MLB NLCS & ALCS Weekend Recap
By Sam Soergel
Both the American League and National League Championship Series started this weekend. The home teams won both games in each series, but that doesn’t mean the series are over. The teams travel to the other stadium for three games this week, and anything can happen.
In the NLCS, it was all Mets. The Mets’ bats got to Jon Lester right away in game 1. Daniel Murphy, who we will certainly hear about again, launched his third homer in three games to put the Mets up 1-0. The Cubs got one back in the 5th, but the Mets scored in the 5th, 6th, and 7th. That was all Matt Harvey needed. He was dominant. Making fans forget about the inning-limit drama, Harvey went 7 2/3 giving up two runs on four hits while K-ing up nine. Jeurys Familia came in for the four out save. Game 2 was more of the same. The Mets jumped on Jake Arrieta (yes, that Jake Arrieta) in the first inning. Daniel Murphy hit his fourth home run in four games to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Murphy has been red hot in the playoffs, hitting five dingers and 8 RBIs. His home runs have come off of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, and Jake Arrieta. Murphy’s homer is all they would need, but a Yoenis Cespedes single brought in Curtis Granderson to make it 4-0. Noah Syndergaard shut down the Cubs, going 5 2/3 of one run ball -while striking out nine. The Mets take a 2-0 series lead to Chicago where Jacob deGrom will face Kyle Hendricks on Tuesday night.
The ALCS was a little more intense, but the Royals took both games. Game one saw Edinson Volquez shut down the Jays. He went six strong, giving up two hits while striking out five. Hits by Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain off of Marco Estrada made it 3-0 in the third. It stayed that way until the 8th when LaTroy Hawkins gave up two runs. Toronto only got three hits in the game and Kansas City went on to win 5-0. Game two was a heartbreaker for the Blue Jays. After going up 3-0 thanks to hits by Ryan Goins, Edwin Encarnacion, and Troy Tulowitzk, David Price gave up five in the 7th. The Royals got one more in the 8th on a Mike Moustakas single and went on to win 6-3. The series moves to Toronto where Marcus Stroman will face Johnny Cueto.
Playoff baseball is far from finished, and while both series are 2-0, these next games are pivotal. Nothing is decided yet, and teams still have a lot to prove.