There are still multiple teams in the NFL that can claim to be unbeaten after five weeks of action after Monday Night Football saw the resurgent San Francisco 49ers move to 4-0 last night with a convincing 31-3 win over the now 2-3 Cleveland Browns. An 83-yard touchdown run from Matt Breida kicked off the scoring on the very first play from scrimmage, and he would then double the lead with a five-yard TD grab from QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who didn’t even have to be brilliant given the way the Browns played. Browns QB Baker Mayfield continued a worrying trend of less than stellar games, completing just eight of his 22 passes for 100 yards and getting picked twice. The 49ers are now 4-0, joining the 5-0 New England Patriots as the only two undefeated teams at this stage of the season.
Only one of the three division series of MLB’s playoffs has come to an end via the sweep, and that’s the one involving the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. After two wins at home, the Yankees got the job done as early as possible on Monday night when they went on the road to win 5-1. Game 3 of the series saw Gleyber Torres shine both at the plate and in the field. His solo shot got them on the board in the second inning, he hit two doubles that led to scoring runs, and his defensive play was superb. Luis Severino (and company) were good, too, helping them move on to the ALCS. They will likely be facing the Houston Astros there, but they were forced to wait another day to clinch the ALDS as the Tampa Bay Rays got a big win in Florida in Game 3. The 10-3 victory was keyed by four home runs in total, part of a three-inning stretch that saw them post eight runs and get out to an 8-1 advantage. The Astros threatened, but they never realistically stood a chance at coming back to wrap up the series. Charlie Morton simply outpitched Zach Greinke, something they will need more of him on Tuesday if they are to stay alive yet again.
Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves came into Game 4 on Monday with one goal in mind: end the series as soon as possible. However, neither of them managed to do so, and the NLDS’ will both come down to pressure-packed Game 5’s in LA and Atlanta. The St. Louis Cardinals rode big performances from Marcell Ozuna, Paul Goldschmidt, and Yadier Molina, who hit the tying single in the eighth and the winning sac fly in the bottom of the tenth in the 5-4 victory. The Braves had been led by Ozzie Albies, who had an RBI sac fly and a two-run homer that had given the Bravos a 4-3 lead in the fifth. In Washington, it was the Nationals that made sure they would force a Game 5 with a 6-1 win over the Dodgers. Max Scherzer saved the Nats from elimination with seven strong innings on the bump and only one run allowed. He had given up that run in the first, with Justin Turner smashing a homer. After that, the visitors got nothing. Anthony Rendon, soon to be a free agent, got two RBI’s to tie the game and put them in the lead before Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run bomb to plate Rendon, who would go on to drive in another run later. From there, it was fairly smooth sailing as the series now moves back to the west coast on Wednesday for the decider.