-sequence-leads-to-another-postseason-heartbreak-for-nationals/

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I want to see my beloved Yankees crush Los Angeles in the World Serious.

 

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2. Javier Baez swung and missed at Strike 3, but catcher Matt Wieters missed the ball and it went to the backstop. Baez was going to easily reach first safely, but Wieters threw anyway. Wild. Russell scored, Heyward raced to third and Baez wound up on second base.



To make matters worse, Javy swung through and hit Wieters, which should have been a dead ball, strike 3, inning over. Wieters knew it, but the umpires blew it. From twitter:
6c80a7e695b4b8bc1015da24464d2ec5.jpg
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I'm officially a Houston fan now, because of the sole reason that Justin Verlander is on the team now.  It pains me that he was never able to get a ring in Detroit. But, he will get it this year in Houston.  

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10 hours ago, wabashcr said:

 


To make matters worse, Javy swung through and hit Wieters, which should have been a dead ball, strike 3, inning over. Wieters knew it, but the umpires blew it. From twitter:
6c80a7e695b4b8bc1015da24464d2ec5.jpg

You've convinced me. So what we are saying is that even the Umpires were guilty of Little League errors in the heat of the moment! :P

What an exciting way to start the ALCS in Houston. Houston won both games 2-1. Incidentally, they won both of their first two games against Boston 8-2 in their AL Division series. I wonder if that has been done before? (I.e. Winning two postseason series games with the identical score).

I thought Justin Verlander was brilliant today, pitching 9 innings and 122 pitches, 5 hits and allowing 1 run. I think the Yankees have played outstandingly well too, it's just that Houston have seemed to grab those 'special' moments when they've rarely been on offer. I very much look forward to Game 3 in New York.

In the meantime, let's see if the Dodgers can continue their incredible form in 2017 or whether the Cubs can continue to win big games in the postseason, like they've done in 2016 and this year.

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Well, the Dodgers have shown what it takes to win in the postseason...patience! They waited on Quintana in Game 1 and in Game 2, Justin Turner's 3-run homer walk-off came in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs. With both the ALCS and NLCS seeing Los Angeles and Houston 2-0 respectively, I'm interested to see whether New York and/or Chicago can come back.

 

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Well those who doubted Aaron Judge's postseason so far need know longer doubt, his 2 great catches and 3-run home run, together with C.C. Sabathia's six scoreless innings were standout performances in New York's 8-1  rout of Houston in Game 3 of the ALCS. The Yankees proved tonight that they are a hard team to beat at home in 2017!

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What a great turnaround in Game 4 today. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were able to combine to erase a 4-run deficit and turn it into a 6-4 win. The ALCS is now tied 2-2. Can the Yankees continue their dominance at home this postseason (they are yet to lose at home), or can Houston stem the tide in Game 5?

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Can't say it's too surprising to see LA dominate this postseason so far.  They really don't seem to have any weaknesses.  Excellent starting pitching, great bullpen with the hammer at the end, solid defensively, and timely hitting.  They were always going to be a tough out.  It was pretty evident during the divisional series that the Cubs and Nats were both flawed in ways that would likely prove fatal against LA.  I'd like to see the Cubbies pick up a game or two to save face, but I'm afraid the series is a fait accompli at this point.  

At least the ALCS is intriguing.  And the WS should be good, too.  I still like Houston to beat NY, just because they need two wins, and get to throw Keuchel and Verlander again.  It's never as easy for a starter the second time out in a series, but with as dominant as they were in the first two games, I'd feel pretty good about their chances.  Definitely can't afford to lose either of their starts.  Would have to think NY would be favored in a game 7.

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You bring up sound points @wabashcr. Los Angeles has been undefeated in the postseason so far. Perhaps Arrieta can pull up a game tonight against Wood, who hasn't pitched since September 26th and therefore hasn't featured in the postseason thus far, although his regular season stats (16-3, 2.72 ERA) were phenomenal. I guess I'd like to see Arrieta pitch into the sixth innings and make quality outs, something that hasn't happened against the Dodgers thus far in the postseason (i.e. no starter has gone six innings and made outs against the Dodgers so far). At the very least, even though I know it's a cliche, but the Cubs have to take this one game at a time from hereon in. Only the 2004 Red Sox have come back from 3-0 down in a 7-game series.

The Yankees-Astros series is a different matter altogether because Game 5 is so crucial to the final outcome. Whoever wins this game tonight statistically is favoured to win the ALCS. I feel that if the Astros are meant to compete in the World Series, then they simply have to be the first team to beat the Yankees on the road this postseason. If the Yankees win Game 5, I would favour them to progress to the Fall Classic.

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Cubbies stayed alive.  If they can find a way to beat Kershaw tonight, obviously the series will be interesting again.  I still think it's way too much to ask, and I expect LA to close it out tonight.  Although I've been wrong about nearly every single prediction I've made this year.  So there's that.

I think Houston blew their chance to win this series.  Even if they get a good outing from Verlander and win game 6, it's tough to feel good about their chances in a game 7.  Although as noted above, my predictions have been abysmal lately.

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For such a quality player, Kershaw has a surprisingly poor postseason record. Who knows? Maybe the Cubs can get on top early and with some quality starting pitching they can try to close out Game 5 with their bullpen. I think that would have to be thr strategy, although pitching closer Wade Davis for near on 50 pitches in Game 4 is a concern.

That 5th inning was crucial in the Yankees-Astros game. Astros had two men on with two out and struckout. That for me was the turning point. Again, Game 6 is infamous in baseball history, I hope we have another one on Friday night.

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