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Adam Wainwright dealing through five innings in NLDS Game 3

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Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright is dealing, outdueling Braves starter Mike Soroka through five innings thus far in Game 3 of the NLDS in St. Louis. Wanwright has held the Braves scoreless on just two hits with no walks and six strikeouts on 79 pitches. Soroka has been quite good himself, allowing one run  on one hit with no walks and six strikeouts in five innings.

The Cardinals got their lone run in the second inning. Marcell Ozuna led off with a double to right field, then moved to third base on a Yadier Molina ground out. Matt Carpenter brought Ozuna home with a sacrifice fly to center field, opening the scoring. The game has been 1-0 since.

Wainwright, 38, signed an incentive-laden one-year, $2 million deal with the Cardinals after several years of subpar performance and injuries in his mid-30’s. Wainwright hit all of his performance bonuses, adding an extra $8 million to his salary. During the regular season, the right-hander went 14-10 with a 153/64 K/BB ratio in 171 2/3 innings.

Wainwright is quite the contrast to Soroka, who is 22 years old. Soroka is in the running for the NL Rookie of the Year Award and will likely get some 3rd-5th place Cy Young Award votes as well after going 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA and a 142/41 K/BB ratio in 174 2/3 innings of work across 29 regular season starts.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.