A Red October



The MLB Championship Series turned into a Red October.

Noah M. Cerimele, Staff Writer


From 12 to 4, and yet there were still some questions to be answered, The  Phillies emerged as the favorite to win it in the National League while the Astros remained Favorites in the American League. Championship baseball. 

Excitement filled the air when Justin Verlander took the mound for the second time in the postseason, he was certainly hoping for a different outcome this time around as last time the Mariners knocked him out early as he gave up 6 earned runs. The MVP frontrunner and company were coming in hoping for revenge, as back in 2017 it felt like the cheating Astros stole an MVP from Judge, and a world series from the Yankees. Verlander didn’t let that slide in game 1 punching out 11 Yanks as the Astros got big help from 3 solo home runs From Yuli Gurriel, Jeremy Pena and Chas McCormick. The Astros improve to 4-0 in Postseason play as they defeat the Yankees 4-2 in game 1. 

Framber Valdez vs Luis Severino in game 2.  What was it that these two did the same so well? Get ground balls and keep the ball in the park. But Alex Bregman had different plans as he jolted Astros nation with a towering 3 run home run.

With the Yankees offense struggling mightily, that Bregman home run, would be all the Astros needed to take a 2-0 series lead into New York, but surrounding the Yankees, a quote from after the game was the main interest on the internet, as a pathetic quote from Aaron Boone surfaced saying, “The open roof really killed us.” A really pity quote from a leader of a team if your team is playing terrible own up and take responsibility, that’s what real leaders do,” stated sophomore Brady Meyer. I digress, Astros win game 2, 3-2. As well as taking a 2-0 lead back to the Bronx. 

Game 3 really put into perspective what this Yankee season had to become, the New York market is ruthless when you don’t win, or don’t live up to expectations but a 99 win season is great right? In this situation it is absolutely not. At one point they were doing so well that they were on pace to break the 116 win Seattle Mariners record for the most wins in a season for about half of the year. So game 3 was a must win, as the only team to come back from a 3-0 deficit was the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who did it against the Yankees. 

The last time the Yankees lineup faced Christian Javier, they got no hit for 7 innings, as they would eventually get no hit. The aforementioned Javier did exactly what he did last time he faced the Yanks, allowing 1 hit in 5 and ⅓ innings pitched. Pure dominance.  Another home run from Chas McCormick, was the only run the Astros needed in game 3 as they take a 3-0 series lead into game 4. Astros win 5-0. 

One thing the Yankees didn’t do a lot of in the second half was show fight when it got tough around the team, but in game 4 they did show some fight as they took a 3-0 lead into the top of the third inning, but, there is always a but. “Nasty Nestor” was what the Yankees fans called a loveable starting pitcher, but he was everything but nasty in game 4 as he got blown up not even finishing the third inning giving up 3 earned runs, as rookie of the year candidate Jeremy Pena hit a home run, driving in 3, so the Astros immediately took back the lead 4-3.

The Yanks did show a little bit of fight, Anthony Rizzo tied the game at four in the fourth, and Harrison Bader, who was the only person on the Yankees that showed true heart, hit another home run to regain the Yankees lead 5-4. Little hits turn into huge wins for the Houston Astros. Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman both singled in runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to give the Astros the lead back, 6-5 and they won the game at that score. Houston has won 7 straight in the postseason, sweeping the Mariners and Yankees as the advance to the Fall Classic for the fourth time in six years. “They wanted Houston and they got Houston,” said Astros catcher Martin Maldanado. They sure did. They await the winner of the Padres and Phillies series. 

Underdog October can be defined by these two teams playing for a spot in the world series, both teams proving that if you get hot at the right time, anything can happen.

Bryce Harper hit another postseason home run. Is all I feel the need to say as he ventures on one of the best postseason’s in baseball history.  This game ended 2-0 with the Phillies winning as The Padres Yu Darvish allowed 2 home runs, but it wasn’t all about Harper’s home run, it was Kyle Schwarbers. As he blasted a majestic solo shot an astonishing 488 feet off of Darvish “I was watching and as soon as that bat left the ball, my jaw dropped, instant shock value” Phillies win game 1. 

Game 2 had the first ever set of brothers to face off against each other in the NLCS as Pitcher for the Phillies, Aaron Nola faced his brother Austin Nola. Father A.J Nola was in attendance repping both the Phillies and Padres. A fly ball hit by Matt Vierling went straight into the sun and straight at Juan Soto and the sun won the battle. Soto was evidently blinded by the sun, letting the routine fly ball drop for a hit and allowing 2 to score. But going down was something the Padres were used to doing, another thing they were used to doing? Coming back from said deficit.

Brandon Drury was struggling mightily during the Postseason, but he rocketed a homer over the short left field fence and Josh Bell followed that right back with a homer of his own to cut the deficit to 4-2. An explosion was near, and it all started with Austin Nola base hit to drive in Ha Seyong Kim off of his brother. The Fox sports cameras immediately cut to the boy’s dad who was in shock, not knowing to be happy, upset or both.

After a Soto double, Brandon Drury stepped up with the bases loaded against Brad Hand who had the chance to come in and get 1 out to keep the game tied. Luckily for the Padres Drury perfectly placed a ball in shallow center field and broke their lead open to 7-4. The Padres shutdown bullpen did their job for 4 innings keeping the Phillies offense out of check. They win the game 8-5 and take the series back to Philadelphia tied at 1 game a piece. 

It was a red October and we were just watching, witnessing it. I remember watching the first batter of the home half of the first just thinking to myself, Schwarber’s hitting a lead off ding dong lead off nuke, sure enough Kyle Schwarber put Citizens Bank Ballpark into a Hysteria. This sure did affect Bob Melvin’s Starter as Musgrove allowed 4 earned runs, something he hadn’t done in months. “The fans are hostile, they love the team and it shows every single game,” said Meyer.

The usual mediocre at best Phillies bullpen, had been coming up clutch all year, including in the October months, when it meant the most 4 innings of pure dominance as the Phillies pitchers had a percentage rate of 80 of throwing the first pitch in the at bat for a strike virtually putting them ahead every time.  The Phillies win 4-2 to regain a series lead.

Pressure, you could say, is something Bob Melvin’s club was used to but he never liked to admit it. As it was what his club was facing down 2-1 in the series with 2 games left in Philadelphia before they could make it back to San Diego, the last thing the Padres wanted was to get down 3-1 with an elimination game in Philly. 

Well that is exactly what the Phillies did to them as even though the Padres immediately jumped on a 4 nothing lead on the back of a Manny Machado home run, the Phillies immediately scored 3 of their own to make it a 4-3 just after the first inning. The Padres didn’t even let Mike Clevinger get an out. Even though they had the lead. It had to have meant something. It did Big hits turn to big wins as the Phills hit 4 home runs in game 4, 2 from Rhys Hoskins as they won 10-6 and pushed the Padres to the brink of elimination as they now face a 3-1 deficit. 

“He did it again.” “I underpaid you.” “Explicit amazing.” Are just some of the quotes that were surrounding Bryce Harper as he hit another postseason home run this time, bottom of the 8th, down 1 with one on, Bob Melvin elected not to got to his shutdown left handed reliever Josh Hader which left a lot of questions to be asked. As Hader was downright mean when facing left handed hitters, the aforementioned Harper who was left to face a righty, he clubbed ball over the left center field fence off of Robert Suarez giving the Fightins, a 4-3  lead.

With Ranger Suarez coming out of the bullpen to get 2 outs against the 8-9 hitters he was calm. He doesn’t get nervous, his heart rate may have been 1 point higher than his resting heart rate. Suarez got Austin Nola to fly out, and the Phillies were headed to the World Series to face the big bad Houston Astros.