Friday, October 7, 2016

Sports: MLB (NLDS)

The National League has put forth amazing teams from each division and a Wild Card team that has proven experience in the postseason. Each series should be highly competitive and the winner of the NLCS could potentially be the World Series champion. With the team that has the best record in baseball and pitchers that can shutout entire teams for entire games, there should pitching duels and home runs. 

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West while the Washington National won the NL East. Both had records behind the top team so they face each other and not the Wild Card. The Dodgers are the team that I'm picking for this series.
Game 1: Clayton Kershaw started for LA while Max Scherzer for the DC, two aces facing off. Corey Seager (SS) started the scoring off with a home run in the 1st. Chase Utley (2B) singled in another run in the 3rd. Justin Turner homered in the 3rd to put the Dodgers up 4-0. The Nationals battled back with a rally in the bottom of the 3rd for two runs. Treat Turner hit a sacrifice fly in the 4th to make it a 4-3 game.  The Nationals offense was not enough to win the first game and the Dodger go up 1-0 in the series. 
Game 2: Delayed a day due to rain, the Nationals brought Tanner Roark to the mound to start against Rich Hill for the Dodgers. LA struck first when Corey Seager hit a homerun in the first. Josh Reddick (RF) singled in a run at the top of the 3rd to put LA up by 2. Jose Lobaton (C) hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth and Washington took the lead. With two Daniel Murphy (2B) RBI singles, the Nationals kept the lead and tie the series at one game with a 5-2 win. 
Game 3: Kenta Maeda began on the mound for the Dodgers Gio Gonzalez started for the Nationals. Corey Seager doubled and drove in Justin Turner (3B) in the bottom of the 1st to take an early 1-0 lead for the Dodgers. In the top of the 3rd, Jayson Werth (LF) tied the game with an RBI double to kick off a rally for the Nationals with a single from Bryce Harper (RF) and a two-run home run from Anthony Rendon (3B). Carlos Ruiz (PH) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 5th but the Dodgers are still behind 3-4. In the of the 9th inning, the Nationals rally to extend their lead led by Jayson Werth's home run, Ryan Zimmerman's two-run double, and Chris Heisey sacrifice fly. The Nationals won the game 8-3 and lead the series 2-1. 
Game 4: The Nationals started early when Daniel Murphy (2B) singled in the top of the 1st off of Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers took the lead back in the bottom of the 1st when Adrian Gonzales hit a two-run home run. The National battled back with Daniel Murphy's sacrifice fly in the 3rd but the Dodgers rallied in the bottom of the 3rd to make it 4-2 with a Justin Turner single and Joc Pederson being hit by a pitch. Pederson doubled in the 5th to put LA up 5-2. The National tied it up in the top of the 7th when Jayson Werth got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Daniel Murphy singled again to drive in two runs. The Dodgers took the lead back for the final time in the bottom of the 8th with a Chase Utley single to win the fourth game 6-5. The series is tied 2-2.
Game 5: Max Scherzer of Washington pitches against Rich Hill of Los Angeles in a win-or-go-home scenario. The Nationals scored first when Danny Espinosa (SS) singled on a line drive so that Daniel Murphy (2B) could reach home in the bottom of the 2nd. The Dodgers finally tied it up in the 7th inning when Joc Pederson (CF) homered. The fireworks continued in the 7th as the Dodgers rallied with a Carlos Ruiz pinch-hit single and a Justin Turner (3B) triple to put Los Angeles up 4-1. The National struck back with a Chris Helsey two-run home run to center field. The 4-3 score remained and in the bottom of the 9th with two runners on, the Dodgers bring out their ace Clayton Kershaw for the final two outs. He flies out Daniel Murphy and strikes out the rookie Wilmer Difo. The Dodgers move on to the NLCS.

San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are having a historically season and the Giants are having a historically decade. These two teams clash for a chance at the World Series. San Francisco has been here before but Chicago has momentum and a strong fanbase to back them up. Anything can happen and while I think the Cubs probably will win, I'm rooting for the Giants. 
Game 1: A pitching duel took place between Jon Lester of the Cubs and Johnny Cueto of the Giants and it came down to the bottom of the 8th as the shutout was broken when Javier Baez (2B) hit a solo home run. The Cubs take game one. 
Game 2: Jeff Samardzija started pitching for the Giants while Kyle Hendrick started for the Cubs. The Cubs struck first with a one-run single in the first by Ben Zobrist (LF), then a single from the pitcher in the 2nd put them up 3-0. Kris Bryant (3B) has another to end the 2n up 4-0. The Giants struck back with Gregor Blanco's (C, PH) double driving in one run. Brandon Belt (1B) sacrificed flown in another run in the 3rd. Travis Wood (P) hit a homer in the bottom of the 4th so the Cubs led 5-2. The scored held for the rest of the game and Cubs go up two games to none. 
Game 3: The ace Madison Bumgarner was coming off a long scoreless streak when he started pitching this game for the San Francisco Giants against Jake Arrieta pitching for the Cubs. Arrieta was not only pitching great but hit a three-run home run in the top of the 2nd. Buster Posey (C) singled in a run in the bottom of the 3rd and Brandon Belt (1B) hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 5th to take the score to Cubs 3, Giants 2. The Giants took the lead in the bottom of the 8th off a Conor Gillaspie (3B) triple and Brandon Crawford (SS) single to go up 5-3. Kris Bryant tied up the game with a home run in the top of the 9th. The game went into extra innings until Joe Panik (2B) doubled in the bottom the 13th.
Game 4: John Lackey started for the Cubs and let up a run in the 1st inning to Buster Posey who hit a sacrifice fly. Matt Moore took the mound for the Giants and let up a home run to David Ross in the top of the 3rd to tie it up. Matt Moore earned that run back himself in the bottom of the 4th and the rally continued when Denard Span (CF) grounded into a force out but Joe Panik scored. With the Giants up 3-1, David Ross (C) hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 5th to make the game 3-2. The Giants continued to stretch their lead when Conor Gillaspie singled and Joe Panik hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2. The lead held until the ninth inning. Ben Zobrist kicked off a rally and Wilson Contreras tied it up with a single. Javier Baez singled to take the lead. The Cubs won Game 4 and the series 3-1 moving on to the NLCS. 

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