Astros take a 2-0 series lead
The Red Sox were able to do what they needed to do as the lower seed in the ALDS, but the White Sox couldn’t do the same. After dropping Game One, Chicago really needed to get some momentum back on their side on Friday in Game Two. They did strike first in the top half of the first to take an early 1-0 lead, but it came with the bases full and one out, so even then it felt like a bit of a letdown. And Houston would soon take a lead of their own in the second with two more runs to make it a 2-1 game.
Chicago hopped on the single train in the fifth inning and rode it to three runs, smacking four singles in their first five batters of the inning to get two of those, and then added one more on a sacrifice fly. But again Houston answered right back when Lucas Giolito walked two of the first three batters he faced in the bottom half before Garrett Crochet came on and loaded the bases with a walk of his own. Yuli Gurriel then came up and smacked a two-run single, tying the game up at four.
It was setting up to be a thrilling finish after something of a stinker in Game One, but Houston had different ideas. In the seventh they just came out firing, starting off with three singles for the first four batters, then a two-run double from Carlos Correa and a two-run homer from Kyle Tucker. With that, it was suddenly a five-run game, and the game was just about over. Houston now holds a commanding 2-0 series lead as things head to Chicago.
Corbin Burnes leads Brewers to Game One win
The Dodgers/Giants NLDS is getting the bulk of the attention on that side of the bracket, and for good reason, but there is some damn good pitching on display in this Atlanta-Milwaukee series, and we saw it in full force in the series opener. With Charlie Morton going for Atlanta and Corbin Burnes for Milwaukee, neither offense could get anything going to start off this game. Both starters got through six scoreless innings, adding more and more pressure with each passing at bat.
Morton did come out to start the seventh as well, but in a two-strike count he hit Avisaíl García with a pitch, and then Rowdy Tellez came up and broke the scoreless tie. The former Blue Jay, who was absurdly good specifically against the Red Sox, got a 1-2 fastball over the plate and sent it out for a two-run shot. The Braves did make things interesting, getting a run in the eighth on a Joc Pederson homer and putting two on in the ninth, but they would only get as close as one run before Josh Hader shut the door and gave Milwaukee the Game One win.
Logan Webb and Giants take down the Dodgers
Easily the most anticipated series of this round is the one between the Dodgers and Giants, teams who each came in with 107 wins this season. (That includes a Wildcard Game win, which is cheating, but whatever.) The Giants have been getting by on some amazing performances from unexpected sources, and they did it again to start off this series. Logan Webb has been on a wild tear since the All-Star break, and he saved his best for this one. He ended up going 7 2⁄3 innings without allowing a run, striking out 10 without a walk in the process.
On the other side, the Giants didn’t need much against Walker Buehler and got more than enough. They struck early with a Buster Posey two-run shot in the first inning, and then got another on a Kris Bryant homer in the seventh. One more was added for good measure in the eighth, and in the end it was a series-opening win for San Francisco.