The League Championship series are one win away from being wrapped as as yesterday the Kansas City Royals took a 3 games to 1 lead over the Toronto Blue jays and the New York Mets went ahead in there series 3 games to 0 on the Chicago Cubs. Game 5 of the ALCS is this afternoon with the Royals looking to go back to the World Series. Game 4 of the NLCS is tonight where the Mets will look to sweep and advance to the World Series.
The offensives really got rolling in the ALCS as both teams combined for a total of 19 runs in the Blue Jays 11-8 win. The Blue Jays had a 10-4 lead after 5 innings and added a run in the bottom of the 8th inning and looked like they would cruise to there first ALCS victory. The Royals decided to make the game a little more interesting than people thought it would be as they scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Jays held to for a win an9d cut the deficit in the series to 2 games to 1.
The offense continued in Game 4 of the ALCS, but just for the Royals. Kansas City scored 4 runs in the top of the 1st inning highlighted by a 2-run Ben Zobrist home run and an Alex Rios solo home run in the top of the 2nd gave the Royals a 5-0 lead and they never looked back on there way to a 14-2 victory and control of the ALCS 3 games to 1. Former Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey made the start for the Blue Jays, but didn’t get through 2 innings. Dickey lasted 1 2/3rd innings giving up 5 runs; 4 of which where earned on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1. There was also a passed ball charged to catcher Russell Martin while Dickey was on the mound. Chris Young made the Game 4 start for the Royals. Young lasted 4 2/3rd innings before giving way to the Kansas City bullpen. He gave up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. It wasn’t a long outing for Young, but it was what the Royals need as Luke Hochevar (1 1/3rd innings), Ryan Madson (1 inning), Kelvin Herrera (1 inning) and Franklin Morales (1 inning) didn’t allow the Blue Jays to score in relief. Each pitcher gave up 1 hit in relief; Madson struck out 2 while Herrera and Morales each recorded 1 strikeout. After Dickey was removed Liam Hendriks came out of the Blue Jays bullpen and allowed just 1 hit to the Royals over 4 1/3rd innings while striking out 2. LaTroy Hawkins took over on the mound at the top of the 6th inning and didn’t record an out while giving up 3 runs on 2 hits while walking 1. Ryan Tepera relieved Hawkins and didn’t have much more success against the Royals line up. Tepera pitched 1 2/3rd innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and walking 2. Mark Lowe worked an inning after Tepera and gave up 2 runs on 1 hit while striking out 2. Shortstop Cliff Pennington got the final out of the top of the 9th for Toronto becoming the first position player to pitch in a post season game. Pennington pitched 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 hit, but 0 runs.
It will be a rematch of Game 1 on the mound as Edison Volquez starts for the Royals and Marco Estrada gets the start for the Blue Jays. Volquez got the win in the Royals 5-0 Game 1 victory. He pitched 6 innings walking 4 and striking out 5. Estrada took the Game 1 loss for the Blue Jays pitching 5 1/3rd innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. Can the Blue Jays extend the series and go back the Kansas City for a Game 6 behind Estrada or will the Royals win with Volquez and head to the World Series.
In the NLCS the Mets have used there good young pitching and Daniel Murphy’s bat to take all 3 game of the series against the Cubs. The Mets jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning on a Javier Baez error that allowed David Wright on base and then with Wright on the move Yoenis Cespedes doubled and with Wright moving on the hit and run he was able to score. The Cubs got even in the bottom of the 1st inning on a Kyle Schwarber solo home run, Murphy struck again for the Mets in the top of the 3rd inning when with 2 outs he homered to center field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The Cubs evened the game up again in the bottom of the 4th inning on another solo home run this time by Jorge Soler. The Mets found a way to take the lead again in the top of the 6th inning on one of the odder plays this post season. With Cespedes on 3rd and 2 outs Michael Conforto struck out which would normally end the inning, but the baseball got away from Cubs catcher Miguel Montero and Conforto was able to reach base safely and Cespedes scored to give the Mets a 3-2 which they’d never relinquish. The Mets added 2 big insurance runs in the top of the 7th inning. With 1 out Wright doubled then Murphy got an infield hit moving Wright to 3rd base. Cesepedes followed that with a single to left field scoring Wright with Murphy going to 3rd and Cesepedes moving to 2nd on the throw. A Lucas Duda ground out allowed Murphy to score the 5th and final Mets run of the night on there way to a 5-2 win.
Kyle Hendricks made the start for the Cubs and while he had a solid outing he wasn’t around long pitching 4 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. Cjayton Richard was the first of 6 Cubs relievers out of there bullpen pitching 1 inning, walking 1 and giving up 1 hit, but 0 runs. Trevor Cahill followed Richard and pitched an inning giving up 1 runs on 2 hits while striking out 1. Travis Wood worked 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 runs on 2 hits while striking out 1. Justin Grimm pitched 2/3rd of an inning giving up 1 hit while striking out 1. Pedro Strop was next and worked a perfect inning getting 1 strikeout. Hector Rondon was the last Cubs pitcher of the night and he threw 1 inning, walking 1 and striking out 1. Jacob deGroom started for the Mets pitching 7 innings. deGroom gave up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7. Tyler Clippard pitched 1 inning giving 1 hit and striking out 1 before closer Jeurys Familia entered the game working a perfect 9th inning striking out 1 to pick up the save and give the Mets a 3 games to 0 lead in the series.
The Mets are looking for the sweep tonight behind rookie pitcher Steven Matz. Matz has made 1 post season start going 5 innings and taking the loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Trying to avoid the sweep on the mound for the Cubs will be Jason Hammel. In Hammel’s 1 post season start he lasted just 3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in that NLDS match up. There was some talk last night that the Cubs may turn to Jon Lester on 3 days rest to take this start, but I don;t think that’s been announced yet. No matter who gets the start for the Cubs tonight they’re going t have to be the first team since the 2004 Boston Red Sox to come back from being down 0-3 if they want to get out of this series. Sorry Cubs fans, but Jon Lester wasn’t on that 2004 Red Sox team.
Believe it or not Week 6 in our NFL picks actually went my way. I won the week with a 9-5 record while Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu finished a game behind me at 8-6. Either Mr. Fantasy’s illness or the fact that he didn’t make his picks live on the Sunday podcast cost him as he finished under .500 at 6-8. With the poor showing by Mr. Fantasy Dan the Man has been able to leap frog him and move into 1st place by a game 56-35 (Dan) 55-36 (Mr. Fantasy) I’m still in 3rd place at 51-40 while Schaumburg Stu is 2 games behind me at 49-42. Let’s see how Week 7 goes for us.
You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime
Listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast at BlogTalkRadio.com.