Why defense matters. 170 comments

The best thing about playoff baseball is more playoff baseball. Today is a full slate, with all four division series games.

That’s because both AL East teams woke up, both won, both extended the series, both are still alive.

The Red Sox won big in a slugfest. The Yankees won small in a pitching duel.

But it all came down to outfield defense, something the Rangers don’t believe in. Down 3-0, Mookie Betts stole a three-run home run from Josh Reddick that would have made it 6-0, and would have put the nail in the Red Sox coffin. Josh Reddick, in turn, let a fly ball bounce off his glove for a three-run homer. And in the Yankees game, Aaron Judge robbed the Indians of a two-run homer that, too, would have been the nail.

Great baseball equals more baseball.


Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62) vs Rick Porcello (11-17, 4.65)
Game time: 12:08 on FS1

How the Astros hit against Porcello.
How the Red Sox hit against Morton.


Max Scherzer (16-6, 251) vs Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15)
Game time: 3:08 on TBS

How the Nationals hit against Quintana.
How the Cubs hit against Scherzer.


Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19) vs Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98)
Game time: 6:08 on FS1

How the Indians hit against Severino.
How the Yankees hit against Bauer.


Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86) vs Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20)
Game time: 9:08 on TBS TBS

How the Dodgers hit against Greinke.
How the Diamondbacks hit against Darvish.