The Rundown: Dodgers and Astros Advance, Red Sox One Win Away After Pummeling Yanks, Offseason Rumors

The Dodgers topped the Braves 6-2 in Game 4 of the NLDS on Monday to advance to the NLCS for a third straight year. All six runs were driven in by mid-season acquisitions, capped by a laser-beam three-run homer by Manny Machado that effectively put the game away. Machado had a huge game, driving in four runs after starting the series 1-for-12.

“Get that money,” Joc Pederson said. “Get that money.”

Trying to avoid being swept, the Indians were leading 2-1 thanks to a Francisco Lindor home run in the bottom of the 5th. Trevor Bauer, making his third appearance of the series, melted down in every way he could. Sometimes starting pitchers do not adapt to relief roles and the playoffs aren’t usually a good time to test that. John lackey proved that last year.

Trevor Bauer pitched a scoreless 6th, but then disaster struck and the 7th inning was a completely different story. Bauer didn’t miss any bats, lost control and command at the worst time, and fielded his position poorly. He left with Cleveland down 4-2 and the rout was on. The Astros won 11-3 in a game that didn’t even feel that close, if you can believe it. Houston is on an unbelievable roll right now, having won 29 of 39 games since August 18. They’ll face the winner of the Red Sox-Yankees series starting on Saturday.

In New York, the Red Sox exploded for 16 runs, silencing a raucous Yankee Stadium crowd with an historic beatdown fueled by a seven-run 4th inning. The 100-win Yankees now find themselves one game from elimination. The win represented the most runs the Red Sox have ever scored in a road playoff game and the most lopsided loss in Yankees postseason history. Brock Holt homered in the 9th off of backup catcher Austin Romine to become the first player to record a cycle in postseason history.

There was some controversy as to whether starting pitcher Luis Severino had enough to time to warm up before his start. The New York starter did not get to the bullpen until eight minutes before player introductions. Severino left the game in the 4th inning without recording an out. Before the top half of the frame was over, the Bronx Bombers were down 10-1 and the game was over for all intents and purposes.

Cubs News & Notes

Despite a disappointing finish, it would be incorrect to call the 2018 season anything but a success for the Cubs.

It’s sounding more and more like Cole Hamels will be back next season. “This was a fun experience to be a part of and hopefully this will be something I’ll be able to be a part of next year,” Hamels said. “…This is the right type of environment [for winning.] What Theo and the ownership have done and the players they have, they really look at that. They have the type of players that are capable of [getting back to the postseason year after year].”

It was an especially tough season for Kris Bryant, but both Bryant and the Cubs are confident that he’ll bounce back with a monster season next year. 

Jeff Burdick interviewed David Ross, discussing the former catcher’s pickoff in the 2016 NLDS and his favorite playoff moments in a Cubs Insider exclusive.

Brendan Miller gives expert analysis on the Cubs’ offensive meltdown this season.

Playoff News & Notes

MLB News & Notes

Angels OF Mike Trout is the perfect guy to be the face of the franchise — and of Major League Baseball.

The Marlins will not retain pitching coach Juan Nieves, first base coach Perry Hill, assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino, or strength and conditioning coach Ty Hill for the 2019 season, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

A look at six prime candidates to be overpaid in free agency this winter, including relievers Andrew Miller and Zach Britton.

Extra Innings

Peter Gammons absolutely trolled Angel Hernandez during last night’s game. Hernandez isn’t exactly known to accept criticism well. And this isn’t limited to players and managers.

Hernandez, who is suing Major League Baseball for racial discrimination, will be behind the plate for a potential elimination game tonight.

They Said It

  • “You look back at this series, [Machado’s] two homers essentially led us to two wins. We have a lot of good players, but I can’t say enough about his focus and preparedness.” – Dave Roberts
  • “Baseball is easy, you know. I mean, if you make it complicated, it’s going to be complicated. I didn’t feel anything. As soon as I hit it, it was out. It was just an unbelievable feeling.” – Manny Machado
  • “They beat us in every area of the game. They’re tough, man. They keep coming. We didn’t play our best. I’m not sure if they played their best either, but they played much better than we did. And so, the better team won.” – Trevor Bauer
  • “Does Tiger Woods tee off at 8 a.m. when he’s going to win a Masters? Does Floyd Mayweather fight the first fight of the night? No, he’s the main event. The ‘Stros need to be playing primetime television, 7 p.m, so we’re looking forward to playing primetime television in the ALCS.” – Alex Bregman

Tuesday Walk Up Song

Where Not to Look for Freedom by The Belle Brigade. Looks like the end of Jivewired, so I want to promote some of our better indie music videos. It was a great run, though. No regrets.

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Michael Canter

Favorite Quote: "Look Ma! Top of the World!" Cubs fan since I was five years old (1969): lover of B&W movies, the Oxford Comma, classic rock, and of course, baseball; annual roto-champ; partial insomniac; I detest the liberal use of the word 'albeit' by baseball writers; Nice guy, though somewhat brooding. Comment me, please and thank you.

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