An incredible year of baseball has come to an end after drama, heartbreak and triumph. One of the greatest World Series’ has concluded and the Chicago Cubs have written their names in the history books. The Cubs started off the winner take all game 7 with a bang and Dexter Fowler hit a lead off home run to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. In the top of the fourth after the game had been tied 1-1, Addison Russell hit a sacrifice fly to re give the Cubs the lead, 2-1. In the fifth, Javier Baez did what he had been doing all postseason, coming in clutch. Baez launched a solo homer to put the Cubs out in front 4-1. That would be it for Cleveland starter Cory Klubber as he was replaced by Andrew Miller. Later in the inning, the Cubs had gotten to Miller as Anthony Arizona ripped a double down the line scoring Kris Bryant. In the the bottom of the 5th, Cubs catcher David Ross allowed two runs to score on a passed ball but later redeemed himself by hitting a solo home run in his final game of his career, a great way to go out. In the bottom of the 8th, the drama started to kick in. Aroldis Chapman came into the game on short rest and faced Rajai Davis with two outs. Davis cranked a game tying two run homer off Chapman which was one of the greatest home runs in Indians franchise history. Then with the game tied 6-6, the rain hit as there was a 15 minute rain delay. When play resumed in the top of the 10th, Ben Zobrist hit a RBI double down the line giving the Cubs a 7-6 lead. In the final inning, Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. came in and closed the game out and the Cubs finally won the World Series the Wrigly faithful have been waiting for. Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs on ending the drought!
This years wild card games were arguably two of the best wild card games since the 2014 AL Wild Card game when Salvador Perez hit a walk off double against the Oakland A’s in dramatic fashion. Both Wild Card games went tied into the ninth inning and that’s when the action started. In the AL Wild Card game the Orioles and Blue Jays were tied in the bottom of the 11th after a tight game and a beer being thrown on the field (courtesy of a Blue Jays fan, of course). The drama started by O’s manager Buck Sholwalter refusing to bring in star closer Zach Britton and keeping relief pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in the game. Jimenez was already in trouble when the Jays had two runners on with one out in the bottom of the 11th. He then on the very next pitch to Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion gave up a towering walk off homerun that promptly ended the Orioles season and sent the Blue Jays to the ALDS. On the NL side of things, the game was tied in the ninth at 0-0 after a fantastic pitching duel courtesy of Madison Bumgarner for the Giants and Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. Unlikely heros are born in October and that’s exactly what happened to Connor Gillaspie. With one out and two runners on in the ninth Gillaspie blasted a go ahead three run home run to give the Giants a 3-0 and have Mad Bum close the game out with his second Wild Card complete game shutout in two years, the most in baseball history. The Giants face the Cubs next and that should be a good one.
There were many reasons today’s Giants Dodgers game was signifcant. Coming into today, the St. Louis Cardinals were one game back of the Giants for the second Wild Card spot and a Giants loss and a Cardinals win could mean a Cardinals-Mets Wildcard game. Since the Mets have already clinched home field advantage for the game, they were just waiting on who their opponent would be. The Giants-Dodgers game was also signifcant because of 67 years in the booth, Vin Scully was to call his last baseball game. Vin has been the voice of Dodgers Baseball for over 60 years and even for Giants fans, it was sad to see that era to come to a close. Vin has broadcasted over 9000 games over the course of his 67 years of baseball. After a tribute to Vin, the Giants got off to a roaring start, pounding Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda for 5 runs in the first two innings. Matt Moore started the game for the Giants and was phenomenal. He lasted until the seventh inning and let the bullpen do the rest of the work. In the 9th Sergio Romo came in and closed the door, thus commencing another Orange October for the San Francisco Giants. The NL Wildcard game will be on Wednesday, October 5th and will feature Maddison Bumgarner vs Noah Syndergaard.
24-year old Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has passed away in a boating accident last night according to multiple sources. This comes as a complete shock and tragedy as Fernandez had just pitched recently and was slated to pitched on Monday because of a change in the pitching rotation. If Fernandez was to pitch Sunday, something like this may have not occurred. Fernandez broke into the league in 2013, taking the National League by storm and winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award. This year, Fernandez was definitely in the talk for National League Cy Young award. Fernandez was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA and a 2.58 career ERA. The league will have a moment of slience at every Major League Ballpark honoring Fernandez’s much too short but successful life. There have been many Marlins players and players around the league tweeting out their thoughts about today’s tragic news. Fernandez will not be forgotten for his intense passion for the game of baseball. Thoughts and prayers go out to Fernandez’s family and the families of the victims who also lost their lives in the accident.
The Giants are fighting for the wildcard spot as the season comes to a close and have been struggling ever since the All-Star Break. One of the main reasons for the team’s recent struggles is closer Santiago Casilla. Casilla, coming into yesterday’s game had a total of 8 blown saves on the season. For a team to be successful, he hey need to have a closer who can shut down games and be relied on to give their team the win. Casilla was just not doing it for the Giants. Last week manager Bruce Bochy announced that the Giants would be doing closer by committee and would not have a set closer. This didn’t help much as the other options did not do much better, for example giving up a three run home run to the Padres in the ninth inning. That capped off a three game sweep of the Giants. Yesterday, with the Giants ahead 2-1 in the ninth, Bochy thought he would try Casilla again as he had been on rest for a few days. After a single and walk given up by Casilla, Randel Grichuk singled and tied the game. Casilla had done it again, blown another lead. The Giants eventually lost the game 3-2 and are now tied with the Mets for the second Wild Card spot. For the Giants to get back into the playoff race, they need a closer that they can trust.
The playoff race in the MLB this year is seeing the closest race in recent years. In the AL East, the Blue Jays and Red Sox are battling it out for first place with the Orioles and the Yankees not far behind. In the AL Central and West, the Indians and Rangers are dominating their divisions respectively. On the National League side of things, the Cubs are in first place by an astonishing 15 games. Washington leads the Mets in the NL East by a good margin of 11 games and in the NL West the Dodgers narowly lead the Giants by three games. There is around 20 or so games left in the season and many teams are on the cusp of a playoff berth, the 2016 season should be one of the best in recent memory as it comes down to the wire in the next few weeks.
Braves top prospect Dansby Swanson will be making his major league debut tonight batting eighth after he was traded in exchange for starting pitcher Shelby Miller in the off season. The interesting part about this trade last off-season was that the Diamondbacks gave a large package deal in exchange for a picture who is good, not great. Miller struggled immensely this season and was even sent down to AAA. The irony of this trade is that the player who was in AAA before is now in the majors, and the player who was in the majors is now in AAA. Obviously the Diamondbacks got the bad end of the deal, and their star pitcher is now pitching for the minor league club. More updates will follow as Dansby Swanson will soon bad for his first major-league plate appearance.
Update: Swason has just lined out to center in his first big league at bat.
The MLB trade deadline is on July 31, which means this is the last week for teams in Major League Baseball to decide if they want to buy or sell. The Cubs already made the first big splash of the deadline, acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees in exchange for the Cubs #1 ranked shortstop prospect, Glyber Torres. Teams such as the Yankees want to wait and see a few days on weather they should start a full fire sale. White Sox starter Chris Sale has been among trade talks recently, mostly because of the incident involving Sale “blowing up” and being sent home due to cutting up team uniforms that were “uncomfortable”. The Texas Rangers have been the team most linked to Sale as they are in need of pitching. The Yankees General manager Brian Cashman said that the team would wait “4-5 days” before making any decisions about going into a full fire sale of the team. Teams such as the Giants and Dodgers were also interest in Chapman before he was dealt to Chicago, so they will likely be looking for help in the back end of the bullpen as the deadline approaches.
After signing with the Angels on a minor league contract, Tim Lincecum was called up today for his start in return to the majors against the Athletics in Oakland. There was a lot of negative thoughts towards Lincecum saying that his career was over because of injuries and his struggles on the mound. But today he came back and came back strong. He allowed only one earned run versus the struggling athletics and had two strikeouts. Lincecum was greeted by a lot of help from his offense as they scored seven runs to help him notch his first victory back. This will be the first of many great starts as Lincecum continues to seek a great comeback year.
David Ortiz Played his final game in San Francisco last night but the Red Sox fell at the hands of the defeat to the Giants. This game was a battle of the lefty aces which included Madison Bumgarner and David Price. As the game was scoreless in the bottom of the eighth inning, Mac Williamson launched his first career homerun which would give the Giants a 2-1 lead. But disaster struck in the top of the ninth inning when Williamson dropped a routine fly ball in left field causing Hanley Ramirez to reach on an error. This allowed for a runner on second and nobody out for Boston. With one out in the ninth inning, David Ortiz came up to pinch hit for the final time in San Francisco, since he could not play the entierty of the game since this was in a NL Ballpark, so there was no DH. Ortiz was welcomed with a loud ovation every time a pitch was thrown. After a battle and to the disapointment of Red Sox fans Ortiz walked. This was greeted by a mixture of cheers and boos. Hunter Strickland had to come in the game and finish it out as Santiago Casilla was unable to do the job. The Giants and Red Sox split the series as it was a two game series and both teams are in first place. The Giants and Red Sox will duel it out again later this summer in Boston.