Tha Sports Junkies 101

2016 MLB Postseason Thus Far

2016 MLB Postseason Matt VanDerMeer via


More than a week into the 2016 MLB Postseason, it is time to take a look at how things are shaping up

With ten teams battling for a World Series title, the 2016 MLB Postseason has proven to be very exciting thus far. Teams have jumped out to commanding leads in their best of five series’ and one team has even moved on to the LCS. We will take a look at the games that have been played so far this postseason and look forward to the games to come.

AL Wild Card Game

This game pitted the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays against one another in a winner take all one game series. Jose Bautista homered for the Blue Jays but Edwin Encarnacion was the true hero. With the game tied at 2 in the 11th inning, Encarnacion stepped to the plate and hammered a 3-run home run off of Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Many Orioles fans questioned the decision to have Jimenez (normally a starting pitcher) pitch the 11th over closer Zach Britton. Briton converted all 47 save chances during the regular season for the Orioles but never saw action in Baltimore’s 5-2 loss.

NL Wild Card Game

The NL wild card game matched up the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants in what would prove to be a pitchers duel. Madison Bumgarner tossed a complete game shutout to further his historic postseason statistics. The Mets sent Noah Syndergaard to the mound and he would not disappoint either. He threw 7 shutout innings while striking out 10 Giants hitters. Locked in a 0-0 tie in the top of the 9th, Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie came to the plate with two men on. Gillaspie smashed a 3-run home run off of Mets closer Jeurys Familia to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. Bumgarner would handle the Mets in the bottom of the 9th to seal the game for the Giants.

ALDS Game 1 – Blue Jays and Rangers

In this series, the AL wild card winning Blue Jays faced the Texas Rangers. The pitching matchup offered to be a good one as Marco Estrada took the ball for the Blue Jays while the Rangers sent Cole Hamels to the mound. Toronto would jump on Hamels early as they scored five runs in their half of the third inning. The offensive display would not stop there as Melvin Upton homered and Josh Donaldson singled in the 4th inning to push the Blue Jays lead to 7-0. Hamels would not make it out of the 4th inning as he only lasted 3.1 innings while giving up six earned runs on six hits. Jose Bautista would put the icing on the cake when he hit a 3-run home run in the 9th to make the Blue Jays lead 10-0. The Rangers would get a run back but would fall 10-1 in Game 1.

ALDS Game 1 – Red Sox and Indians

Game 1 of this series between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians was all about the long ball. Each team would hit three home runs with all of them being of the solo variety. Andrew Benintendi, Sandy Leon and Brock Holt hit the home runs for Boston while Roberto Perez, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor got in on the action for the Indians. Rick Porcello would start the game for the Red Sox but would only last 4.1 innings as he gave up five runs on six hits. The Indians started Trevor Bauer and he would not fare much better as he only lasted 4.2 innings while giving up 3 runs on six hits. This game went back and forth throughout its entirety but eventually the Indians beat the Red Sox 5-4 to take a 1-0 series lead.

ALDS Game 2 – Blue Jays and Rangers 

The Blue Jays started J.A. Happ for Game 2 of this series while Yu Darvish got the ball for Texas. Happ would last five innings and give up only one run on nine hits while Darvish would also last five innings as he gave up five runs on five hits. Troy Tulowitzki started the scoring with a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning to give the Jays a 2-0 lead. Ian Desmond would drive home a run for Texas to cut the lead to 2-1 in the 4th. Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion would each hit solo home runs in the 5th to give the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead. They would never look back as they took Game 2, 5-3 over the Rangers to increase their series lead to 2-0.

ALDS Game 2 – Red Sox and Indians

Game 2 between these teams looked like it had the makings of a pitchers duel. David Price got the start for the Red Sox as Corey Kluber took the mound for the Indians. Price would not hold his end of the bargain as he only made it through 3.1 innings and allowed five runs on six hits. Brandon Guyer opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd followed by a Lonnie Chisenhall 3-run home run. That would make the score 4-0 in favor of the Indians and they would eventually go on to win 6-0 and take a 2-0 lead in the series. Kluber worked 7 strong innings for Cleveland only allowing three hits while striking out seven.

NLDS Game 1 – Dodgers and Nationals

Talk about a great pitching matchup; Game 1 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals included Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. However, it would not take long for the scoring to get started. Corey Seager hammered a 429-foot home run off Scherzer in the 1st inning to give the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead. That score would hold until the 3rd inning when Chase Utley drove in a run with an RBI single. Justin Turner would follow that up with a 2-run home run to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. Despite a rally from the Nationals, Los Angeles would take Game 1 of the series 4-3. Kershaw only lasted five innings as he gave up three runs on eight hits. Scherzer would last six innings but would give up five hits and 4 runs. This was not the pitching duel that many were expecting but the Dodgers still managed to take a 1-0 series lead.

NLDS Game 1 – Giants and Cubs

This series would include the NL wild card winning Giants and the NL Central division champion Chicago Cubs. Game 1 was labeled a pitching duel as Johnny Cueto and Jon Lester each tossed eight solid innings. The only blip on the radar was a 359-foot home run by Cubs second baseman Javier Baez in the 8th inning. That would prove to be the only offense in the game as Lester went eight innings and only allowed five hits while striking out five. Cueto had a great night despite the home run as he also went eight innings allowing only the one run on three hits. Chicago would take a 1-0 series lead.

NLDS Game 2 – Giants and Cubs

These two teams have greats amounts of talent in their starting rotations and that showed in Game 2. The Cubs would send ERA champion Kyle Hendricks to the mound while the Giants would send former Cub Jeff Samardzija to the bump. It would not take long for the Cubs to jump on Samardzija. Ben Zobrist would drive in Dexter Fowler with an RBI single to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the 1st. In the second, Hendricks would come to the plate with a chance to help himself with the bat. He would not disappoint as he would drive in two runs on a soft liner into the outfield. Kris Bryant would then come up and single home another run to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead in the 2nd. That would knock Samardzija from the game after only lasting 2 innings and giving up four runs on six hits. The Giants would get on the broad in the 3rd with back-to-back doubles from Joe Panik and Gregor Blanco. They would not be done as Brandon Belt would hit a sac-fly that would score a run to cut the Cubs lead to 4-2. That would be as close as they would get as the Cubs would go on to win 5-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

NLDS Game 2 – Dodgers and Nationals

The pitching matchup for this game would prove to be a pretty good one. The Dodgers started Rich Hill as the Nationals started Tanner Roark. Hill would last 4.1 innings and allow four runs on six hits. Roark would also last only 4.1 but would only allow two runs on seven hits. Corey Seager would once again kick the scoring off with a solo home run in the 1st inning. Josh Riddick would single home a run in the 3rd to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead. Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton would give Washington the lead in the 4th with a 3-run home run. Daniel Murphy would drive in 2 more runs; one in the 5th and one in the 7th to give the Nationals a 5-2 win over the Dodgers. With the win, the Nationals evened the series at 1-1.

ALDS Game 3 – Blue Jays and Rangers

The Blue Jays sent Aaron Sanchez to the mound on Sunday with a chance to sweep the Rangers and advance to the LCS. The Rangers countered with Colby Lewis and that would prove to be a bad move. Lewis would only last 2 innings after giving up five runs on five hits. Sanchez would not fare much better as he lasted 5.2 innings and allowed six runs on three hits. The Rangers would strike first and take a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. After two home runs in the bottom of the first, the Jays took a 3-1 lead. Elvis Andrus would homer in the 3rd to cut the Jays lead to 3-2. Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion would each drive in a run in the bottom of the 3rd to extend the Blue Jays lead to 5-2. A Rougned Odor 2-run home run in the 4th and a 2-run double by Mitch Moreland in the 6th would give the Texas Rangers a 6-5 lead. With the game tied in the bottom of the 10th, Josh Donaldson would score on a throwing error by Odor to give the Blue Jays a 7-6 victory. With the win, the Blue Jays completed the sweep of the Rangers and now await the conclusion of the Red Sox, Indians series.

Upcoming Games

Game 3 of the NLDS between the Dodgers and Nationals will be Monday at 4:00pm eastern on MLB Network. Gio Gonzalez will pitch for the Nationals while Kenta Maeda will get the ball for the Dodgers. The series is tied 1-1.

After Game 3 of the ALDS between the Red Sox and Indians was rained out on Sunday, it was rescheduled to Monday at 6:00pm eastern on TBS. The pitching matchup will be Josh Tomlin and Clay Buchholz. The Indians have a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 of the NLDS between the Giants and Cubs will be Monday at 9:30pm eastern on FS1. The pitching matchup will include Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner. The Cubs have a 2-0 series lead.