MLB announces the playoff schedule

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We knew it was all going down in October. Now we know specifically when. From MLB:

Tiebreakers and Wild Card Games:

  • Sunday, September 29: Last day of the regular season
  • Monday, September 30: any tiebreakers, if necessary
  • Tuesday, October 1: National League Wild Card Game
  • Wednesday, October 2: American League League Wild Card Game

Division Series:

    • Thursday, October 3: Both National League Division Series begins
    • Friday, October 4: Both American League Division Series begin, NLDS continues
    • Wednesday, October 9: Game Five of both NLDS, if necessary
    • Thursday, October 10: Game Five of both ALDS, if necessary

League Championship Series:

    • Friday, October 11: Game one of NLCS
    • Saturday, October 12: Game one of ALCS
    • Saturday, October 19: Gave Seven of NLCS, if necessary
    • Sunday, October 20: Game Seven of ALCS, if necessary

World Series:

  • Wednesday, October 23: Game one of the World Series in the American League city
  • Saturday, October 26: Game three of the World Series in the National League city
  • Thursday, October 31: Game seven of the World Series, if necessary

As for the broadcasts:

  • Tiebreakers, if necessary: TBS
  • NL Wild Card Game: TBS
  • AL Wild Card Game: TBS
  • ALDS and NLDS: All games except two on TBS, two games on MLB Network
  • NLCS: TBS
  • ALCS: Fox
  • World Series: Fox

After that you’re on your own until spring.

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).