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Marty’s musings: LDS edition

Strange games over the weekend but zero sweeps in the LDS. 

Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in ALDS Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting key pitching matchups.

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting key pitching matchups.

The Red Sox and Rays will be struggling to find pitchers to fill out innings in Monday’s game 4, the White Sox claim there’s something fishy going on in Houston, and the NLDS series are battles that appear poised to go five games.

News & Notes

4 - LDS series that will go at least four games. No sweeps in this year’s ALDS or NLDS, as each team took one of the first three games.

2 - Bizarre plays that make baseball, especially October baseball, so interesting. In the Red Sox game, a double off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier hit Hunter Renfroe and went over the wall. Per the rules, that’s an automatic double with the runner on first base only advancing to third base, as the player is considered an obstruction the same way a wall would be considered an obstruction. It was a bizarre play, with the rules correctly applied by the umpires. It was an unfortunate situation for the Rays who stranded both runners on base and gave up a two run walk off home run to Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez.

In the White Sox game, with the infield in, and Yasmani Grandal at bat, a grounder to first base was fielded cleanly by Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Gurriel tried to get the ball to home plate for a play at the plate, but it went off Grandal who was clearly in the way running on the infield grass. Again, by the letter of the rule, the baseline is whatever path Grandal takes, but in the spirit of the role, the Astros got hosed.

1 - Player in MLB history who has hit a home run and stolen home in the same game: Randy Arozerena. The Rays’ rookie phenom put on a show, as he continued his postseason dominance. Up 4-0, he took off for home, in a spectacular straight swipe in the easy game one victory.

6 - Shutout innings for Braves starter Max Fried, who tied the Milwaukee / Atlanta LDS series 1-1. It was a dominant pitching performance in a pitcher’s duel and a pitchers’ series. Milwaukee has only scored two runs in two games, the Braves aren’t much better, they’ve scored a total of four runs in the two contests.

22 - Swings-and-misses for the Astros in game three of the ALCS between the White Sox and Astros. Sox pitcher Ryan Tepera made a not-so-veiled insinuation that the Astros batters still knew what was coming, as Chicago pitchers only induced 32 whiffs in two games in Houston. While this is nothing but hearsay, it’s something Houston will continually have to hear.

Elimination Games This Week

Monday October 11th

Rays v. Red Sox, 7:07 ET

After a 13-inning marathon in which the Red Sox next-day’s-starter got the victory, Tampa is on the brink, but Boston is on the edge of running out of available arms this evening. With two consecutive victories in the series, Boston is looking for three straight to KO the AL East champs.

Tuesday, October 12th

Brewers v. Braves, 5:07 ET

We won’t know who is on the brink of elimination in this one until Monday’s game three is played (that game is at 1:07 ET). After a split in Milwaukee in which pitching dominated, it’ll be interesting to see how the bats respond in Atlanta.

Giants. V. Dodgers, 9:07 ET

LA’s bats were completely silenced in game one of the NL West battle. The Dodgers only posted five baserunners — all of them hits, as the Giants pitchers walked zero hitters. Game two was a different story, as LA put up several crooked numbers in the 9-2 beating of San Francisco. This series has a lot of hype, but so far has lacked in drama amidst two games that weren’t close. One team will have a chance to punch their ticket to the NLCS, but until Monday’s game is completed (9:37 ET), we won’t know which team.

Astros v. White Sox, TBD

A postponed game due to inclement weather on Monday moved the potential Houston series-clincher to Tuesday. In a wild back-and-forth game that saw multiple lead changes before the fifth inning in game three, the Sox showed they still have life in them.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano