Baseball loses a legend
Baseball got some very sad news overnight as we learned that legendary Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson passed away at the age of 84. Gibson had been battling pancreatic cancer. One of the greatest pitchers of all time, Gibson was the type of player you hear about for generations after his playing days are over. I certainly am far too young to have seen him play — Gibson retired in 1975 — but it’s impossible to have watched baseball for any time at all without hearing about his relentless competitiveness on the mound. His 1968 season in which he finished with a 1.12 ERA (258 ERA+) is widely considered one of the very best of all time. There is a Red Sox connection here as well, as Gibson made three starts against Boston in the 1967 World Series. True to form, he tossed a full nine innings in each of them, allowing a total of three runs with 26 strikeouts and five walks. Gibson was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1981, his first year of eligibility.
Marlins advance to the NLDS
The Miami Marlins have still never lost a postseason series. Game Two of the three-game set between the Marlins and Cubs was postponed due to weather, but Miami didn’t miss a beat. Behind a great performance from rookie Sixto Sánchez, who went five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. The Miami offense had plenty of issues on its own, though, as Yu Darvish held them scoreless into the seventh. With two outs in the inning, the Marlins finally broke through. It was Garrett Cooper getting it done, smashing a solo shot to break the scoreless tie. Miami would add another run in the inning, but they only needed the one as their bullpen kept Sánchez’s shutout going. The Cubs season ended on a 2-0 loss as the Marlins advanced to the NLDS to take on the Braves, still having never lost a postseason series as a franchise.
Padres take decisive Game Three
The Padres won in a thrilling comeback on Thursday to extend their series against the Cardinals to a winner-take-all Game Three on Friday. The issue, though, was that they had burned through their pitching staff and now had an all-hands-on-deck affair with a fatigued group of arms. You wouldn’t be able to tell by their performance in this one, though, as they went pitcher by pitcher and everyone got the job done. It total, they used nine pitchers and they combined for a shutout performance. The Padres were held scoreless by Jack Flaherty into the fifth, but they would get a run there and a few more as the night went along, eventually heading out with the 4-0 victory. San Diego is now set up for a rivalry matchup in the NLDS against the Dodgers.