Just as I predicted, we’re going to have a Padres/Phillies National League Championship Series. I’m sure I wrote that around here somewhere. If you can’t find it, maybe you’re not looking hard enough. Or it got deleted by a glitch in Chorus. I’m sure I meant to write it at least.
The Yankees and Guardians are going to Game 5 in their American League Division Series. If you think about it, this is the greatest season in Guardians history. It’s also the worst season in Guardians history. Being a Guardians fan is a rollercoaster of contradiction.
Everything seems to be lining up for the Astros. Which probably isn’t good news for the Astros the way this postseason is going.
In other news, the Los Angeles Times loses its freaking mind.
- Justin Choi breaks down how the Padres upset the Dodgers in the NLDS with a big small-ball inning. You’ve probably heard this already, but the 22-game win difference between the Padres and Dodgers mark this series as the second-biggest upset in postseason baseball history in terms of win differential, behind only the 1906 “Hitless Wonders” White Sox beating the Cubs in the World Series.
- Zach Crizer looks at how the Padres were built and argues that San Diego’s win was a win for little brothers everywhere.
- Alden Gonzalez looks at the series of gambles the Padres and general manager AJ Preller made that finally paid off with an upset of the Dodgers.
- Bob Nightengale checks in with the Padres as they party after their win and what it means for both them and the city of San Diego. Generally, people from San Diego speak of Los Angeles as if it is Mordor come to life and the people of Los Angeles say that San Diego is a lovely place to spend a weekend.
- Dennis Lin traces a weekend series in Arizona in mid-September as the key moment when the Padres turned their season around. (The Athletic sub. req.) Manager Bob Melvin lost his temper for the first time all season, for one.
- AJ Cassavell looks at how the Padres line up for the NLCS.
- Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale also checked in on the losing Dodgers and reports that the team is in shock over their upset loss.
- Helene Elliott writes that this is the moment when the Padres have closed the gap with the Dodgers and have become true rivals, and not just little annoyances to the south.
- Written before Saturday’s defeat, but Paul Thornton saw the writing on the wall and had a tantrum:
.@latimesopinion: If there ever was a case for canceling the playoffs and awarding a championship to one team because it was so clearly better than all the others, the 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers would be it https://t.co/NDcIpAxPZG— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 15, 2022
I mean, yes. We can have a discussion about whether a playoff system is the best way of determining the best team in a sport. But not this kind of whiny thing when your team lost.
- Bill Plaschke piles on, calling this “arguably the lowest point in Dodgers history” and calling the Dodgers the biggest losers of the season. I can think of some people in Brooklyn who would come up with a different “lowest point,” but even assuming that Plaschke means LA Dodgers history, I’m pretty sure we can come up with some worse moments.
- Dylan Hernández blames team president Andrew Friedman and roster construction for the Dodgers defeat.
- One person at the LA Times is still sane. Bill Shaikin writes that there are a lot of reasons that the Dodgers lost, but don’t blame the playoff system. Unless you want to hand the 1988 NL pennant (and the World Series win that goes with it) to the Mets team that was clearly superior to the Dodgers that year. The Mets won 10 of the 11 regular-season contests from the Dodgers that season.
- Juan Toribio looks at the questions facing Los Angeles this winter.
- Alden Gonzalez also had three big questions for the Dodgers heading into 2023. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- I don’t have quite as much on the Phillies upset of the Braves, but I guess the Atlanta Journal-Constitution decided to be more mature about these things. I mean, they are bummed, but Gabriel Burns just wrote that this year it was just the Braves’ turn to be a part of someone else’s storybook season. But of course, the Braves won the World Series last year and the Dodgers haven’t won a title since . . . 2020. Those long-suffering Dodgers fans. Or are they claiming that title comes with an asterisk?
- Michael Baumann writes about how Phillies first baseman Rhys Hopkins symbolizes the Phillies season of frustration followed by ultimate triumph. It’s the hope that will kill you, and the Phillies now have hope.
- Matt Gelb explains that the Phillies are confident and riding high, even if this feeling is strange to them. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Todd Zolecki notes that the previously-maligned Phillies bullpen has been a key to the team’s success this postseason.
- Speaking of that, former Cub David Robertson hopes to be healthy to pitch in the NLCS.
- Jayson Stark has the weird and wacky from the playoffs so far, including how the Phillies went from eight games below .500 to the NLCS. (The Athletic sub. req.) And lots of other fun and weird stuff that Stark is famous for.
- Mike Petriello looks at how the Phillies and Padres match up.
- The Astros advanced to the ALCS by sweeping the Mariners three games to none, but since Saturday’s game went 18 innings, maybe we should call that a 4-0 sweep. Maybe a 3-0-1 sweep. Anyway, Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru has eight fun facts about that 18-inning marathon. It doesn’t include that I drove my wife half an hour for her to go shopping in the middle of that game, waited as she shopped for 45 minutes, drove her a half an hour back home and the game was still going on.
- Hannah Keyser writes that despite the disappointment, the 18-inning loss was still worth it for Mariners fans, who saw their first home playoff game since 2001.
- Brian McTaggart explains why the Astros are optimistic right now. For one, they’re going to have two more days of rest than their ALCS opponents.
- One series is still going on and it’s the Yankees and Guardians. Anthony Castrovince has five keys to game 5.
- Mike Axisa previews the pitching situation for tonight’s Game 5.
- Esteban Rivera notes that Yankees starter Gerrit Cole is throwing the curve more and it’s paying dividends.
- After playing just 14 games for the Yankees after his trade from St. Louis, outfielder Harrison Bader is coming up big in the playoffs.
- Even though he’s been struggling in the postseason, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is exactly the kind of superstar that baseball needs to feature in the playoffs to attract more fans. Judge did homer in Game 3 of their ALDS. Beyond that, he’s hitting .125 in the series.
- Guardians slugger Josh Naylor broke out the “Rock-the-baby” celebration after he homered in the fourth inning of Game 4. Anyone who watches international soccer has seen this celebration before, but some people seemed to take offense to it. Gerrit Cole, whom he hit the home run off of, just shrugged it off and called it “cute.”
- Now that we’ve covered all four series (some more than others), David Schoenfield looks at some trends that have emerged this postseason. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Ken Rosenthal writes that it’s too soon to draw any conclusions about how the new playoff format is or is not affecting the outcomes. (The Athletic sub. req.) Amen to that.
Bruce Bochy met yesterday with Rangers GM Chris Young, sources tell @TheAthletic. The Rangers are in the process of hiring a manager.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 14, 2022
- And finally, even more that Manny Machado or Jake Cronenworth, the star of Ggame 2 of the Padres/Dodgers series was the goose that landed in Dodger Stadium in the middle of the game. Jonah Valdez spoke with the head of the Los Angeles Audubon Society about what kind of goose it was, how it likely ended up at Dodger Stadium and will it be OK? The Dodgers only said that it was “released safely.”
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.