Extra wild card teams! One game playoffs! Optimized TV schedules! These are all so, so awesome! Except for if it, you know, rains or something. Jayson Stark breaks down the potential chaos:
So let’s just say the Cardinals and Dodgers do indeed finish tied for that second wild-card spot. And let’s just say the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the tiebreaker game to nail down that spot.
Under the current schedule, the Cardinals would theoretically have to play Wednesday night in St. Louis, Thursday night in Los Angeles and Friday sometime-or-other in Atlanta. Well, guess what? That ain’t happening.
It’s not, Stark explains, because the union and the league agreed back in March to not let that happen. So Stark goes over the alternatives. And they all stink.
You reap what you sow, MLB. You wanted to cram in the expanded playoffs without having a regular season schedule that can reasonably accommodate them and that’s what you get.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.