Playoff Reset: NLCS Game 3; ALCS Game 3, Take two

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The Game: St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants, National League Championship Series Game 3
The Time: 4:07 PM Eastern
The Place: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
The Channel: Fox Sports 1
The Starters: John Lackey vs. Tim Hudson
The Upshot: Tim Hudson hasn’t pitched in a series beyond the Division Series in 16 years, but he goes today. Not going today in all likelihood: Yadier Molina, who suffered a strained oblique on Sunday night. He says, however, he feels better than he thought he would, but it’d be really surprising to see him in the game. Figure A.J. Pierzynski will get the start behind the plate for the Cardinals. The Giants don’t run that much so missing Molina’s arm could be a problem, but Molina’s pitch-framing abilities could be missed by starter John Lackey.

The Game: Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals, American League Championship Series Game 3
The Time: 8:07 PM Eastern
The Place: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Wei-Yin Chen vs. Jeremy Guthrie
The Upshot: A day after the rainout, the Orioles and Royals look to do it again. Nothing different here than we thought it’d be yesterday other than the bullpen arms are a day fresher. Game 4 is where the starting pitching matchups be affected by the rain, but we’ll talk about that tomorrow. As for tonight: one sobering stat still holds for Baltimore: in the 29 years since the League Championship Series was switched to a best of seven, no team that has dropped the first two games at home has come back to win the series. That has happened 11 times in the past. Expect Wei-Yin Chen and Jeremy Guthrie to have some rust, as Chen has not pitched in 11 days and Guthrie hasn’t gone since September 26.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
Getty Images
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Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.

It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.

Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.