UNITED STATES—Monday, October 7 was full of nail-biting excitement for baseball fans across the nation as the New York Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins and advanced to the ALCS, while other teams forced an extra game to claim their spot in the Championship Series.
Monday was a night for baseball with not one, but four playoff games. The Yankees led the fight 2-0 for one of the American League Division Series against the Twins. With Game 3 being an ‘all or nothing’ situation for the Twins, the Yankees made sure to come out strong and hungry.
Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu was the star during Game 1, hitting a homer and bringing in a total of four runs in addition to second baseman Gleyber Torres breaking a tie in the bottom of the fifth with a double, leading the team to beat the Twins with a final score of 10-4. The Yankees wasted no time getting on the board in Game 2 with all eight runs being brought in during the first three innings, including a grand slam by shortstop Didi Gregorius to increase their lead with a final score of 8-2.
The final game of the Yankees/Twins series concluded Monday with a 5-1 victory sweep over the Twins, advancing the Yankees to the ALCS. The team last made the playoffs in 2018, but lost in the ALDS to their rival, the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees last World Series Championship was in 2009.
While the Yankees were busy celebrating their clinch, three other teams are left awaiting their moment. The Los Angeles Dodgers went into Game 4 against the Washington Nationals with hopes of ending the series and advancing to the NLCS, but left disappointed after a brutal loss of 6-1. The Dodgers got on the board in the first inning with a homer from third baseman Justin Turner, but were quickly knocked down by the Nationals with their 3-run homer by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, along with 3 runs brought in by third baseman Anthony Rendon. The Dodgers loss forces a fifth all or nothing game back in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 9.
The Houston Astros also went into their third game leading 2-0 with the intention of sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays to advance to the ALCS and play the Yankees, but fell short with a final score of 10-3. Astros’ starting pitcher, Zack Greinke recently acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks and a former Dodger, could not get the job done allowing six earned runs in his short pitching appearance of 3.2 innings.
The following day, the Astros attempted to close out the series, but once again fell to the Rays with a final score of 4-1, recording a loss for their star pitcher, Justin Verlander, and forcing a Game 5 scheduled for Thursday, October 10.
The fourth playoff game was between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves, with the Braves leading the series 2-1 and looking to advance to the NLCS. The Cardinals put up a fight for the chance of advancing and managed to pull through with catcher Yadier Molina not only tying the game in the bottom of the eighth, but bringing in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning for a victorious 5-4 win over the Braves. Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday, October 9.
The winner of the Astros/Rays series will face the Yankees in the ALCS, while the winners of the Dodgers/Nationals and Braves/Cardinals will face each other in the NLCS to determine the 2019 World Series matchup.