The playoffs have been great so far, haven’t they? So many close games, and we already have two fun-to-root-for teams moving ahead into the American League Championship Series.
Kansas City and Baltimore each swept their division series, and they will play in the ALCS starting on Friday night. It has been a long time since either team advanced this far in the playoffs.
Both National League Division Series are still going, and that’s where the ex-Rainiers were in the spotlight this weekend.
San Francisco has a 2-0 lead on Washington and will go for a sweep today at 2:05 (Pacific). Washington will start former Rainiers pitcher Doug Fister in a must-win game.
The Giants took the 2-0 lead by prevailing in an 18-inning marathon on Saturday, 2-1. Former Rainiers pitcher Yusmeiro Petit was an unexpected star for the Giants, delivering six shutout innings of one-hit relief. Normally the Giants No. 5 starting pitcher, Petit was summoned from the bullpen in the 12th inning and pitched scoreless ball through the 17th. Brandon Belt homered in the top of the 18th, and Petit was credited with the win.
Washington Nationals infielder Asdrubal Cabrera has had an eventful series against the Giants. He homered in the first game on Friday, and then was ejected on a controversial call in the 18-inning game on Saturday. Cabrera was ahead in the count 3-1, and the umpire called two straight high strikes which Cabrera thought were balls. Very frustrated, Cabrera tossed his helmet and was ejected (as was Nationals manager Matt Williams). It’ll be interesting to see how Cabrera responds today.
The other NL Division Series is Dodgers-Cardinals, and that one is tied 1-1 with Game Three tonight at 6. This is the series with no Tacoma ties and this blog has no opinion on it. However, both games have been thrillers.
- On Sunday The News Tribune published a large Mariners off-season primer. The main article looks at the Mariners needs and possible free agent acquisitions. There is an analysis of the Mariners current 40-man roster. Also, John McGrath has a column in which he suggest the Mariners need to make a daring trade.
- Ryan Divish has some notes on the Mariners 2014 payroll, which will increase in 2015.
- The Mariners biggest problem attracting free agents is travel, Shannon Drayer writes.
- The Arizona Fall League begins on Tuesday and Taijuan Walker will be the opening day starter for Surprise. More here from Bob Dutton.
- Was Clayton Kershaw tipping his pitches in Game One of the NLDS against St. Louis? What does that even mean? This article by a former MLB pitcher is the best I have read on the subject.
- He never played in the PCL or for the Mariners, but I must link to this outstanding “goodbye” column Hal McCoy wrote about the newly retired Adam Dunn.
- Billy Butler of the Royals is having a nice postseason, and he’s (probably) a free agent the Mariners will look at in the off-season. The stats say he once pitched in the minor leagues but that never actually happened. It was a clerical error, Tim Hagerty writes.
- This has nothing to do with baseball, but the Seattle Times ran a surprising sports business story regarding Key Arena.
- Lookout Landing posted a selective history of the Tacoma Rainiers.
We’ll be back with a blog update on Wednesday.