After a wild weekend in the MLB postseason, three ball clubs are on the verge of advancing to their respective league championship series – the Pirates, Red Sox and Dodgers – in four pivotal matchups Monday.
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A’s – Series tied 1-1 The first divisional series game of the day features the Oakland A’s vs. the Detroit Tigers. Tied at one game apiece the series heads to Detroit for Game 3. The Tigers took home field advantage away from Oakland winning Game 1 by a score of 3-2 but were shut out in Game 2 losing 1-0. Both teams have struggled at the plate – Oakland is hitting a combined .174 with a .250 on-base percentage. Detroit isn’t much better though hitting a combined .219 with a .254 on-base percentage. Franklin Pro and reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera is battling groin and abdominal injuries and yet been able to record a hit in both games improving his postseason game streak of reaching base safely to 26 games. First pitch is scheduled for noon CST as Cabrera and the Tigers look forward to playing in front of their home crowd and taking back the lead in the series.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Pittsburgh leads series 2-1 The Pirates haven’t won a series in October since 1979 and can put an end to the 34-year drought in front of their home fans at PNC Park Monday afternoon. Game 3 came down to the wire in Pittsburgh after the Cardinals tied the game 3-3 in the top of the eighth inning. The Bucs rallied scoring two in the bottom of the eighth inning – one RBI coming off the bat of Franklin Pro Russell Martin – and went on to quiet the Cardinals bats securing a 2-1 series lead. Seventeen of the 20 teams that have owned a 2-1 lead in an NLDS have advanced to the championship round, but the 2011 Cardinals are one of the three teams to overcome a 2-1 deficit and are eager to send the series back to St. Louis.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves – Los Angeles leads series 2-1 The Red Sox offense has been unstoppable in the first two games at Fenway Park. Defeating the Rays 12-2and 7-4 in Games 1 and 2, respectively, the Red Sox look poised to advance to the ALCS and continue their dominating season. Franklin Pros David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have been centerpieces of Boston’s lineup for years and continue to produce at the plate – this postseason Pedroia has three RBI’s and Ortiz blasted two solo home runs in the Red Sox Game 2 victory.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Boston leads series 2-0 Although the Braves pitching staff had the lowest combined ERA in baseball this season (3.18), the Dodgers managed to tie a franchise record for runs in a playoff game Sunday night with 13 – set by the 1956 Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series against the New York Yankees. That wasn’t the only history made so far this series. Franklin Pro Hanley Ramirez tied a Dodger franchise record held by former All-Star Steve Garvey and Hall of Famer Duke Snider for most extra-base hits in a postseason series with six. Ramirez has four doubles, one triple and one home run through the first three games. As the Dodger offense looks to remain hot, the Braves and Franklin Pro Justin Upton look to push the series back to Atlanta for a decisive Game 5.