October has offered up nothing but GREATNESS! In a crazy turn of events where we sit right now, the Cardinals were able to stun the Braves in the NLDS in a crazy 10 run first inning to clinch an NLCS against a hot Nationals team who took down Goliath in the Dodgers. On the other side of the league in the AL the Tampa Bay Rays took the Astros to a Game 5 after winning both games in Florida pushing back against this powerhouse team. With little hope left up for the Rays the Astros made quick work of the Wild Card team in Game 5 while the Yankees took a clean 3-0 sweep against the Twins, leaving the Yankees and Astros to face off in the AL, and the Cardinals and Nationals in the NL.
Starting in the NL, the Cardinals who had a poor time getting the offense going in the NLDS were still able to squeeze out the series after exploding in Game 5. The series though showed a lot of problem for St. Louis who struggled to have a very consistent offense. Their counterpart in Washington though was playing quite great baseball after knocking off the Dodgers in an eventful Game 5 which saw Clayton Kershaw fall yet again in the postseason. The shot in the arm which led the Nationals to a series victory was the 11th inning grand slam by Howie Kendrick that led to a 3 out bottom of the 11th and a first time NLDS victory for the Washington Nationals franchise.
In the AL, the Astros made quick work of looking for a sweep in the Rays who then showed late life in the series against starting pitchers Greinke and Verlander. After topping these two aces in Games 3 and 4, Game 5 was a short trip as the Astros got out in front early and rode the lead without looking back. Problematic for the Astros was that Verlander who in recent history has been firing on all cylinders in the postseaon has had some trouble in all but his first start, and Greinke seems to suffer from similar to his former teammate Clayton Kershew as to not pitching well in the postseason. For the Yankees though, I was worried about their pitching having trouble it has shown better life so far. Against the Twins though, it was still seemingly a game of who can out-offense-who? The Twins really dwindled in the series, and even though they brought home the AL Central Division regular season title, they showed no life in the postseason.
Now to where we are right now in the postseason, the Nationals swept the Cardinals with fantastic pitching performance from Annibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strausburg, and Patrick Corbin. This team provided plenty of offense and just as was part of the problem in the NLDS, the Cardinals only mustered 5 runs in the whole series, 4 of which came in Game 4. Howie Kendrick won MVP honors for the Nationals performance to this point in the postseason for the Nationals who now search to bring home their first World Series in Nationals franchise history.
For the Yankee’s and Astros who have played somewhat a frustrating series due to a rain postponel that forces them to no days off between Game 5 and 6 of the series now returning to Houston tonight for the final game of the series. It has been quite the series though as Gerrit Cole continues his postseason and season dominance as the number show that since May 25-27th he is 19-0 with a sub 1 ERA (this including postseason stats). So with Game 6 and the ball back in the hand of Gerrit Cole the Yankees backs are against the wall with one more loss eliminating them from contention.
There is plenty left to see shake out, and with the story of October always giving us some crazy fun and redemption to root for I can’t help but bet the Nationals have a great chance to ride a beautiful dream of a championship this October. In the most unlikeliest of turnouts, we could truly see the Wild Card team go up against the best team in both the AL and NL in the Astros, in a TRUE David vs. Goliath situation. This Nationals team has already punched their ticket to the World Series and we could see one fo the greatest pitching matchups in postseason history if the Astros close out the series against the Yankees who are trying to stay alive.
OCTOBER NEVER DISAPPOINTS!!!
In keeping up with the postseason check out MLB.com and links to these teams as they chase the Commissioner’s World Series Trophy!