One game was over almost from the start. The other game went down to the very last pitch. Playoff baseball offers everything.
The Red Sox rode a grand slam in the first and the second to a 9-5 win over the Astros, evening their series 1-to-1 as they head to Boston for three.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the Braves and Dodgers played a tight, drama filled 2-2 game heading to the ninth.
Braves home-grown third baseman Austin Riley, who drove in 107 runs this year, drove in the third run of the game with one out in the ninth. That was after hitting a home run in the fourth to tie it at two.
The Braves are an example of what a team can do when they don’t go overboard on payroll, yet still have the ability to evaluate talent. Riley is only one of the stars they have that they drafted and developed.
Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Dansby Swanson, their Game 1 starter Max Fried are all products of their fertile farm system.
It takes more than that, though. Languishing under .500 at the trade deadline and stuck in third place, Atlanta made a series of moves to bring in offense, trading for Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson, and Adam Duvall.
It’s about having enough home-grown talent and then knowing when to supplement what you have with what you need, with players who can get you over the top.
That’s how you become a perennial playoff baseball team.