First up today at 1:00PM Eastern, Giants – Reds in Game 5. Matt Cain for the Giants and Mat Latos for the Reds. Winner-take-all, do-or-die, lose-and-go-home: pick your cliché. The Giants’ bats have seemingly finally awakened (12 hits in the series’ first three games, 11 in Game 4). If that holds up the Reds may be in trouble. At least they’re in Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Update: Being at home did the Reds no good as Mat Latos surrendered six runs in the fifth inning, four on a grand slam by Buster Posey, and they couldn’t come back. The Giants win 6 – 4.
Game two today is in Washington at 4:00PM Eastern, Cardinals – Nationals, Game Four of their series with the Nationals down two games to one. It’s a must-win for the DC team, and they have to get production from more players than Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond. Today’s pitchers: Kyle Lohse for the Cards and Ross Detwiler for the Nats.
Update: Ex-Dodger Jayson Werth hits a walkoff solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Nats force a Game Five tomorrow, winning 2 – 1.
Today’s third game is at Yankee Stadium, Orioles – Yankees at 7:30PM Eastern. The Orioles call on Joe Saunders to help them get past that stunning loss in twelve innings yesterday, while the Yankees pitch Phil Hughes. The Yankees lead the series two games to one, so the Os have to win to push the series to five games.
Update: Holy cow, as Harry Caray would say. The Orioles won 2 – 1 in 13 innings on a double by Machado and a subsequent double by J.J. Hardy. That forces a Game Five Friday evening at 5:00PM Eastern in the Bronx.
The final game of the day is Game Five in Oakland, Tigers – Athletics. If you use experience as a guide you’d have to go with the Tigers in this one, since they’re putting Game One starter Verlander out there again. Can the As Jarrod Parker possibly repeat his performance in Game One, when he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings? But, as Jim Leyland said last night after that improbable comeback by the As, “Yeah, well, it’s baseball,” Leyland said. “I mean, that’s why this is the greatest game of all. It looked like we were going to get it. We didn’t do it. We didn’t quite get the 27 outs. That’s part of the game.”
Amen to that.
Update: Verlander was just too good for the As. He shut them out 6 – 0 and the Tigers go on to the ALCS to face either the Orioles or the Yankees.