The MLB postseason began with 30 days and 10 teams to determine a winner. Now a little over a week in, there are 20 days left and only four teams remaining. This process will continue until there is one definitive winner at the end of October or early November.
The postseason started on Tuesday, October 4th with the American League Wild Card play-in game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles in Toronto. Both teams competed in a hard fought battle through 11 innings only to have the Blue Jays win with a walk-off homerun by Edwin Encarnacion.
The AL Wild Card game was so great that it would be hard to top. However, it was topped the following night in the outstanding game between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants in New York. This game was a pitcher’s duel between San Francisco ace and playoff phenom, Madison Bumgarner, versus New York Met ace Noah Syndergaard.
Neither Noah Syndergaard nor Madison Bumgarner allowed a run in the game. Syndergaard pitched seven shutout innings while Bumgarner pitched all nine innings for the complete game shutout. The only runs in the ballgame came off reliever Jeurys Familia by way of a three-run homerun in the top of the ninth to provide all the runs scored in the whole game.
These two Wild Card games set the stage for the American League Division Series and the National League Division Series.
The wildcard winner, the Toronto Blue Jays, would play against the Texas Rangers in the first ALDS, and the Cleveland Indians would face the Boston Red Sox in the second ALDS. Likewise, the Chicago Cubs would face the Wild Card winner San Francisco Giants in first NLDS, and the Los Angeles Dodgers would face the Washington Nationals in the second NLDS.
The American League Division Series games would prove quite uneventful. The series is a best of five game series to determine who would be moving on to the American League Championship Series. Both the Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays have swept their opponent to move on to the Championship Series.
What is important to note is that this was David Ortiz’s, Big Papi, of the Boston Red Sox’s final year in the MLB. Therefore, he goes down 3-0 to the Indians in his final playoff series. It was a terrible way to end such a great long career.
In the National League Division Series, the Chicago Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over the Giants in the five game series. This, however, was countered by a win by the Giants in the 13th inning on Monday night versus the Cubs to stop the bleeding. The series was closed out with a win by the Cubs with a 3-1 series score.
The Nationals versus Dodgers series has been the most interesting series of the postseason. The Dodgers won the first game, the second game was postponed due to weather conditions from hurricane Matthew, then the Nationals proceeded to win the next two games giving the Nationals a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers would then go along to win the next two games to win the series ending it with a 4-3 win in a crazy game that lasted for many hours only to bring in Clayton Kershaw for the save, who threw 110 pitches the night before.
The 2016 MLB postseason has not been the most eventful postseason, but it is still extremely exciting just as October baseball always is. The final four teams are set: the Dodgers and Cubs of the National League two National League and Indians and Blue Jays of the American League. These teams will battle each other in their own best of seven series to send the best team from each league to the World Series.
“I would have liked to see the Orioles win, but now that they are out, I would probably like to see the Cubs because they haven’t won the World Series in over 100 years,” Garret Glaeser said.