And now, your postseason schedule

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You may now alert your relatives that you’ll only be seeing them on a couple of days in October, because the postseason schedule was just released by Major League Baseball.  It breaks down thusly:

  • Tuesday, October 2: My mom’s 64th birthday. Just thought you should know.
  • Wednesday, October 3: Last day of regular season. It will not be as good as the last day of last year’s regular season, though I’m still not ruling out a Braves collapse;
  • Thursday, October 4: Any necessary regular season tiebreaker games, broadcast exclusively by TBS. No idea what happens if they have to go all round-robin with this thing. Maybe they’ll invent a day. Blursday or something;
  • Friday, October 5: The new one-and-done wild card games. Excitement out the yang!  Broadcast by TBS.
  • Saturday, October 6: Two of the Division Series will begin. The one with the two division champions (i.e. not the winner of the play-in games) participating.
  • Sunday, October 7: The other two Division Series begin, and the already started Division Series continue. The Division Series will run though — potentially — Friday, October 12, with Games Fives being played on the 11th and 12th. TBS will air 18 of the 20 Division Series games. MLB Network will do one telecast on Sunday, October 7 and another on Wednesday, October 10.

Note: For this year only, the Division Series begin with two home games for the lower seeds in a 2-3 format. Two road games for the better team to kick off a best of five series! Fun! Fair!  It will return to a 2-2-1 format next year with the higher seeded teams starting at home because they have time to futz with the regular season schedule more next year.

  • Saturady, October 13: The ALCS begins. Broadcast on TBS.
  • Sunday, October 14: the NLCS begins. Broadcast on FOX.
  • Monday, October 15: All of the idiot football writers will scrawl out their annual “baseball is dead because the LCS ratings were topped by the Podunk Tech vs. Exploit U. game on Saturday and some boring NFL matchup we’re all going to pretend was interesting on Sunday” columns.  Then I’ll copy and paste my usual post about why they’re wrong.
  • The potential Game Sevens of the ALCS and NLCS will be on Sunday, October 21 and Monday, October 22, respectively.
  • Wednesday, October 24Game One of the 2012 World Series!  It’s in the NL representative’s park (because this time it counts, yo!) and I’ll be there this year because I clearly have something to add to the proceedings. There will be a day off on Friday the 26th, and Game Three in the AL park will be on Saturday, October 27.
  • A Game Seven, if necessary, would be played on Thursday, November 1. That’s my dad’s 69th birthday, by the way.

Note II: Even though this could end in November, there is still ONLY ONE OCTOBER!

Note III:  The whole World Series is on FOX because God doesn’t love us and hates to see us happy.

Note IV: Her father is the district attorney!!!

Anyway, mark your calendars and stuff.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).