The most underrated day in sports just finished featuring four MLB Playoff games in the Divisional Round. Here are five things you should learn from Friday’s Baseball Madness:
5. Que Loco Carlos: The mercurial Houston Astros Outfielder Carlos Gomez made himself the goat in the Astros Game 2 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Pinch running in the 8th with his team down 5-4, Gomez gets picked off to end the last Astros rally of the day. Gomez’ blunder puts a sour taste in the mouths of Astros Nation, who should be happy with splitting on the road before heading home with Dallas Keuchel on the mound for Game 3 at home. Let’s hope Carlos Gomez can recover from injuries to get back in the lineup and make this mistake up this series.
4. Que Viva Venezuela: Venezolanos like Salvador Perez, Rougned Odor and Jose Altuve are making a huge splash in the Division Series so far. Keep an eye out especially for Kansas City Royals Catcher Salvador Perez. Salvi is one of the most durable catchers in baseball and his leadership behind the plate keeps his pitching staff in every game.
3. Los Diablos Rojos: Despite our highest hopes, the St. Louis Cardinals are going to be a very tough out in this tournament. The Cardinals dominated their rival Chicago Cubs in winning 4-0 in Game 1 of their Division Series. The Cardinals latest reclamation project starting pitcher John Lackey seems to be getting younger and threw 7 1/3 shutout innings while a few Cardinals young new core (Tommy Pham & Stephen Piscotty) banged 2 home runs late to salt the game away. And Yadier Molina continues to show why he is the most valuable player in baseball the last decade, commanding his pitching staff through another high pressure game.
2. Que Bruto Don Mattingly: Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly continues to show why he will be in the Yankees Radio Booth next year. Mattingly took the ball out of the hands of the games’ greatest pitcher Clayton Kershaw during a critical moment in the 7th inning and gave the ball to Pedro Baez. An untested Baez promptly gave up a soul crushing single to the Mets’ David Wright that brought in two runs to propel the Mets to Game 1 victory. Last year, Mattingly let an exhausted Kershaw hang on way too long in a playoff game that was already out of reach. This year, he hands the ball to a no-name reliever to throw the biggest pitches of the season. And he didn’t let Puig even pinch hit!? Que Bruto.
1. Que Locura: This was an incredible 13 hours of baseball, yet Major League Baseball doesn’t specifically market this special day on the sports calendar. The MLB needs to market this Friday every year for the ‘must take day off’ that it is. If College Basketball can get fans to get caught up in the Madness, why can’t America’s Pastime?