It’s ironic that after one of the closest regular seasons in MLB history, all four Divisional Series turn into cakewalks.
In the National League, the surprise package Milwaukee Brewers crushed the well-traveled Colorado Rockies 3-2, 4-0, 6-0 (13-2 overall), while last year’s World Series losers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, had to work slightly harder to blank the Atlanta Braves 6-0, 3-0, 6-5 (15-5).
It was similar in the American League, where the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros cruised passed the Cleveland Indians in a combined series total of 21-6 (11-3, 3-1, 7-2).
The only real excitement came in the other AL Divisional Series, where the resurgent Boston Red Sox met the hot-shot New York Yankees.
The Yankees, with star slugger Aaron Judge in scintillating form, had been forced to come through a Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics after being beaten by the Red Sox by eight games in the AL East.
Here’s Aaron Judge walking past the Red Sox clubhouse on his way to the bus. Note the music selection on his boom box pic.twitter.com/0vHGBxRoP3— Jim Witalka (@jwitalka) October 7, 2018
But the style in which the Yankees dismissed the A’s 7-2 suggested they were just warming up.
It took every ounce of speed that Boston ace Chris Sale could muster, plus a save from closer Craig Kimbrel, to get the Red Sox home 5-4 in the first game at Fenway Park.
New York turned it around in the second game in Boston with two home runs each from Judge and Gary Sanchez taking the Yankees to a 6-2 win to silence the Fenway faithful.
With the series all square 1-1 as the teams headed south on the short trip to New York, it seemed all set-up for the pinstripes to move on to the AL Championship Series against the Astros.
But no one told the Red Sox that and they struck back with a shock 16-1 rout in the Bronx to tear right through the heart of the Yankees.
Brock Holt is the first player ever to hit for the cycle in a postseason game. 👀⚾️ pic.twitter.com/SJT1lauYq0— BASEBALL VAULT™ (@BSBVAULT) October 9, 2018
The surprise stars for Boston were flame-throwing righty Nathan Eovaldi, who kept New York’s much vaunted batting line-up quiet through seven innings, and Brock Holt, who was left out of the first two games of the series, but when he got his chance became the first man in postseason history to hit for the cycle.
A cycle is where a batter hits a single, double, triple and home run all in the same game.
New York did well to pick themselves up the next night to only lose 4-3, but they were never going to come back from the most lopsided home loss in post-season history.
The result sets us up for two huge Championship Series with the Astros taking on the Red Sox in the AL and the Dodgers facing the Brewers in the NL.
Baseball has been pretty wild over the last few seasons and although these should be pretty tight match ups, after the Divisional Series you can’t rule anything out.
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