Max Fried helps Braves even up NLDS
We’re catching up on the whole weekend here, starting with the NLDS games played Saturday.
The Braves were not able to get off on the foot they were hoping to start this series on Friday, dropping the opener to give Milwaukee the early 1-0 series lead. The first one was a pitchers duel, with Corbin Burnes out-dueling Charlie Morton. The second one also featured great pitching, but it was Atlanta’s starter who would shine brightest. Max Friend got the ball for the Braves, and tossed six scoreless innings, only allowing a double and two singles while striking out nine.
Brandon Woodruff was solid on the other side, but three straight hits from the top of the order in the third gave them a 2-0 lead, and then a homer from Austin Riley extended the lead to three. Atlanta’s bullpen didn’t have the smoothest of rides to finish things out, with all three allowing one hit and one walk, but they combined to toss three scoreless innings to end the game. The 3-0 win evened up this series as it heads back to Atlanta on Monday.
Dodgers bounce back in a big way
The most anticipated of the Division Series was, by a large margin, Giants-Dodgers in the National League. San Francisco rode a huge start from Logan Webb to take a 1-0 lead, but the Dodgers weren’t going to stay down long. They got a huge breakout from the offense in Game Two, and a good showing from Julia Urías as well. The lefty allowed just one run over his five innings, striking out five and not walking anyone.
But it was the offense that really stood out in this game. Kevin Gausman looked solid for a lot of this start, and it was a narrow 2-1 lead for the Dodgers heading into the sixth, and this is where the game ultimately swung in a direction from which it would not stray. With three doubles and a pair of walks, they plated four runs to push their lead to five. L.A. would get two more in the eighth as well, one on a Will Smith homers, and eventually ran away with a 9-2 win. That evened up that series as well.
White Sox stay alive against Houston
After the Red Sox won their wild game on Sunday, the only baseball left for the weekend was the White Sox and Astros in Chicago, with Houston having a chance to punch their ticket to the ALCS. It was another wild game for this one, at least in the first few innings.
The White Sox were able to take an early lead, putting one run on the board in the bottom half of the first, but the Astros immediately answered back and put up three in the second, and then two more on a Kyle Tucker homer in the second. Suddenly leading 5-1, they were in control until Chicago started showing off their power in the bottom half of that third inning. Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run shot and then Leury García hit a three-run homer, and with that the White Sox found their way back in the lead.
Houston again answered back, tying the game with a run in the top of the fourth, and then all hell broke loose. Chicago put up three runs in the bottom of the inning, with some controversy for good measure. With the bases loaded, Grandal hit a ground ball to first base on which Yuli Gurriel was trying to get the force out at home. Grandal was running pretty far inside the line — whether or not it was intentional, we may never know — and the ball deflected off his shoulder, allowing the run to come in and score. Houston wanted intereference but did not get the call as the umps decided it was not intentional by Grandal.
Ultimately, this was when the White Sox pulled away. They scored three in that inning, and then three more right before the end of the game and were able to make this something of a blowout. Their 12-6 win kept them alive in these playoffs, with the Astros leading 2-1 with a chance to win it on Monday.