The DS Series, The Underdog Series.



The MLB Championship Series turned into a Red October.

Noah M. Cerimele, Staff Writer

After the Wild Card round, we got rid of some of the impostors, and the real showed they were real. But the bosses come out during October, including the defending champion Atlanta Braves and 111 win Juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers.  

Starting with the champs, the Braves came into the NLDS hot, basically finishing the Mets season in the last games of the season, but they had a different task on their hands, the Phillies were scorching hot, how would they slow them down. The answer was simple: they weren’t. 

As Moore said, It’s a red October, “we shall just sit back and watch.”  While it may have been surprising to some, it was also unsurprising to others as the Phillies jumped on Max Fried for four runs early and, the bat of Nick Castellanos, played dividends as the Phillies bullpen shut down the explosive braves offense in the ninth Phillies lead 1-0

The Braves did something shocking during the regular season, as they were never swept in a 3+ game series, and they sure weren’t gonna let their first sweep come in the playoffs. 21 game winner Kyle Wright shut down the Phillies offense as the Braves offense rode on the back of RBI’s from Matt Olson and Austin Riley. The Braves always come back. Series Tied 1-1.

Coming back to Philadelphia for what the Phillies fans knew would be guaranteed two playoffs games everybody and their mothers would be in attendance. “It’s kinda like a sight you have to see in person to really take in, but it’s still awesome to see on TV,” Moore told me.  Once again, Aaron Nola’s September Struggles Turned him into an October ace, throwing 6 innings of shutout baseball.

That wasn’t the biggest part of the game, off of an Kyle Schwarber intentional walk Rhys Hoskins came up against Braves right handed ace Spencer Strider, and CRUSHED a Home run and put Phillies fans everywhere into an absolute frenzy but the best part of all Hoskins finished his swing with an enormous bat slam. Philadelphia rode that wave to a 9-1 win to put them up 2-1 in the series. 

Up 2-1 Philadelphia fans everywhere were loving the vibe around their city as the Phillies were 1 win away from a berth to the NLCS. But with last years world series hero on the mound, Braves skipper Bryan Snitker felt confident in his guys. However that didn’t last long, as the Phillies scored early again as Brandon Marsh, offseason acquisition, blasted a three run home run to put them up 3-0 early, the Braves were starting to answer with an Orlando Arica solo home run, along with a Matt Olson solo home run.

Although the fight the end all be all game winning run came on a J.T Realmuto inside the park home run, a sad way to end incredible seasons from Michael Harris II and Austin Riley. The Phillies won 8-3. They also won the series 3 game to 1. They await the winner from the Dodgers-Padres series. 

The other series out of the National League was the 111 win titan Los Angeles Dodgers vs their little brother San Diego Padres. This series looked over before it started on paper. But the teams are actually pretty evenly matched, as the Padres had one of the biggest trade deadlines in history, getting superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the Nationals, also in that same trade came first basemen Josh Bell. They also acquired Josh Hader, predominantly the best closing pitcher in baseball. Having given up everything to get here, could they beat the Dodgers? 

In game one that was not the case. Behind 17-game winner Julio Urias, the Dodgers led 5-0 after three innings and appeared to be on their way to another blowout of the Padres. Hesitantly, the Padres Offense Scored 3 runs. It wasn’t enough Trea Turner hit the home run that did not win the game, but appeared to be a tone setter as the leadoff man. Dodgers win 5-3. Dodgers lead series 1-0 

Game 2 came around and there was a little more confidence in the Padres clubhouse as ace Yu Darvish set to take the mound. A Manny Machado Home run in the first inning off of Dodger legend Clayton Kershaw really set the tone that night for the Padres, even though the Dodgers immediately answered back in the bottom of the first inning there was slow building momentum for the Padres. Even once trailing 3-1 in the game, the game just felt in the Padres hands the whole way back.  They would win the game 5-3 to tie the series at 1 all. To send the Dodgers back to their house.

Game 3 had a different vibe around it. Could the Dodgers be pushed to brink and face adversity for the first time this season? It certainly felt that way. Former Cy Young pitcher Blake Snell pitched like his 2018 self throwing 5 ⅓ innings of 1 run ball and the bullpen they metaphorically bought shut down the dodgers offense, holding them to 1 run. Trent Grisham’s solo home run just continued his dominance in the postseason off of elite pitchers. The Padres win 2-1 they lead the series 2-1.

If anybody thought Petco Park was wild in game 3, they should have seen game 4. There wasn’t an open seat in the park 30 minutes before the game started on the mound for the Padres in a close out game, just like in the last series, was Joe Musgrove. He did everything for them and even more. This year for Musgrove was a “let me prove it to you”” year, as he was an expiring free agent. The Padres didn’t even wait until the end of the year to lock him up on a 100 million dollar deal, and this is exactly why they did it.

He threw 6 innings of 2 run ball.  Josh Hader Stood on the mound in the top of the ninth inning with a chance to close out the series, but the spooky part of the Dodgers line up was up to hit: Betts, Turner, Freeman. What did Hader do? He just casually struck out the side swinging to punch their ticket to the NLCS.

Padres win the game 5-3.

They win the series 3-1.

The most embarrassing part of the loss was not particularly winning 111 games and getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs; it was what manager Dave Roberts said before the season: “We will win the world series.”

The NLCS was set, it was the underdogs, Padres- Phillies.

From San Diego to New York, Oscar Gonzalez and company were feeling rather comfortable heading into their series against the evil empire, but the Yankees were determined to prove every single one of their haters wrong. NAI sophomore Brady Meyer NAI said, “I don’t think they will succeed, they just strike out way too much.”

The Yankees 330 million dollar man trotted out and threw an absolute gem, though he allowed a home run to Steven Kwan, but I digress. “It was amazing,” Moore said, I really wish he was still with the Pirates. Yes, another Pittsburgh Pirate succeeds outside of the steel city. Yankees win 4-1, and they lead there series 1 game to zero. 

Game 2 was initially rained out, but this game was played the next day delaying the schedule which may or may not cause controversy in the coming days.  Little hits turned into big wins for the Cleveland Guardians. A late rally in the 10th inning on the back of Oscar Gonzalez, as he singled in Jose Ramirez to take a lead. Pitcher Emmanuel Clase usually pitches for no more than 1 inning not 2 and never into a third inning, but that is what he was capable of in game 2 shutting down the Yankees in extras. Guardians win 4-2 in 10 innings, series knotted up at 1. 

It was always Oscar. The Yankees traveled into the harsh October climates in Cleveland as they thought they had it all going for them. A Bewildering MVP season from Aaron Judge did prove to make an appearance in October as he blasted a 2 run home run that boosted the Yankees offense for the time being as they took a 5-3 lead late, but fortunately for the Guardians it was always Oscar as he delivered for his 3rd game winning hit of the postseason to send Progressive Field into a hysteria. Guardians win 6-5 and they take a 2-1 series lead. With  a chance to close out the series, will this team end up as the most disappointing in team sports history?

Game 4 and Gerrit Cole was back on the mound. “I hate him now that he’s on the Yankees,” Moore says. Those Pirate fans.

The most interesting part about this game wasn’t quite the constant downpour all game long, but Josh Naylor’s home run trot on Cole after rifling one over the right center field fence, going around the bases rocking the baby calling him his son.

Well that didn’t age very well for Naylor as Harrison Bader and the Yankees stepped up, and after Bader homered off of Guardians right hander Cal Quantrill. Announcer Bob Costas said, “Now I know this a small sample size, but I’m confident in saying that Harrison Bader owns Cal Quantrill” An A+ status quote from Costas, one of his finest, drifting off of that quote the Yankees rode on the likeness of the Bader Home run and won 4-2 to tie the series at 2 games a piece. Cole dominated again but he needs to get rid of the long ball it is haunting him, said Meyer. 

Whenever I said the delay of the schedule after the cancellation of game 2 may stir up controversy it sure did, a huge rain storm was destined to hit NY the second first pitch was scheduled for but Commissioner Rob Manfred did absolutely nothing about it. They made all the fans and suffer for 3 and a half hours before they chalked the game.

Now you may believe that the Yankees fans would be the most peeved at this situation, but it wasn’t even close. The Guardians were scheduled to be out of their hotel by that night, meaning since the game didn’t happen, they had no place to stay the night and get proper rest. Well that sorta showed as Giancarlo Stanton immediately jumped on Aaron Civale for a 3 run home run. 

Furthermore, they rode down easy street winning 5-1 to punch their ticket to the ALCS to face the winner of the Seattle Mariners or the Houston Astros. “We got our revenge, now they can watch us on TV,” said Gleybor Torres.

Something Seattle fans weren’t used to? Meaningful baseball games in the month of October, something even better was that they got to play in front of their fans for the first time in over 20 years. They started in Houston first, where the American league has ran through for the last 6 years as the Astros were seeking their 6th straight ALCS appearance. Could Sea us rise take down the cheaters? 

It really looked like it early, probable Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander took the mound in game 1 and not a single Astro fan had any doubt in their mind that they would be losing this game. What they didn’t expect was to be down 7-3 entering the bottom of the 8th inning against Seattle’s best reliever, in Andrez Munoz. Bregman came through with a 2 run home run to narrow the Mariner lead to 7-5.

Entering the bottom of the ninth with a 2 run cushion, left handed starting pitcher Robbie Ray trotted out to the mound, and all he had to do? Get one out left on left which he did all season. Not when it mattered most, Yordan Alvarez Hit a 3 run home run to secure a comeback win. 8-7. “I stand by the decision, I’m backed by the stats,”said Mariner skipper Scott Servias; doesn’t matter. It already happened. 

Entering game 2 there was nowhere near the pressure on the Astros to take a lead, but all the pressure, and momentum shifted in game 1, simple question with a simple answer, could the Mariners regain their momentum? Framber Valdez went out game 2 and did what he did best, keep the ball on the ground.

The Mariner offense struggled mightily, but they did have a lead as their ace Luis Castillo was dealing. “We can’t continue to let him beat us,” is what Scott Servias said about Yordan Alvarez, well that didn’t matter as Alvarez hit a go ahead 2 run home run in the bottom of the 6th inning and the phenomenal Astros bullpen blanked the Mariner offense. Astros win game 2, 4-2 and take a 2-0 series lead. Back to the PNW. 

Wake up, reality is upon us. Postseason baseball in Seattle for the first time in 21 years. Watching the pregame, there wasn’t an open seat in the crowd an hour and a half before the game, not many fans would stay 18 innings and over 6 hours long but the Mariner fans are different.

George Kirby, one of the best rookie pitchers in the American league, went 7 scoreless innings, and on the other side of the ball Lance Mucculers went 6 scoreless innings of his own. The Astros just keep going. Jeremy Pena hit a home run to give the Astros a 1-0 in the top of the 18th inning. And the bullpen did what they do best. 12 innings of scoreless baseball from the bullpen. Something that has never been done before. Astros win 1-0. They sweep the series. 

NLCS Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres.

ALCS Houston Astros, New York Yankees.     

Winners will go to the World Series.