“Playoffs–Got to See It to Believe it”
PADRES-DODGERS…Not sure what option Manager Bob Melvin had in Game 1-in LA. Start Mike Clevinger, who had a (9.49-ERA) against the Dodgers this year, or give the ball to Sean Manaea (11.50-ERA) against LA. He did not want to use a bullpen day. End result, Clevinger got smoked early, the Dodgers had guys on base every inning early, and they had 5-extra base hits early in jumping out to a lead. The hammering just re-enforced the ideology of Dodgers superiority against San Diego. Clevinger has given up 19-runs in 16-innings vs LA this year. The Blue are (24-5) vs the Friars dating back to mid-year 2021. It’s 15-wins in 20-games this year for the Blue. The bullpen retired 14-in a row, but it was too big a hole for San Diego to climb out of. It only counts as 1-Dodgers win, and Yu Darvish will try to get San Diego back in the series on Wednesday. But against this big hitting LA batting order, easier said than done.
BRAVES-PHILLIES…Now that was a surprise, Philadelphia jumping all over Atlanta’s ace Max Fried to take home field advantage away from the 100-win Braves. It wasn’t so much Bryce Harper in the lineup as it was Nick Castellanos 2-RBI hits and his skidding diving save of a flyball in the outfield that snuffed out a Braves rally. Philadelphia did use up its bullpen but they got a critical road win.
YANKEES-CLEVELAND…An up and down New York summer, saw the Yankees with the quick start, then a siege of injuries, then a batting order that disappeared. They burned up a 10-game lead in the East, finishing just 3-games ahead of Tampa Bay. Of course the summer was all about Aaron Judge’s drive to catch and pass the home run records of Babe Ruth-Roger Maris, which he did. Anthony Rizzo, who had the hot start, crashed a two run homer and New York was off and running against a light hitting Guardians team.
SEATTLE-HOUSTON…An awful loss for a Mariners team that led 7-3. Hoston chipped away at the lead, and then got an early Christmas gift from Mariners manager Scott Servais. He pulled his closer and brought in starter Robbie Ray, who had a high ERA, and gave up an MLB leading 32-home runs this year. End result, the lefthander Ray left a fastball over the plate, and the lefthanded hitting Yordan Alvarez parked it in the upper deck in rightfield. Ray vs Alvarez, who hit .321-against lefthanders, seemed like a bad move It was. Think about this-Astros ace Justin Verlander was raked for 6-runs in 10-hits in 4-innings and Houston still won. Instead of stealing a Mariners win in Houston, the Astros got the win and momentum to make this a short series.
Playoff baseball, you have to love it.