Cardinals take 10-6 lead on Matt Carpenter’s bases-clearing double, Matt Holliday three-run homer

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In his second consecutive post-season start, Clayton Kershaw has been charged with seven-plus runs. It looked like the Dodgers were on their way to an easy win after going up 6-1 after five innings, but the Cardinals scored once in the sixth on Matt Carpenter’s solo home run and five times in the seventh, capped off by a two-out bases-clearing double from Carpenter.

The Cardinals began the seventh inning with four consecutive singles. The last of them, hit by Matt Adams, knocked in the first run of the inning. After Pete Kozma struck out, Jon Jay singled to left-center, scoring another run. Curiously, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny opted to have lefty Oscar Taveras pinch-hit in the nine-hole against the lefty Kershaw. Taveras struck out, which seemed to put the kibosh on the rally.

Not so fast. Carpenter famously had one of the best at-bats of the entire post-season last year with an 11-pitch at-bat against Kershaw in Game 6 of the NLCS, sparked a four-run outburst, eventually allowing the Cardinals to roll to a 9-0 victory to take the series. Carpenter did it again, falling behind 0-2 but ultimately seeing eight pitches, the last of which he ripped into the gap in right-center to clear the bases and give the Cardinals a 7-6 lead.

But wait, there’s more. Pedro Baez relieved Kershaw, but walked Randal Grichuk before serving up a three-run home run to Matt Holliday, making it 10-6 Cardinals. Jhonny Peralta mercifully grounded out to end the Cardinals’ eight-run seventh inning. Kershaw’s line: 6 2/3 innings, eight hits, no walks, 10 striekouts, eight earned runs. Kershaw had only twice been charged with as many earned runs over 209 regular season starts.

We’ve already seen so many incredible comebacks this post-season, and we’re not even two games into the Division Series yet. Baseball is wonderful.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.