We’ve only got three games today since the Rangers swept the Orioles. Both the Astros and Diamondbacks will be looking to advance to their respective Championship Series today, whereas the Braves and Phillies will play at least one more game tomorrow.
- Mike Petriello published this piece before yesterday’s game, but he wants to remind us that the Rangers sweep of the Orioles should not be considered an upset. The Orioles, despite winning 11 games, weren’t really any better or worse than the Rangers. The two teams were actually pretty evenly matched.
- Jake Rill writes despite the disappointing postseason. the Orioles’ future still looks bright.
- Esteban Rivera has an appreciation post of Rangers’ catcher Jonah Heim. If he played for the Angels, do you think he would have named his daughter Anna?
- David Adler explains why Rangers rookie outfielder Evan Carter has been their secret weapon. Or maybe not-so-secret anymore.
- David Adler also breaks down that fantastic catch by Braves center fielder Michael Harris II that led to the double play that ended Game 2 of the NLDS with the Phillies.
- Stephanie Apstein writes that Braves third baseman Austin Riley was in the right place at the right time twice in Game 2 to beat the Phillies.
- Thomas Harrigan has some of the most unusual double plays in baseball history.
- Although Bryce Harper got too aggressive running the bases on that double play, Paul Casella looks at how the Phillies greatly improved their baserunning over the course of the 2023 season.
- Ben Clemens examines the pros and cons of Phillies’ manager Rob Thompson’s decision to leave Zack Wheeler in the game to face the Braves’ lineup a third time in Game 2.
- Matt Gelb has the origin story of the wicked slider of Phillies’ rookie reliever Orion Kerkering. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Braves fans and a lot of national media have been complaining that the teams with playoff-round byes are at a disadvantage because of the long layoff between games. Ken Rosenthal outlines the case for making changes in the playoff format. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Ben Clemens responds that teams with long breaks during the playoffs have not traditionally underperformed.
- Zach Crizer breaks down how the Dodgers went from 100 wins in the regular season to having their season end if they don’t win next three games. I don’t think the layoff is what’s hurting the Dodgers. It’s that their starting rotation was a complete mess by the end of the season. I also don’t think Clayton Kershaw can’t pitch in big games. I think his shoulder is oatmeal at the moment.
- Fabian Ardaya writes that the Dodgers have only one option: play better. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Alden Gonzalez explains how third baseman Royce Lewis is emblematic of this scrappy Twins team.
- This could be big news for the future of baseball. Japanese high-school first baseman Rintaro Sasaki, who was expected to be the first pick in the NPB Draft, said that he will skip Japanese baseball entirely and play college baseball in the US. That means he will be eligible for the MLB Draft in three years. There is expected to be a fierce recruiting war for Sasaki, but the Japanese media reports that Vanderbilt has the inside track to get Sasaki’s commitment.
- Here is more on Sasaki.
- Here is a list of possible free agents this winter, organized by position. So consider it your Holiday Shopping List for the Cubs.
- Thomas Harrigan goes through all the player options, team options and opt-outs and guesses which ones will be picked up and which will be declined.
- Harrigan also evaluates all four currently-open MLB managerial jobs.
- Bob Nightengale argues that major league managers are grossly underpaid. He actually makes a good point.
- Will Sammon speaks with scouts and executives about Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and how they think he’ll age over the next few years. (The Athletic sub. req.) This is an issue because Alonso can be a free agent after this upcoming season and the Mets need to make some decisions.
- Cy Young Award winner and Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss all of 2024.
- Curt Hogg reports on Brewers’ president Matt Arnold’s end-of-the-season press conference and on what he said about Corbin Burnes’ future with the team.
The Phillies have an exclusive "SchwarBurger" for the #postseason— MLB Life (@MLBLife) October 10, 2023
It's a half-pound burger with BBQ brisket, cheese, bacon, onion rings and a cherry-pepper relish
A portion of proceeds will benefit Schwarber’s Neighborhood Heroes Fund, which provides opportunities for first… pic.twitter.com/bjPRs5sAuX
- Jon Hoefling reports that the Rangers have been hyping themselves up with the music of Creed over the past month. So if you needed a reason to cheer for the Astros or Twins, here it is.
- And finally, Steve Rushin has the touching love story at the heart of the final days of baseball writer Jim Caple. Caple, who died of dementia and ALS on October 1 at the age of 61, had been reduced to saying just three names at the end of his life: Willie Mays, Novak Djokovic and Sue Bird.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.