MLB Playoffs Games for 10/10
The ALDS and the NLDS continue today, let’s take a look at all the games.
National League Division Series Game 3
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals
1:00 PM ET, October 10
The Nationals are about to host the city’s first playoff game since 1933 when they host the Cardinals on Wednesday. The Nationals squandered a chance to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series when Jordan Zimmermann struggled in Game 2. Now it is the Cardinals with some momentum and a red-hot Carlos Beltran.
Beltran homered twice in Game 2, boosting his career postseason slugging percentage to higher than .800 and setting the Cardinals on a familiar path. The Cards dropped the opener of both the NLDS and the NL Championship Series last year before recovering to advance and eventually win the World Series. The Nationals are full of players making their first postseason appearance but one of the few veterans – Edwin Jackson – gets the start in Game 3. Jackson was with the Cardinals last October and made four postseason starts. This time, he will be going up against a lineup that pounded out four home runs in Game 2 and led the majors in on-base percentage during the regular season. Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay all had success in Game 2 and Matt Holliday has yet to break out.
Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (10-11, 4.03 ERA)
Last year’s playoff hero, Carpenter missed the majority of the season after undergoing surgery and has made only three starts in 2012. The veteran right-hander, who accelerated his rehab in order to come back and help the team in the playoffs, did not allow more than three earned runs in any of those three turns and has recorded 12 strikeouts against three walks in 17 total innings. Carpenter is 9-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 career postseason starts and has been strong in the past against the Nationals, posting a 6-1 record with a 3.27 ERA in 12 turns.
Edwin Jackson struggled with his consistency down the stretch, allowing one run in three of his final seven starts and a total of 23 (21 earned) in the other four. That inconsistency was at its most apparent against the Cardinals. The right-hander struck out eight and did not allow and earned run over eight innings in a win over the Cardinals on August 30 but was pounded for nine runs (eight earned) in only 1 1/3 innings at St. Louis on September 28. Jackson has been better at Nationals Park this season, going 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts.
National League Division Series Game 4
San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds
4:07 PM ET, October 10
Great American Ball Park
The Giants are living dangerously, while the Reds are scrambling to set their rotation. The drama continues in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday with the Reds leading 2-1 after the Giants won 2-1 in 10 innings Tuesday. The Giants won despite managing only three hits and striking out 16 times, and the first two batters in the Giants lineup – Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro – are 2-for-24 in the series. The Reds are still seeking their first home playoff win in 17 years after Scott Rolen's fielding error allowed the winning run to score Tuesday.
The Reds will likely place Johnny Cueto (oblique strain) on the disabled list and activate Mike Leake, with Mat Latos – or possibly Leake – expected to start Game 4. Cueto would be ineligible to return in the NL Championship Series if he is replaced on the NLDS roster. The Reds were 50-31 during the regular season at Great American Ball Park, where they didn't lose three consecutive home games all year. They're hoping to win Game 4 and enjoy a few days rest before the NLCS, especially after Cueto's injury shook up their rotation. First baseman Joey Votto is 3-for-9 in the series, but hasn't homered since returning from knee surgery on September 5. The Giants will send Barry Zito to the mound in Game 4, with Matt Cain set to start Game 5, if necessary. Two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum will be available out of the bullpen.
Mat Latos (14-4, 3.48 ERA) vs. Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15 ERA)
Mat Latos will be starting on three days rest for the first time in his career after throwing 57 pitches over four innings in relief of Cueto in Game 1. Latos finished the regular season with a career high in innings pitched (209 1/3) and WHIP (1.16) and went 7-1 with a 2.46 ERA over his last 14 starts. Pablo Sandoval is 6-for-29 (.207) against Latos, who is 4-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants.
Zito is set to make his first playoff start since 2006 after he was left off the Giants' postseason roster in 2010. The Giants won each of Zito's last 11 starts of the season, and he went 7-0 with a 3.92 ERA during that stretch. Brandon Phillips is 8-for-19 (.421) against Zito, who is 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in six career starts in Cincinnati and received an average of 5.96 runs of support in his 32 starts this season.
American League Division Series Game 3
Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees
7:37 PM ET, October 10
After earning a split of the first two games in Baltimore, the Yankees attempt to cash in on their home-field advantage when they host Game Three of their American League Division Series against the Orioles on Wednesday. The Yankees broke open a tight series opener in the ninth inning Sunday but dropped a 3-2 nail-biter at Camden Yards on Monday as Orioles closer Jim Johnson bounced back from a disastrous outing to set down the Yankees in order and notch his first career postseason save.
Game 2 followed the same pattern as the opener, with the Yankees scoring a run in the first inning and the Orioles plating two in the third. The difference may have been the fourth inning as the Orioles allowed the tying run to score on Monday but escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam Tuesday to preserve their lead. Wei-Yin Chen notched the win in his postseason debut while 40-year-old Andy Pettitte took the loss, failing to add to his all-time playoff victory total of 19. The Orioles improved to 76-0 when leading after seven innings and 30-9 in one-run games this year. They posted a 6-3 record at Yankee Stadium during the regular season.
Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32 ERA)
Miguel Gonzalez won his final three starts of the regular season and allowed two runs or less in five of his last six outings. The 28-year-old Mexican was impressive on the road in his first major league campaign, going 6-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 11 games – including two relief appearances. Gonzalez was 2-0 against the Yankees, with both victories coming in New York. He yielded four runs while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings July 30 and fanned nine in seven scoreless frames August 31.
Hiroki Kuroda also finished the regular season strong, winning four of his final five decisions. The 37-year-old native of Japan had the majority of his success this year at home, where he went 11-6 with a 2.72 ERA in 19 outings. Kuroda split his two starts against the Orioles, both of which were at Yankee Stadium. He allowed one run over seven innings in a win April 30 while yielding four runs over 8 1/3 frames in a loss to Gonzalez on August 31.
American League Division Series Game 4
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
9:37 PM ET, October 10
The Athletics were a little upset about the format of the best-of-five American League Division Series after dropping the first two games on the road. Now that they have a win in their pockets, the Athletics are in position to even the series and go for the win at the O.co Coliseum. The A's have won seven straight at home dating back to the regular season and will try to make it eight behind A.J. Griffin on Wednesday night.
The Athletics used a familiar formula in Game 3, getting strong pitching and defense to go along with timely hitting. Coco Crisp, whose error led to the go-ahead runs in the Game 2 setback, scored a run and robbed a homer from Prince Fielder on Tuesday. The first four hitters in the Tigers lineup combined to go 1-for-15 with six strikeouts in Oakland’s spacious ballpark, but the Tigers have the advantage of the top two strikeout pitchers in baseball lined up for the next two games in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74 ERA) vs. A.J. Griffin (7-1, 3.06 ERA)
Max Scherzer missed a start with a shoulder strain, but came back to pitch the regular season finale, allowing three hits in four scoreless innings. The right-hander finished behind only Verlander with 231 strikeouts and has not surrendered more than three runs in a start since August 5. Scherzer suffered the shoulder injury against the A's on September 18 and was lifted after allowing one run in two innings. He beat the Athletics in Oakland on May 10, striking out nine and yielding two runs in 6 1/3 frames.
A.J. Griffin struggled down the stretch and was knocked out of the regular season finale after only 2 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old rookie did not complete six innings in any of his last four starts and suffered his lone loss against the Tigers on September 18. Griffin was lit up for five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings in that turn, surrendering home runs to Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta. Griffin has yet to lose at home, going 3-0 with a 3.21 ERA in eight starts.
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