Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sports: MLB (ALDS)

The top teams in each division of the American League and a Wild Card team will face off this October for a chance to compete in the ALCS and the World Series. The teams each have their unique qualities and weaknesses that will show in these best of five series. The teams with the best record in the regular season have home field advantage. I'll keep track of the American League Divisional Series in this post. 

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers had the best record in the major league and won the AL West by nine games. The Toronto Blue Jays survived the Wild Card series against their divisional rival, the Orioles, and hope to progress to face their other divisional rivals, the Red Sox.
Game 1: Marco Estrada was the starting pitcher for the Blue Jays and Cole Hamels started on the mound for the Rangers. The game was scoreless after the first two innings, but in the third, the Blue Jays began their domination. Their five-run third inning was topped by a bases-loaded triple hit by Troy Tulowitski. The Jays did not stop there as they scored two runs in the fourth. Added with another three-run home run exclamation by Jose Bautista and shutout pitching by Marco Estrada, the Blue Jays beat the Rangers 10-1 to go up one game to zero.
Game 2: Yu Darvish started for the Rangers and J.A. Happ for the Blue Jays. Troy Tulowitzki homered in the second inning to put Toronto up by 2 runs. Texas bounced back when Ian Desmond (CF) singled in Carlos Gomez (LF). Kevin Pillar (CF) homered off of Yu Darvish in the 5th to take Toronto up 3-1. Blue Jays continued to stretch the lead with another home runs by Ezequiel Carrera (RF) and Edwin Encarnacion (1B). The Rangers tried to come back with another Carlos Gomez sing and an Ian Desmond ground out RBI but it was not enough. The Jays won 5-3 with 2-0 game lead in the series.
Game 3: Aaron Sanchez started for Blue Jays first home game of the series in Toronto and let up a run when Carlos Beltran (DH) grounded out and Carlos Gomez scored for an early 1-0 lead for The Rangers. The Blue Jays responded with a two-run home run from Encarnacion and a line drive home run from Russell Martin (C) to put Toronto up 3-1 against Texas. Elvis Andrus homered in the top of the 3rd for Texas. Josh Donaldson (3B) hit a ground-rule double and Encarnacion lengthened the lead with a RBI single in a rally in the third to go up 5-2. Texas came back with a 4th inning home run from Rougned Odor (2B) and took the lead for the first time since the first inning with a two-run Mitch Moreland  (1B) double. A passed ball tied it up in the 6th inning at 6 runs each. In extra innings, Russell Martin singles in the bottom of the 11th and Josh Donaldson slid into home for the game-winning run. The Toronto Blue Jays win the ALDS over the Texas Rangers.

Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians 

The Cleveland Indians have not been the AL Central champion since 2007 and the Red Sox will send off one of their best players, David Ortiz in his final postseason. 

Game 1: Rick Porcello started for the Red Sox  and Trevor Bauer for the Indians. The Red Sox scored first in the first but a replay showed that third baseman Brock Holt was out at home. Another review caught another out on the Indians as they tied the game up when Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) singled and drove in Jose Ramirez. Left fielder Andrew Benintendi homered in the top of the third for Boston. The Indians responded with three solo home runs from Roberto Perez, Jason Kipnis, and Francisco Lindor as Cleveland went up 4-2. Sandy Leon homered in the fifth for the Sox, to make it 4-3 Indians. Roberto Perez scored another run in the bottom of the fifth driven in by Jason Kipnis the Indians went up 5-3. The Red Sox got one more home run from Brock Holt but could not catch the Indians. Cleveland took game 1. 
Game 2: David Price started for the Red Sox and Corey Kluber for the Indians. Brandon Guyer (LF) drove in the first run in the bottom of the 2nd with an RBI single, Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) continued the rally with a three-run home run. In the bottom of the 4th, Jason Kipnis (2B) singled in a run and Rajai Davis hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 6th. The Cleveland Indians went on to have a shutout win 6-0. The Indians are up two games to zero against the Red Sox.
Game 3: Fighting for survival, the Red Sox start Clay Buchholz while the Indian start Josh Tomlin. Tyler Naquin (CF) hit a two-run single in the top of the 4th putting Cleveland up by two. The Red Sox earned a run back with leftfielder Andrew Benintendi's double in the bottom of the fifth but Coco Crisp (LF) homered for two-run in the top of the sixth to take the Indians up 4-1. David Ortiz (DH) earned his last RBI with a sacrifice fly in the 6th. Hanley Ramirez (1B) drove in another run but it was not enough. The Indian sweep the Red Sox with a 4-3 win. 

The Cleveland Indians will play the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS.

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