Tuesday night’s MLB playoff schedule featured both leagues’ championship series matchups. The American League Championship Series opened for three games in Houston with the series tied at 1-1, and the National League Championship Series continued with Milwaukee looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Red Sox 8, Astros 2
W: Eovaldi; L: Smith
Player of the Game: Jackie Bradley Jr. (1-4, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR – grand slam)
Red Sox Lead Series 2-1
The Red Sox took an early lead to back SP Nathan Eovaldi, but the game remained close until the 8th inning, when the Sawx scored 5 runs off Astros RP Roberto Osuna to break the game open. Eovaldi allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 6.0 IP with 2 BB and 4 SO to earn the victory.
In the top of the 1st, DH J.D. Martinez hit an RBI double to plate OF Mookie Betts for Boston’s first run. INF Xander Bogaerts followed up with a groundout that brought in OF Andrew Benintendi. Houston answered back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single by OF Marwin Gonzalez to score INF José Altuve. In the bottom of the 5th, the Astros tied the game on an RBI double by OF Alex Bregman driving in Altuve.
Boston retook the lead in the top of the 6th on a solo shot by INF Steve Pearce. In the top of the 8th, with Astros acquisition and alleged domestic abuser Roberto Osuna on the mound, the Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs on a hit by pitch of PH/INF Brock Holt determined following a review. Osuna then hit PH Mitch Moreland to force in a run. The next hitter, OF Jackie Bradley Jr., hit a grand slam to drive in INF Rafael Devers, Holt and PR/C Sandy Leon. After taking a commanding lead, the Red Sox went on to win the game and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Dodgers 2, Brewers 1
W: Urías; L: Guerra
Player of the Game: Manny Machado (1-6, 1 R – game winning run, heel turn)
Series Tied 2-2
The Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers played an extra-innings nailbiter in NLCS Game 4 in Los Angeles. The Brewers came into the game with a 2-1 series lead. Milwaukee SP Gio González worked just 1.0 IP due to an ankle injury suffered in the 2nd inning when trying to field a ground ball. His LA counterpart Rich Hill worked 5.0 IP, allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 3 BB and 6 SO.
LA took an early lead in the bottom of the 1st inning on an RBI single by INF Brian Dozier scoring OF Chris Taylor. Milwaukee tied the game in the top of the 5th on a double by PH Domingo Santana to plate INF Orlando Arcía. The game remained deadlocked thereafter in an extra-innings marathon bullpen battle.
Tempers flared in the bottom of the 10th inning when INF Manny Machado hit a ground ball to short, fielded and thrown to first base by Arcía to record the out. While running over the base, Machado clipped the back leg of Milwaukee INF Jesús Aguilar and appeared to kick him with the top of his foot. The two players engaged in a conversation. When it became more intense, Dodgers first base coach George Lombard intervened to separate Machado, which caused the benches to clear. This incident appeared to complete Machado’s heel turn as MLB’s new favorite villain, as sports pundits and ex-players took to Twitter to voice their criticism.
Come on Machado, don’t do this. pic.twitter.com/xyx37Zncip
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) October 17, 2018
Things are getting chippy in Los Angeles 👀 pic.twitter.com/7qlzhbVs9F
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) October 17, 2018
However, when Machado reached base on a 1-out single in the bottom of the 13th, he spoke to Aguilar while at first base and the two appeared to resolve their differences (peacemaking credited to Aguilar in the tweet below), sharing a hug.
— Broderick Zerpa (@Beisbologo) October 17, 2018
With 2 outs in the inning, a wild pitch by RP Junior Guerra allowed Machado to advance to second base, and OF Cody Bellinger singled to score Machado, ending the game. The victory allowed the Dodgers to tie the series at 2 games apiece with one home game remaining before returning to Milwaukee to complete the series.
Wednesday night will also feature two games. The Brewers will face the Dodgers for NLCS Game 5 starting at 5:05 PM ET. Probable starters: Wade Miley (MIL) – 2.57 ERA; Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – 2.73 ERA. The Red Sox will play the Astros in the prime-time matchup starting at 8:39 PM ET. Probable starters: Rick Porcello (BOS) – 4.28 ERA; Charlie Morton (HOU) – 3.13 ERA.
I grew up a Cubs fan in Northwest Illinois and became an avid follower of the team during the Sosa-McGwire home run chase. Now I am the #1 Cubs fan in Toronto, Canada. You can find me on Twitter @Troll_Hamels (personal) and @farnorthsider (blog).