Monday, October 3, 2011
Game two LDS recaps
The baseball playoffs continued today as three games were all compelling. In a best of five game series game two is so crucial as teams are trying to even the series stealing homefield or teams are trying to go up 2-0. Today saw two road teams win to steal homefield advantage while another team took care of business with a big inning to go up 2-0 in the series. One team saw a former Cy Young award winner blow a 4-0 lead. In another game the home team was down early but rallied late in the game with the go ahead man at the plate. In the third game saw a team blow a 4-1 lead only to score five runs to put the game away. In this following post I'll give a short recap of the three playoff games.
Brewers use five run sixth inning to win 9-4 over D-Backs; leads series 2-0:
The Brewers began this critical game two hoping to go up 2-0 in the series to be one game away from their first postseason series victory since 1982. The Brewers sent former Cy Young award winner Zach Greinke to the hill. In this game Greinke couldn't hang onto a 4-1 lead but the Brewers offense rallied in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good as the Diamondbacks bullpen imploaded.
The game started off terrific for the Brewers as Ryan Bruan hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the first inning off of Daniel Hudson to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. The Diamondbacks would respond in the top of the second inning with a Paul Goldschmidt homerun to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
In the third inning the Brewers would score two more runs as Prince Fielder would single in Ryan Braun with a shallow single. Richie Weeks would triple to deep centerfield scoring the slow footed Fielder from first base to give the Brewers a 4-1 lead. Chris Young of the Diamondbacks in the top of the fourth inning would go yard as the Diamondbacks pulled within 4-2.
In the fifth inning Greinke trying to hold a 4-2 lead couldn't do so. After allowing an Aaron Hill base hit he would make a mistake to all-star Justin Upton who homered to deep left field to tie the game up at 4-4. That would be Greinke's final inning as he last just five innings, allowing eight hits, four earned runs, three homeruns while striking out seven. The Brewers would change the series in the bottom half of the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Daniel Hudson retired the first batter he faced. After allowing a double to Jerry Hariston Jr. that would end Hudson's night as he was pulled for Brad Ziegler. After a walk and a balk the Brewers had first and third with one out with Jonathan Lecroy up. Lecroy had a sacrifice to Ziegler who committed a two base error scoring Hariston Jr. while allowing the Brewers to have second and third with one out while being up 5-4. After an intentional walk with the bases loaded the Brewers saw Corey Hart come up with an RBI single to give the Brewers a 6-4 lead. Nyjer Morgan would put the game away with a two-run RBI single extending the lead to 8-4. Braun would record an RBI single to give the Brewers the 9-4 lead. That is when Ziegler's day was finally over as he allowed four runs while not recording a single out. Hudson would receive the loss allowing five runs in 5.1 innings.
The Brewers were led by their offense and bullpen once again. The bullpen went four shutout innings striking out six Diamondbacks hitters. For the offense they were led by Ryan Braun who was three for four with three RBI's and two runs scored. The Diamondbacks were carried by Chris Young who was three for four with a homerun. For the Brewers they just have to win one game in the next three to win their first playoff series since 1982. For the Diamondbacks they are hoping to avoid being swept for the third time in franchise history in the postseason.
The Detroit Tigers earned the road split that they wanted as they return home hoping to finish the Yankees off in four games like they did in 2006. The Tigers received a lights out performance from Max Scherzer and fended off a late rally by the Yankees to tie the series up at 1-1.
Going up against veteran playoff pitcher Freddy Garcia the Tigers jumped on the board in the first inning. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run home run opposite field scoring Miguel Ordanez to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead which is all Scherzer would need.
In the sixth inning after Garcia had settled down the Tigers got to Garcia again. Cabrera would single scoring former Yankees top prospect Austin Jackson to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Victor Martinez would also single giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead. That was all for Garcia as he went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs, three earned while striking out seven.
Curtis Granderson finally got the Yankees on the board with a homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the lead to 4-1. In the top of the ninth Don Kelly who came in as a defensive replacement would single to shallow center scoring Brandon Inge giving the Tigers a 5-1 lead. The ball was then handed to their closer Jose Valverde who hadn't blown a save all season long.
Yankees made the ninth inning interesting as Nick Swisher led the inning off with a homer cutting the lead to 5-2. Jorge Posada would triple to deep center and then Valverde would walk Russell Martin would brought the tying run at the plate. Andrew Jones recorded a sacrifice fly scoring Posada cutting the lead to 5-3. Valverde then struck out Derek Jeter for the second out but would walk Granderson. Robinson Cano the go ahead runner at the plate who had six RBI's the previous game was the batter. Valverde got Cano to ground out to end the game as the Tigers held on.
The Tigers were led by Cabrera who was three for four with a homerun and three RBI's. Magglio Ordonez was three for three with a run scored. Scherzer went six shutout innings striking out five Yankees batters. Now the series will resume in Detroit as both aces will be taking the hill in what is now a best of three series. The Tigers recorded the split they wanted and now for the Yankees they must have at least a split or their season will end in disappointment.
Cardinals rally from 4-0 deficit to Lee to even series up:
The Cardinals who rallied just to make the postseason were asked to rally again. After blowing a 3-0 lead in game one it was the Cardinals who rallied this game. The Cardinals sent their ace Chris Carpenter on three days rest in game two. Carpenter was blown up but the bullpen kept the Cardinals in the game. After falling behind 4-0 to Cy Young award winner and postseason legend Cliff Lee the Cardinals rallied to beat the Phillies 5-4.
The game began horribly for Carpenter and the Cardinals. He loaded the bases with nobody out for Ryan Howard who had burned the Cardinals in game one. Howard then recorded a two-run RBI single to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Raul Ibanez would single scoring Hunter Pence to give the Phillies a commanding 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Phillies would tack on another run in the second inning on a Hunter Pence RBI single scoring Jimmy Rollins. With Cliff Lee on the mound the 4-0 lead seemed untouchable.
The mighty Lee would finally start to show signs of being human in October in the fourth inning. The inning would begin with a rare walk by Lee followed up by a strikeout. Lee would allow a base hit to set up first and second with one man down. Ryan Theriot doubled to right scoring Berkman while Molina advanced to third base to pull the Cardinals within 4-1. Jon Jay singles to right cutting the lead to 4-2. Lee would record another strikeout only to allow an RBI base hit to Rafael Furcal scoring Theriot but Jay was gunned out at the plate by Raul Ibanez to keep the lead at 4-3. Carpenter was lifted for a pinch hitter lasting only three innings giving up four runs striking out just two.
In the sixth inning the Cardinals would finally tie the game up on Lee. After recording two quick outs Lee would allow a double to Theriot. The game would be tied up as Jay singled in Theriot. Allen Craig would lead off the seventh inning with a triple off of Lee. Setting up Albert Pujols who singled in the go ahead run to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead. Lee would be finished going six innings, allowing 12 hits, five runs while striking out nine.
The Cardinals would hang on for the 5-4 win sending the series back to St.Louis tied up at one game apiece. The Cardinals were led by Jon Jay who was two for three with two RBI's. Pujols was two for five with an RBI while the Cardinals bullpen went six shutout innings striking out six batters. For the Phillies who were the "dream team" they have lost their homefield advantage in a game they had to feel they let go.
In conclusion, the baseball playoffs at least had some drama and we have three of the four series tied up at one game apiece which is good. Baseball needs these series to go pretty far because too many times in the past the series have been short lived. I love the baseball postseason and hopefully this week when not competing with football others will enjoy them as well. October baseball nothing beats it. We saw two road teams rally to even up the series which is what playoff baseball is all about.