Saturday LCS Recap: Dodgers Tie Series; Astros Take Game 1

Saturday’s MLB postseason action featured games from both leagues: Game 2 of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers; and Game 1 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.

Dodgers 4, Brewers 3

W: Báez; L: Jeffress; S: Jansen

Series Tied 1-1

Player of the Game: Justin Turner (2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR – go-ahead 2-run homer)

The Dodgers were forced to try to battle back again in order to get a win tonight to even up the series at 1-1 before heading home to Los Angeles. The surprise of the evening was that Milwaukee SP Wade Miley (5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO) went deeper into the game than LA SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 SO, 1 HR). Miley even went 2-2 on the evening with one run scored.

The game remained in a scoreless tie until the bottom of the 5th, when INF Orlando Arcía hit a solo shot, followed by a bases-loaded RBI groundout from OF Ryan Braun to plate Miley. LA RP Ryan Madson struck out INF Jesús Aguilar to end the scoring threat. In the bottom of the 6th, INF Travis Shaw hit a solo homer to make the Milwaukee lead 3-0.

LA mounted a serious scoring threat in the top of the 7th after a leadoff walk to PH/INF Max Muncy  issued by RP Corbin Burnes, which was followed up with a single by INF Manny Machado. OF Cody Bellinger then singled to score Muncy, causing Crew manager Craig Counsell to go to his best available stopper, closer Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress allowed a single to OF Joc Pederson to load the bases with no outs, but struck out OF Yasiel Puig. C Austin Barnes drew a walk to force in Machado and reduce the Dodgers’ deficit to one run. However, PH Yasmani Grandal, coming off a poor showing on Friday night, grounded into a double play to end the inning with no further damage.

In the top of the 8th, OF Chris Taylor singled to lead off the inning against Jeffress, which brought INF Justin Turner to the plate. The previous night, Turner had struck out to end the game with the tying run on 3rd base, but he came up in the clutch on Saturday, driving a two-run bomb to left to score Taylor and put his team ahead by one run.

Dodgers relievers managed to prevent any further scoring in the game, despite a close call on a fly ball to the warning track hit by Milwaukee PH Curtis Granderson. LA closer Kenley Jansen came on in the 9th to nail down the save, sealing a 4-3 victory to even up the series.

Astros 7, Red Sox 2

W: Verlander; L: Kelly

Houston Leads Series 1-0

Player of the Game: Christian Vázquez (nailed umpire Joe West on a throw to second base)

The Game 1 starting pitching matchup featured Justin Verlander for the visitors against Chris Sale for the home Red Sox, but neither man was especially sharp. Verlander ended up with the victory, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits with 4 BB and 6 SO in 6.0 IP, while Sale lasted just 4.0 IP, with 2 runs (1 earned) on 1 hit with 4 BB and 5 SO.

Astros OF George Springer opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd with a 2-run single scoring INF Carlos Correa and C Martín Maldonado. Boston tied the game with a 2-run 5th inning thanks to a bases-loaded walk by PH Mitch Moreland forcing in INF Steve Pearce and a wild pitch by Verlander to bring in OF Jackie Bradley Jr.

Houston took the lead again in the top of the 6th on a single by Correa that drove in OF Alex Bregman. They went on to break the game open in the 9th inning, scoring 4 runs on long balls by OF Josh Reddick (solo) and INF Yuli Gurriel (3-run).

The play of the game, however, took place in the top of the 8th on a stolen base attempt by Astros PR Jake Marisnick. Boston C Christian Vázquez attempted to make a throw to second base to catch Marisnick, but the throw went wide, nailing widely-reviled umpire Joe West in the upper body.

The move was appreciated by viewers all around the country, including Yankees OF Andrew McCutchen.

Sunday will be a travel day for the National League teams, so the only action will be between the American League teams. ALCS Game 2 between the Astros and Red Sox will kick off at 7:09 PM ET. Probable starters: Gerrit Cole (HOU) – 2.88 ERA; David Price (BOS) – 3.58 ERA.