Major League Baseball’s 2021 Postseason went into high gear on Friday with a four-game slate of team games. The Astros won the first game of the day, taking the ALDS 2-0 ahead of the White Sox. In the second game, the Brewers won the first game with a score of 2-1. The Red Sox tied their ALDS against the Rays thanks to a homer volley at Tropicana Field, and the Giants and Dodgers meet for the Cup of the Night.
Friday match results
- Finalist: Astros 9, White Sox 4 (Result square) – Astros lead 2-0
- Final: Brewers 2, Braves 1 (Result square) – The Brewers are leading 1-0
- Final: Red Sox 14, Rays 6 (Result square) – Series 1-1
- Live: Dodgers at the Giants (Gametracker)
And now for some fast food from Friday.
Hernandez, Red Sox make history in the comeback
Similar to ALDS 1, Friday’s 2 started disastrously for the Red Sox. They scored two games at the top of the first half only to watch Chris Sall drop five positions in the bottom half, including the Grand Slam of Jordan Lobleau. The sale continued in one round. It’s the first time ever that a team’s players fail to complete two rounds in the first two games of a post-season series (Eduardo Rodriguez went 1 2/3 rounds in Game 1).
Instead of letting the Rays escape with it, the Red Sox fought back again. Zander Bogarts and Alex Verdugo scored consecutive hits in the third game, to reduce the difference to 5-4, then Enrique Hernandez tied the fifth game alone. Later in that inning, J.D. Martinez gave Boston the lead with a long, tumultuous three-stroke run to center.
Martinez missed Wild Card Game and ALDS Game 1 due to a sprained ankle. It was a luck injury – he slipped on second base while running into his right field position during the end of the regular season – but it was bad enough to put him off in the team’s first two post-season games, limiting him to the DH. In game 2. Martinez had four hits in game two.
The Unsung Hero: Tanner Hawk. Hawk substituted Sale and fired five innings without a goal, holding the rays long enough for the Boston attack to get back into the game. Hawk joined Nathan Evaldi and Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in Red Sox history with a relieved five-stroke appearance in the post-season. He had an extension of 30 retired hitter hitters (they spanned his last four appearances) during match 2.
Raphael Devers iced Game 2 with two at home in the eighth. Even with all the home runs – the Red Sox really had a franchise after a season five teammates scored in Game 2 – Hernandez was the star. He went 5 vs 6 with a home run and three doubles, becoming the fifth player in history with four additional key strokes in a post-season game. Hernandez almost got a fourth double as well, but Kevin Kiermayer put in a superb display to cut a ball into the gap in the ninth inning. The other four hitters with four additional base hits in the post-season game:
- Albert Pujols, Cardinals: 3 doubles and 1 home run (2011 NLCS Game 2 vs Brewers)
- Hideki Matsui, Yankees: 2 doubles and 2 runs (2004 ALCS Game 3 vs. Red Sox)
- Bob Robertson, pirate: 1 double and 3 home runs (1971 NLCS game 2 against the Giants)
- Frank Ispel, White Sox: 4 pairs (1906 World Championship, game 6 against Cubs)
Prior to Friday, teams were 24-1 all-time in the post-season when they scored five first-half runs. The Rays are the second team to lose such a game, joining Cleveland. Cleveland lost the first game of the 1997 ALDS against the Yankees 8-6 after leading 5-0 in the first half. ALDS is now hooked into every game. Game three on Sunday at Fenway Park.
Rudy, Brewers win the pitcher duel
Game 1 of the NLDS between the Braves and host Brewers looked like an expert pitching duel until Rowdy Tellez broke a goalless tie in the seventh with back-to-back games from Atlanta’s Charlie Morton. The Milwaukee Bullpen retained enough of that lead, with the Brewers profiting 1-0 in their best of five streak with a 2-1 win.
Tellez, who saw Morton for the third time in the game, turned around the 1-2 fastball and sent it 411 feet to the right center. A clutch explosion left Tellez’s racket at 109.3 mph:
Prior to his heroic performance on the board, Tellez also did the heavy lifting in a 1-2 double play at the top of the first that allowed beginner Brewers Corbin Burnes to escape an early jam.
Burns overcame early driving problems and ended up throwing six goalless runs with six strokes and three runs. Out of 91 pitches, 57 went on strike. He’s caused six matches – including that major double play in the first – against just one fly. In addition, Burns only allowed two hits from hardballs in Game 1. He didn’t allow one hit until Eddie Rosario’s solo hit fifth ball. Burns hit a pair in the last inning, but Milwaukee manager Craig Consell chose to pinch him in the sixth inning. Pinch-hitter Dan Vogelbach worked out for a picnic—the first Morton in the game.
On the flip side, Morton was similarly effective and more dominant, at least until Tellez changed the game on their home ground. Morton made a full arrest from the ball-breaking hammer and showed some of his strongest speed in 2021, shooting nine times and walking only one out of every six innings of the action. Two allowed to get three hits.
Braves player Jock Pederson halved Milwaukee’s lead in eighth with a single-handed strike on the opposite court from Adrian Houser, who was working in his second frame to rest Burns. Then, however, closest close Josh Hader shut the match down in the ninth after a lone preliminary walk for Austin Riley.
Game two is scheduled for Saturday in Milwaukee, with Max Fried opposing Brandon Woodruff.
Bullpens decided the Astros-Chisox 2
The Astros defeated the White Sox, 9-4, in the finalResult square) Friday afternoon in Game Two of the top-five MLS series. The Astros now have a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Chicago on Sunday. The two trading sides advance during the first five rounds. The White Sox jumped ahead at the start when Louis Robert scored a player-choice goal to make it 1-0. Houston tied the game first in the second half with Kyle Tucker’s song, then later took the lead in that frame on the Chas McCormick sacrifice fly. The White Sox pushed three across the board to advance 4-2 for fifth, yet the Astros again came back and tied the match with a 4-4 score on Yuli Gurriel’s song.
From there, it was all in Houston.
Neither starters, Lucas Giolito nor Framper Valdez, completed up to five rounds, meaning the game was ultimately left in the hands of the relief teams. The stars rose on the occasion. The White Sox didn’t.
Five Houston relievers combined to throw 4 2/3 closing tires. Chicago also had to use five dilutions, but instead of a clean sheet of paper, Aaron Bomer and Craig Kimbrill ended up with some twisted numbers.
In fact, Bummer and Kimbrel gave up five runs in five strokes in one round of action. Bummer, for his part, allowed three singles to allow the Astros to take a 5-4 lead. Kimbrel then entered and lost a double to Carlos Correa to make the score 7-4, then a two-round shot to Kyle Tucker to make the game out of reach.
As we have noted elsewhere, because it was loaded as white bulls appear on paper, they had a tendency to molt during the regular season. They did it again on Friday – notably without Michael Kubisch. When Director Tony La Russa was asked about Kubis’s absence, he gave the following uninspiring answer:
Regressing 0-2 in this series, history is not on Chicago’s side. The White Sox will now need three consecutive wins to avoid elimination in the Division Series. According to Andrew Simon of MLB.comThere were 32 cases in the 2-2-1 coordination era in which the road team lost their first two games. Only three of these teams returned to win the series. Conversely, 19 of those teams have been swept away in three matches.. We’ll see if the White Sox can prove to be the exception come Sunday afternoon.
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