It’s do-or-die for the hard-luck Cubbies, who find themselves down 0-3 to Daniel Murphy in the NLCS. Murphy last night homered for the fifth consecutive playoff game, and thus far in the series against the Cubs, has scored 4 runs, driven in 4 RBI and hit 3 homers. The Cubs – all of them – have scored 5 runs.
Cubs starter Jason Hammel was great at Wrigley in 2014, after coming over in a midseason trade, going 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA, but 2015 has been a very different story, as he’s 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA. Manager Joe Maddon had Hammel on a short leash in his previous start, Game 4 of the NLDS, pulling him following a leadoff walk in the fourth,... Read More
Mets second basemen Daniel Murphy homered for the fourth game in a row this postseason, leading his team to a 4-1 victory and 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven National League Championship Series against the Cubbies.
And so the Cubs find themselves in an 0-2 hole despite having sent their two best pitchers, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, to the hill in the first two games of the series, and now must turn the ball over to the perfectly cromulent Kyle Hendricks. In his previous playoff start, against St. Louis, Hendricks gave up just 4 hits and no walks while striking out 7—trouble was, it was over 4 2/3 innings, and three of the hits were homers. That said, the Cubs hung on to win,... Read More
Game 2 of the NLCS finds the Cubbies in a 1-0 hole, after the Mets won 4-2 behind a brilliant outing by Matt Harvey and more heroics from Daniel Murphy, who hit a home run in his third consecutive postseason game.
Sunday’s game features a rematch between Cubs ace Jake Arrieta and Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard, who faced each other on May 12, with Chicago coming out on top 6-1.
After spinning a 21-start run for the ages, Arrieta came crashing back to Earth in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Cardinals, giving up 4 runs in 5 ⅔ innings, but St. Louis couldn’t capitalize, as the Cubs went on to win, 8-6. Despite his humanity being confirmed, Arrieta is still the best... Read More
Do-or-Die time has come to the National League Division Series, as both the Cubs and Mets are on the brink of heading to the LCS, while the Cardinals and Dodgers teeter on the brink of 9 AM tee times.
Cardinals at Cubs (4:37pm ET Tuesday, TBS) Cubs ace Jake Arrieta’s reign of terror finally came to end on Monday, as he gave up 4 runs in 5 ⅔ innings, but the Cards failed to take advantage, surrendering 6 home runs in an 8-6 loss to go down 2 games to 1 in this best-of-five series.
And so, with their season on the line, the Cardinals send John Lackey to the hill on three days' rest. Lackey was brilliant in his Game 1 start,... Read More
Dodgers at Mets (8:37pm ET, TBS) The Dodgers on Saturday rode Chase Utley’s dirty slide right through second base, Ruben Tejada’s right fibula and onto a 5-2 victory to even their series against the Mets at one game apiece.
Brett Anderson, who takes the ball for the Dodgers on Monday, was the very model of average in 2015, with a 10-9 record, 3.68 ERA, 1.3 WHiP and 2.52 SO/W ratio. Anderson has never in his career faced the Mets, but Curtis Granderson has a 1.128 in 13 plate appearances against him, and he’s held Michael Cuddyer to 1 hit in 12 at bats.
Celebrity pitcher Matt Harvey will get the start for the Mets, and will no doubt be tasked with avenging Tejada’s... Read More
Cubs at Cardinals (6:30pm ET Friday, TBS) Fresh off defeating the Pirates with another masterpiece from Jake Arrieta in the Wild Card game, the Cubs now have to quickly pivot and face the St. Louis Cardinals in a best-of-five series.
The Cards made the race for the NL Central more interesting than it should’ve been, losing 8 of their last 11 games. Much of that downturn has been attributed to the loss of catcher and team leader Yadier Molina, who hasn’t played since tearing a ligament in his thumb on September 20. Molina has decided to try to return wearing a splint, which should give the Cards a huge emotional boost; whether he’ll be able to hit and catch remains to be seen.
Some will look at tonight’s Cubs vs. Pirates game and grumble, with some justification, that the Wild Card system needs a tweak. The teams with the second- and third-best records in baseball are meeting in a one-game playoff, while lesser teams like the Mets and Rangers get a few extra days to rest and line up their rotations. Maybe it is time to do away with divisions and just seed the teams in each league.
But in the meantime, would you look at this pitching match-up?
At the age of 24, Gerrit Cole has established himself as the Pirates’ ace, and one of the best pitchers in the NL, finishing in the top ten in wins, ERA, WHiP, innings and strikeouts. And Cole was lights-out against the Cubs this year,... Read More
With just over two weeks left in the 2015 Major League Baseball season, the playoff picture is largely settled, except where it’s not, and where it’s not, OH MAN is it not.
The intrigue begins in the AL East, where the Toronto Blue Jays hold a slim 3.5 game lead over the New York Yankees. A series sweep for the Yankees, whose recent surge includes taking two of three from the first-place Mets in last weekend’s interleague series, would put them back at the top of the division, and a sweep for the Jays would likely put the division out of reach for the Bombers.
There are four MLB games on Sling TV this weekm and all four of them have playoff implications.
There’s no tighter divisional race in baseball right now than the AL West, where the Houston Astros hold a slim 1.5 game lead over their intrastate rival Texas Rangers. With less than a month to go in the regular season, that’s close enough to make the Astros nervous even if the two teams weren’t scheduled to meet seven more times in 2015, but they are, including Tuesday’s game at 8pm ET on ESPN.
The Rangers are surging, coming off a 12-4 spanking of the Oakland A’s Sunday, where offensive leader... Read More