Dodgers clutch up late, Braves complete the upset as MLB postseason keeps rolling


Photo Credit: 365 Things to Do in Houston website

Avery Rosas, Staff Member

October baseball is officially here. As the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures begin to drop, baseball fans are reminded of what awaits. The postseason, once again consisting of 10 superior teams, has arrived. After the whirlwind of a season last year, playing only 60 games with no fans, and 2 extra teams making the postseason, we have been left craving an entire half-year of baseball. 

In the National League, the wondrous, unexpected and downright baffling San Francisco Giants took the NL West division with a franchise record 107 wins. Their rival Dodgers, who would have been a first place team in any other division, scraped and fought their way to the finish line with the Giants, finishing one game behind them with a 106 win season and tying a franchise wins record set in 2019. 

All year long, San Francisco provided themselves with just enough to keep the Dodgers behind in the standings. “I have to really admire what San Francisco did this year,” said lifelong Dodgers fan Hector Rosas. “I respect teams like that, I don’t take the game too seriously to where I would say I hate a team as most Dodgers fans would say.”

The Milwaukee Brewers, with their terrifying 1-2-3 pitching rotation, cruised through the season to finish with 95 wins and an NL Central division championship. 5 games behind them were the St. Louis Cardinals, whose “devil magic” 17-game win streak towards the end of the season propelled them into a playoff berth and a 90 win season.

The upsetting and overall disappointing NL East ended with the Braves on top while only winning 88 games. They would have been in 3rd place in every other division besides the equally underwhelming AL Central.

The American League, and the AL East, had a crazy ride towards the end of the season. The reigning AL Pennant winner Tampa Bay Rays ended the season with 100 wins and the 1 seed throughout the AL playoffs. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees ended up taking two Wild Card spots to see who will face the Rays. The Blue Jays fell just short. “They really stepped it up, and they became an actual playoff contender, especially with the performance of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.” said sophomore Nathan Malaiba, “He became an MVP candidate, and he really led the team to success.”

The previously mentioned AL Central performed how it expected, with 4 out of 5 teams finishing with a record under .500 and the loaded White Sox taking the division crown. 

And lastly: the AL West. The Houston Astros, as controversial as they are, once again had a historic offensive season behind the outraging talent of sluggers like Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa. They won 95 games and won their division as projected by Fangraphs and, really, any sensible baseball fan. 

As of now, we’re down to 4 teams. The Red Sox offense proved too much for the creative style of play that the Rays brought to the ALDS and beat them in 4 games. Two walk offs seemed to do the trick for the Sox, and it’s the first time they’ve had back to back walk offs in the postseason since 2004.

After taking a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Chicago White Sox, the Astros were off and running. Controversy arrived when White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera gave subtle allusions to the Astros cheating after the White Sox had beaten them in their first game in Chicago. The Astros were unfazed. 

In the 4th game of the series, they went to town on White Sox pitching and put up 10 runs to clinch their spot in the ALCS against the Red Sox, another proficient offensive team. “I definitely do think it’s going to be a slugfest, and the ultimate thing that I would say would help the Red Sox come out on top is that the Astros lost [Starting pitcher] Lance McCullers Jr.” said Malaiba. “And even if they are able to fix that hole in their rotation, I feel like it’s gonna slow them down a lot.”

The battle of 2 subpar offenses, the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves, ended with the Brewers pitching somehow not doing enough to seal more than one win in the NLDS. The Braves beat them in 4 games and shut them out twice while doing so. “The Braves have just kicked into gear over the last few weeks coming into the playoffs and I think that they just met the Brewers while they were hot.” said avid Washington Nationals fan Sebastian Baugh.

And finally, the only series that took 5 games to be decided. The century-long rivals finally met in the postseason after 60+ years since their move to California, and it did not disappoint. After 5 grueling battles between the Dodgers and Giants, the Dodgers prevailed once again to make their 5th NLCS in the last 6 years. “The Dodgers’ dominance should prevail over the Braves. They have a ton of firepower and top players all over the roster.” said Baugh.

The table is set for our last 4 competitors. Every pitch and every play will become more and more crucial as the days go by. Hearts will be broken and days will be ruined, for we are consistently reminded that anything can happen in the game of baseball.