This playoff season, the Baltimore Orioles triumphed over the Texas Rangers 5–1 in the National League division in an exciting nine innings, while 2011’s World Series champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, won against the Atlanta Braves 6–3.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Braves had runners on first and second base with one out, and were down 6–3. Their shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, with one out and a full count, hit a fly ball into shallow left field. The St. Louis Cardinals’ shortstop, Pete Kozma, scaled back, and left fielder Matt Holiday sprinted forward. Neither one caught the ball. This should have loaded the bases for the Braves, but the third-base umpire ruled it as an in-field fly, resulting in Simmons being called out.
The Braves lost the game 6–3 to the Cardinals, who moved on to the National League Division Series. They went on to play and beat the Washington Nationals 3–2 in a best-of-five series.
The Nationals dealt with their own bit of drama before the postseason. Their front office decided to shut down their ace pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, before the end of the regular season. He did not play at all in the entire series.
“They should never have shut him down,” commented Amir Husseini, a third-year UTM student.
Now the Cardinals have a chance to come back as MLB champions if they defeat the Giants.
The San Francisco Giants faced the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series in their own best-of-five series, winning 3–2. The Giants were down 2–0, but they rallied their strength and defeated the Reds in three consecutive games to make it to the National League Championship Series.
In the American League Division Series, the Baltimore Orioles faced their divisional rivals, the New York Yankees. The Yankees proved that they are the dominant team in the American League this year by defeating the Orioles 3–2 in the series.
In pursuit of their 28th World Series championship they headed to the American League Championship Series, where they will met the Detroit Tigers, who defeated the Oakland Athletics 3–2 in their own series.
The Tigers were able to pull out the upset. They won the series in a 4–0 sweep in their best-of-seven series against the Yankees. The Tigers will take the American League Championship Series and head to play in the World Series.
As of press time, the NLCS is sitting at 3–2 for the Cardinals over the
Giants in their best-of-seven series.
“It will probably come down to pitching,” Husseini commented. “San Francisco doesn’t have any hitters; they need to win through pitching.”