Today is one more day with four playoff games.
For two teams, they are desperately hoping they have another game tomorrow.
Elimination games are packed with do-or-die drama and we will have three of those today.
There could very well be two major upsets.
The Braves quest to repeat as World Champions is hanging on a thread. And not a very thick one at that. Philadelphia, who finished third in their division, watched the second-place Mets lose in the first round, and are one win away from knocking off the first-place Braves. Atlanta’s bats have gone silent. They need to wake up today or their season is over.
The Dodgers won one hundred eleven games this season, finishing a distant twenty-two games ahead of the Padres. Right now, they are one game behind. And that game is important. The Padres and Dodgers played one of those nail-biting, taut, every-pitch-matters games in San Diego last night. The Padres squeaked it out 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Dodgers season could very well end today.
And, after Game 2 was rained out in New York on Thursday, Cleveland tied the series 1-1 with a win yesterday against the Yankees. New York jumped out to a quick 2-0 when Giancarlo Stanton hit yet another post-season home run. But the Guardians are pesky. They are the youngest team in baseball, and while they hit the second fewest home runs in baseball, they struck out the least. That means, they make contact. They hung with the Yankees for nine innings of a 2-2 tie. Since they don’t start extra innings in the playoffs with the free runner at second, Jose Ramirez decided to lead off the top of the tenth with a double and put himself there legitimately. A single and a double, followed and the Guardians took a 4-2 lead, won the game by that score, and can take control of the series with a win over the Yankees today. Aaron Judge, by the way, is hitless in this series so far.
Only the Astros game will lack the drama. The first playoff game in Seattle in twenty-one years unfolds today. The Mariners will probably be folding their tent back up at the end of the game and storing it for the winter. Houston’s dramatic ninth-inning home run to win it in Game 1 took the life out the Seattle. Here’s hoping they can win at least one game in this series.
So, welcome to elimination day baseball. It could be heartbreaking for fans in three cities. It is glorious for all the rest of us.