Masahiro Tanaka, meanwhile, has been a wild card all season. Should that happen, the game would be played Saturday, during the scheduled off-day, and Games Two through Four would be played three consecutive days.
Of course, it wasn't easy for the Cubs past year, but if you were like me, you had a quiet confidence (well, as much confidence as a Cubs fan could have) that they were somehow going to get it done, whether it was the Giants, Dodgers or Indians. So there is potential to cash in early on the value of a wild-card team. This year was, uh, a little different.
You millennials may feel differently, but those of us with no hair, gray hair and character in our faces certainly never would have believed the day would come, let alone what happened November 1, 2016, in Cleveland. Despite their potent offense, the Rockies lack of pitching depth will ultimately be the deciding factor in their defeat at the hands of fellow NL West franchise, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
His earned run average was 5.27 in five playoff appearances, he pitched 13.2 innings.
The Los Angeles Dodgers finished with the best record in the majors but a recent 11-game skid has raised some concern about whether the National League West champions can make a run. Severino was only able to get one out to open up the game and he gave up three runs and two home runs. Greinke cruised through three innings but fell apart in the fourth, allowing four runs before getting yanked.
For those thinking, Masahiro Tanaka should have gotten the call in Game 1, his road ERA in 2017 was a terrible, 6.48.
The matchup that matters most: Bauer versus Aaron Judge.
The total for runs scored was set at 8.5. They seem like the hot team.
The unexpectedly bad starting pitching forced managers to go to their bullpens early and often. Bauer has been just as good as Kluber in the second half of the season and the Yankees are going to need a strong showing out of whoever gets the start because that bullpen had to throw a lot of innings Tuesday night. After Robertson, manager Joe Girardi opted to put in Tommy Kahnle and he stayed in for two innings.
Should Game 4 be necessary, Girardi said his plan is to start Luis Severino, knocked out after one-third of an inning in Tuesday's wild-card game against the Minnesota Twins. That'll screw up each team's bullpen deployment a bit. And the character the Yankees showed to pull out the victory - turning the page on a awful start, immediately responding to get back in the game and doing the unconventional - may make NY the team no one wants to face. He said after the game he was exhausted taking the mound following his sprint and, in hindsight, probably should have stopped at second base.
There are big expectations on Cleveland in a post-season where the Chicago Cubs will chase a second consecutive World Series and the Washington Nationals look to finally win a division series.
Colorado's Charlie Blackmon said one loss doesn't take away from the successful season, and he's right.
Then there is Chapman, whose pitches topped 101 miles per hour or more 166 times this season alone, nearly double the amount produced by the rest of the league. "They were close past year". They hadn't been to the postseason since 2010, so this was a big step for them. But Indians manager Francona chose to hold his ace back a day and send Trevor Bauer to the mound against Sonny Gray in the opener October 5.
Justin Verlander was not even a member of the Houston Astros five weeks ago, but he will be their starting pitcher in Thursday's Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox.
The National League gets going on Friday to close out a full day of playoff baseball.