National League Playoffs Recap

Jack St. Amour

The National League Division and wild card races of September  were not what baseball fans have been used to the last couple years. They lacked excitement.

The Dodgers dominated the second half of the season to take the NL West, the Braves conquered a weak NL East and clinched early.

The NL Central was the most exciting race of the year. It was a three-team race, which the Cardinals won by squeezing by the Reds and Pirates over the last three days of the season. The Reds and Pirates secured the two Wild Card spots.

The playoffs have been nothing short of amazing.

Pittsburgh started the postseason by dominating the Reds 6-2 in the Wild Card playoff game. Francisco Liriano took the mound for the Bucco’s, surrendering just four hits and one earned run, while striking out five.  Marlon Byrd hit a homerun to get the Pirates on the board and Russell Martin owned the night crushing a solo shot in the second and another one in the seventh. Jason Grilli came in to finish off the game in the ninth inning and successfully booked a trip to Saint Louis for the NDLS.

However, the Pirates celebration was short lived, as they traveled to St. Louis the next day to take on the Cardinals. The Cardinals dominated 9-1.  Adam Wainwright shut down the usually active Pirates lineup.

Pittsburgh bounced back the next game in St. Louis, tying the series at 1. The Pirates won the next game to take a 2-1 lead in the series before facing Michael Wacha in game four. Wacha quieted the Pirates, surrendering just one hit in seven and one third innings, striking out nine. The series will be decided Wednesday October 9th, in St. Louis.

The Dodgers were the third seed coming into the playoffs. They were matched up against a Braves team that had coasted in their division all year, facing very little competition, leading the division from April to October.

However,the Dodgers stayed hot and were too much for the Braves to handle. Los Angeles took the first game 6-1 behind a strong performance from ace pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.

Braves’ pitcher Mike Minor was able to cool the hot bats of the Dodgers, giving the Braves a 4-3 win.

The Dodgers bats continued to erupt to beat the Braves in the last two games scoring a total of seventeen runs and yielding just nine, by scores of 13-6 and 4-3 respectively. Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig continued killing the ball, each racking up eight hits in the series.

Ramirez had a homerun and six runs batted in.

Six hits from Juan Uribe and Carl Crawford contributed to an already red hot lineup. The Dodgers have the most homeruns, doubles, hits, and runs scored out of any National League team this postseason.

The Pirates and Cardinals game five winner will face a Dodgers team that looks like it cannot be stopped. Whatever the outcome, October will be a great time for baseball fans.