Only three games in but so far the winning teams are outscoring their opponents 12-1 with two shutouts being pitched in those games.
The Nationals are winning behind strong starting pitching and an occasional key hit while the Yankees took a page from the Astros game with solid starting pitching and power offense.
And here is something for the Nationals to know and the Yankees to aim for today.
In all series with the current 2-3-2 format, those winning the first two games on the road have gone on to win 21 of 24 times (88%). pic.twitter.com/4RUtKELKBz— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 12, 2019
Nationals at Cardinals - Game 2 (Nationals lead 2-0)
I am guessing if you told the Cardinals and their fans that the Nationals would score a total of five runs in the first two games, they would have said thank you very much.
However, the three runs the Nationals scored on Saturday were enough for the 3-1 win over the Cardinals. The Nationals now lead 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
For the Nationals, right-hander Max Scherzer followed teammate Anibal Sánchez’s no-hit bid with one of his own.
#TGTNH— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 12, 2019
Big ups to Max Scherzer who just spun 6 IP of no-hit baseball before allowing a 1B to LF.#Scherzday // #STAYINTHEFIGHT pic.twitter.com/nVvygZMbn9
In Games 1 and 2 of the 2013 ALCS, Aníbal Sánchez and Max Scherzer each held the Red Sox hitless through 5 innings.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 12, 2019
They were the only pitchers in postseason history to hold the same team hitless through 5 in consecutive games.
And now, 6 years later, they've done it...again. pic.twitter.com/5QdpZouWx8
However, Scherzer was nearly matched pitch-for-pitch by Adam Wainwright.
With Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright each recording 11 strikeouts today, it is just the 3rd postseason game in MLB history in which both starters struck out 10+.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 12, 2019
2015 NLDS Game 1: Jacob deGrom and Clayton Kershaw
1944 WS Game 5: Mort Cooper and Denny Galehouse pic.twitter.com/16VsRmhoZi
But in the end, it was the Nationals continuing their strong pitching that beat the Cardinals again.
The @Nationals are the 1st NL team to give up 3 hits or fewer in consecutive #postseason games since the 2012 @Reds. pic.twitter.com/PPxVHBh1tr— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 12, 2019
And so far, this pitching strategy is working.
Updated stat: The Nationals have now recorded 165 outs in their six postseason wins. All but two of them have been recorded by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Aníbal Sánchez, Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) October 13, 2019
Yankees at Astros - Game 1 (Yankees lead 1-0)
The Yankees jumped out to take a 1-0 lead in this anticipated series with a shutout win over the Astros. The 7-0 win featured a strong start by Masahiro Tanaka and five RBI game by Gleyber Torres.
If there is one thing we know, there is Gerrit Cole and then there are the other pitchers for the Astros. And while Cole has been dominant, the Astros have won one and lost three of the other four games without him on the mound.
And because the Divisional Series against the Rays went to five games, Cole won’t be on the mound until Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Now, maybe a fully rested Justin Verlander will be mowing down Yankees today, we’ll just have to wait and see about that.
Meanwhile, Zack Greinke took his second loss this postseason and he has been giving up home runs in his recent starts in the playoffs.
Zack Greinke has allowed multiple HR in 3 straight postseason appearances, dating to 2017 NLDS Game 3 with the Diamondbacks.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 13, 2019
That's tied for the 2nd-longest such streak all-time.
The only pitcher with a longer streak: Corey Kluber, with 4 straight postseason app allowing 2+ HR
There are some differences especially when it comes to total innings pitched but still, nice company to be in.
The #postseason is the ultimate Tanaka Time. pic.twitter.com/Wj3GTXkS2B— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 13, 2019
And when you play for the Yankees, these comparisons do happen.
.@TorresGleyber joins Mickey Mantle and Tony Kubek as the only @Yankees under 23 to have multiple homers in a #postseason. pic.twitter.com/ybhZu4PKwu— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 13, 2019
Sunday’s schedule - Championship Series
5:08 p.m.: Yankees (James Paxton) @ Astros (Justin Verlander) (FS1)