By Eric Charbonnet @ECHARB10
The baseball playoffs are well underway and there’s been plenty of heartbreak for fans across the nation and jubilation for those in Chicago.
There have been pitchers duels, big time long balls and tears of every sort. The Wild Card Games set the stage for what will be an intense playoffs and this past two weeks has only been a taste of what to come.
Two American League East teams squared off in the Wild Card playoff game and The Orioles and Blue Jays did all they could to provide drama. A three run homer in the bottom of the eleventh inning from Edwin Encarnacion lifted The Jays into the American League Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers provided little resistance to the high – powered Blue Jays bats. The series started with a bang, or perhaps a bust if you’re a Rangers fan, with The Jays scoring ten runs, seven of which coming in the first four innings of the game.
The next two games, however, were much closer as The Rangers battled only to lose five to three and then seven to six respectively, ending their World Series aspirations.
The other AL Divisional Series between the Red Sox and Indians was one to watch as well.
There was a lot to be said about the series before the first pitch was ever even thrown. The vaunted Red Sox offense, led by David Ortiz in his final campaign, were poised to take on Terry Francona and his strong armed staff of heat dealers in what was sure to be a fireworks show.
That wasn’t the case.
After losing a close one in the first game five to four, The Sox were hoping to rebound against the former Cy Young Award Winner Corey Kluber but all dreams of that were dashed when they were shut out six to nothing.
With game three postponed, the added time before game three didn’t seam to help The Sox as they lost another close one four to three at home in Fenway.
Tito Francona, who led the team to two World Series rings in ’04 and ’07 had gone back home and stolen the hopes and dreams of the Sox faithful hoping for a deep playoff run in Papi’s final season.
He walked around the field, teary eyed and with his cap in the air while the crowd roared in reverence and love for one of Boston’s most beloved sports heroes which is full of impressive names.
While the American League drama was unfolding, the National League was doing it’s part as well to stir the emotions of loyal fans across the country.
The Giant’s did battle with The Mets in The Big Apple and won the right to advance in incredible fashion with a home run off the bat of Connor Gillespie in the top of the ninth inning would prove to be all The Giants would need to win and move on.
The Cubs, unfortunately for so many in the area, were ready and waiting.
After rattling off two wins in a row, one of which behind nineteen-game winner John Lester, the Cubbies primed for a sweep.
But a return to San Francisco wouldn’t be so easy as The Giants fought to a six to five win in an important game three that lasted a wild thirteen innings.
The Giants ran out of steam though, losing their first elimination game in an awful long time with a score of six to five at home in front of thousands of heart broken Gigantes fans.
In regards as to who the Cubs will be playing, that’s still to be decided in a pivotal game five to be played between The Dodgers and Nationals.
Clayton Kershaw did Kershaw things in the first game and secured a win for his team over Max Scherzer and The Nats. The feel good feeling wouldn’t last though as The Nationals were able to rattle off two straight wins five to two and then a whopping eight to three.
People who thought the momentum created by such an offensive output would be long lasting would be wrong though seeing how The Dodgers were able to rally and win a possible elimination game six to five.
Whichever team wins what is sure to be an incredible game, will again have the Cubbies (baseball’s best regular season team) waiting for them.
Strap in and buckle up as these early series have shown what a roller coaster the month of October can be and its only going to get better as series get longer and the teams vying for the grand prize get closer by ninety feet closer.