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Dodgers face Red Sox in World Series

Stephen Blecha '19, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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162 simply was not enough, for multiple National League teams. The Los Angeles Dodgers finished in the NL West at 91- 71, with the Colorado Rockies finishing the exact same, 91-71.

Therefore, these division rivals had to play a game 163 on Oct. 1, fighting for the number two seed and the number five seed, which is the bottom wild card spot. And, for the first time in MLB history, there were two separate game 163’s in the same season. The NL Central was still up for grabs as the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers played for the number one seed in the NL, with the loser receiving the number four seed, the top wild card spot.

The St. Louis Cardinals were in contention for the fifth playoff spot, but were eliminated with a loss in game 161. The National League East nished with the largest gap between first and second placed teams, with the division winners, the 90-72 Atlanta Braves, finishing up eight games on the second place Philadelphia Phillies.

The American League West, host of the reigning world champion Houston Astros, finished with the closest race, similar to the NL West.  The ‘Stros are finished at 103-59, with a six game lead over the Oakland Athletics, 97-65. The American League Central leader, the Cleveland Indians were the first team to clinch the division at the record of 83-65.

The American League East final standings were actually fairly close.  The top spot, and the best record in baseball this year, belongs to the 108-54 Boston Red Sox. The AL East is also home to the 100-62 New York Yankees who finished eight games back, enough to be deserving of the number four seed.

In the NL Central game 163, Brewers star closer Josh Hader tied for his third longest relief appearance, throwing two innings and racking up three punch-outs.  This secured a victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field and the top seed in the NL for the Brew-Crew, meaning the Cubs would need the Wild Card. In NL West game 163, rookie phenom Walker Buehler went 6 2/3 innings of one-hit ball, leading to a 5-2 home victory and clinch for the Dodgers.

In the NL Wild Card game, the first run was scored before the first hit was registered.  The Rockies struck first after two walks, a passed ball, and a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cubs answered back and put up their only run of the night.  The game would then go into extra innings, taking a total of 13 innings before the Rockies would add one run in top of the inning. The Cubs could not respond, and instead watched a second team celebrate a victory on their home field for back to back days.

In the AL Wild Card game, a game that was hyped up to be an offensive onslaught, the Athletics’ bats simply did not show up. The Yankees struck first with a two-run, Aaron Judge bomb in the bottom of the first inning.  The Yanks would then put up a four spot in the sixth and another in the eighth. The A’s could only muster runs in the top of the eighth, meaning the Yankees would go on the play the top seed, and division rival, Red Sox.

In the NL Division Series, The Brewers swept the Rox in three games, clinching a spot in the NLCS, while the Dodgers took four games to eliminate the Braves.

In the ALDS, the reigning Astros showed no signs of World Series hangover, sweeping the Indians right out of the playoffs.  The Yankees, shortly after chanting “We want Boston” during the WIld Card, were then eliminated by Boston in four games, with the series ironically ending in New York.

Both League Championship Series were tightly contested.  The Dodgers defeated the Brewers in seven games, with the last game in Milwaukee.  The Red Sox defeated the Astros in Houston, moving on to the World Series to face off against the Dodgers, making back to back World Series appearances for L.A.

 

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Dodgers face Red Sox in World Series