North of the border, the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays were marathon men. When the dust finally settled at the end of the 14th inning, the Rangers were able to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Blue Jays by winning 6-4. The Blue Jays had a chance to close it out in the late innings, however Mike Napoli tied the game at four with an RBI single. The game would remain even despite the fact that the Blue Jays came close to hitting multiple home runs, and then Rangers infielder Rougned Odor was involved in the most controversial play of the postseason so far. Odor rounded second base with two outs, and then attempted to get back in before the tag (he was called safe). However it looked on replay that he was tagged out by Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The safe call was upheld on the field, and then the next hitter, Hanser Alberto would drive Odor home with a single. Texas would tack on one more run to make it 6-4, which would be the final score.
The Kansas City Royals rallied to defeat the Houston Astros 5-4, knotting up their series at one. Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus added a pair of extra base hits to his postseason total (2B, HR), not to mention George Springer drove in two runners with an RBI single. Those hits would help the Astors get off to a 4-1 lead, which they would not be able to hold. With the score 4-2 Houston in the 6th inning, Eric Hosmer drove home Lorenzo Cain to cut the Astros lead to one. Then with the bases loaded, a Salvador Perez walk drove in Eric Hosmer to tie the score. In the 7th inning, the Royals would take the lead for good. Ben Zobrist came through with a big hit, driving home Alcides Escobar which would end up being the winning run. This win was huge for the Royals, considering the fact that they didn’t want to go on the road trailing Houston 0-2.
In a series involving rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals were able to take a 1-0 series lead versus the Chicago Cubs with a 4-0 win. Cardinals starter John Lackey was sparkling, as he went 7.1 innings while only allowing three base runners. Jon Lester was strong for the Cubs, however he gave up a run in the first, not to mention a solo shot in the 8th to Tommy Pham (charged with Carpenter’s run). After Matt Carpenter reached for the Cardinals, Lester was pulled in favor of Pedro Strop. Strop then proceeded to give up a home run to Stephen Piscotty, extending the Cardinals lead to 4-0. Trevor Rosenthal was able to prevent the Cubs from scoring in the 9th, however he did allow two base runners.
Both the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers sent their aces to the mound, and neither disappointed. However, it would be Jacob deGrom who would walk away with the win, as the Mets took game one 3-1. Clayton Kershaw lost another postseason game, however he pitched well for the Dodgers. Kershaw went 6.2 innings, and struck out 11 in the loss. However he left with two outs in the 7th inning trailing 1-0 (and the bases loaded). Reliever Pedro Baez was not able to retire David Wright. Wright singled into center on a 3-2 count scoring two men, which would end up being the difference in the game. DeGrom fanned 13 for the Mets, and did not allow a run in seven innings. The Dodgers were able to cut the lead to 3-1, but got no closer. A win today for Los Angeles is key, because going on the road down 0-2 is going to be tough for the Dodgers to win both games in New York.
Overall, this was a great day of games with great pitching performances, a comeback and an extra innings game. Some teams will be facing must-win games in the future, however this is the postseason. Just because you are down, doesn’t mean you are out.