MLB Playoffs Heating Up

American League East rivals, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays faced off on Tuesday Oct. 4 in Canada for the AL Wild Card Title. The winner would advance to play the top seeded Texas Rangers in the first round. A three-run walkoff blast by Edwin Encarnacion in the 11th inning sent the Blue Jays into the next round and set off a massive celebration throughout the country. The next day the New York Mets played host to the San Francisco Giants for a chance to play the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series. A pitchers duel between Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner was decided when injury substitute Conor Gillaspie hit a three run homer of his own in the top of the ninth inning.

American League Division Series

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers

The Blue Jays took the first two games of the series by a combined score of 15-4, then won a 10 inning battle in Toronto, scoring the winning run on a throwing error by Texas second baseman Rougned Odor. The Jays will play the Cleveland Indians for a chance to go to the World Series for the first time since 1993.

Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox

The Indians defended the home- field, taking Games 1 and 2 using timely offense and a stellar outing on the mound by 2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in Game 2. They went into Boston looking for the sweep and got just that. They ended the career of David Ortiz by scoring two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth to take the lead for good. They look to become Cleveland’s second sports team to win a championship this year after the Cavaliers.

National League Division Series

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals

Clayton Kershaw struggled in the postseason once again, going only five innings and throwing 101 pitches, but the Dodgers were able to hold on for a 5-4 over the Nationals in Game 1. The Nationals bounced back in Game 2 however, powered by a three-run shot by backup catcher Jose Lobaton and five scoreless innings from their bullpen. The Nationals went into LA and stole a game, chasing rookie starter Kenta Maeda in the third inning. LA powered back in Game 4, starting Kershaw on short rest and winning with a run in the eighth inning to force a decisive Game 5.

Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants

The team with the MLB’s best regular season record wasted no time jumping to a 2-0 series lead, winning 1-0 on Friday and 5-2 the following night. Game 1 saw Cubs starter Jon Lester toss eight scoreless innings, while the victory in Game 2 featured a rare homer by Cubs reliever Travis Wood.

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