Only one out of four Division Series will see a Game 5 and before we get to what’s in store for all baseball fans on Thursday, let’s recap what happened in the other three MLB playoff series.
Boston closed out the ALDS with a couple of walk-off wins at home in two heavily-contested games against the Rays. However the real turning point of the series was the Game 2 victory after Tampa Bay jumped on Chris Sale for five runs in the bottom of the first.
Tanner Houck came in as the fireman and put up enough zeros to let the Red Sox come back and win the game.
The Houston Astros eliminated the White Sox with a 10-1 win on Tuesday, after the game was postponed because of the weather in Chicago on Monday.
Houston’s lineup had a historic season with a team wRC+ of 117 and ultimately that was too much to handle for the White Sox staff.
The Braves also like the Dodgers opted to go with their Game 1 starter on short rest for much of the same reasons, but under different circumstances. It was Milwaukee who faced elimination with a loss, however the prospect of getting Charlie Morton and then possibly Max Fried on normal rest on a hypothetical Game 5 was too tempting for Atlanta.
Morton, like Walker Buehler, didn’t go deep, and only got 10 outs. But with the strong showing by the pen and a go-ahead home run by Freddie Freeman off of Josh Hader in the bottom of the eighth, Atlanta advanced with a 5-4 win and now the Braves await the winner of Giants-Dodgers.
Dodgers @ Giants
This series wouldn’t feel right if it ended without the maximum number of games possible. A best-of-three probably doesn’t do it justice, so it’s only fair that the NLDS goes the full five games.
The Dodgers weren’t taking any chances on Tuesday and Dave Roberts was aggressive using Buehler on short rest, and it ultimately paid off. Although the right-hander only went 4⅓ innings, leaving with a couple of runners on and a 4-0 lead, his performance was more than sufficient to help lead LA to a win. The most important part is that instead of the uncertainty that would surround a Game 4 without Buehler, the Dodgers now get Julio Urías on full rest In a winner-take-all game.
Obviously the Giants wanted to wrap things up in four but after the team left San Francisco with the series tied 1-1, to come back home with a split in Los Angeles and the chance to advance with Logan Webb on the mound, it must feel pretty good.
NLDS Game 5: Dodgers (Julio Urías) at Giants (Logan Webb), 6:07 p.m. (TBS)
If the Dodgers win, the NLCS starts in Atlanta on Saturday. Should the Giants win, that series against the Braves opens in San Francisco.