The Washington Nationals’ opponents for the 2019 World Series have officially been confirmed after the heroics of Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday night. Altuve, at the plate facing New York Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman with the score at 4-4, waited until Chapman hung up breaking ball over the outer part of the plate. That pitch ended up over the left-field fence, resulting in a walk-off two-run bomb that handed the Astros a 6-4 win in Game 6. All of that came after the Astros had looked like they were going to easily win it. They had a three run lead thanks to Yuli Gurriel’s first inning homer, yet the Yankees stayed in it. Eventually, heading into the ninth, the Astros held a two-run lead. But DJ LeMahieu, ever the clutch hitter for the Bronx Bombers, came up huge with a two-run shot to extend it. Only for a while, though, as Altuve had different plans. He was named MVP as a result of his play, which included two home runs in the series, three RBI’s, and six runs scored. The Nationals will now travel to Houston on Tuesday to begin the World Series in what should be fantastic series for pitching match ups.
As each week goes by, we are starting to get a much clearer picture of just who could end up in the College Football Playoff. One of those teams is no longer likely to be Wisconsin after the #6 Badgers lost on a late field goal to Illinois. Illinois had trailed for virtually the whole game, but they came back to grab a famous 24-23 victory. Elsewhere, there were some teams that made very sure they didn’t let the dreaded upset happen to them in week 8. #1 Alabama rolled over Tennessee by a score of 35-13 despite seeing Tua Tagovailoa go down with an injury, said to be a high ankle sprain. #2 LSU throttled Mississippi State with a 36-13 win on the back of a big day for Joe Burrow, who broke the school’s record for most touchdowns thrown with a four-TD day. All of the other big dogs, including Clemson and Oklahoma won, but the most notable match up could have been Oregon vs Washington. The Ducks held on in the end for a 35-31 win, keeping the PAC-12 in the hunt for playoff places.
Major League Soccer’s new playoff format began in earnest on Saturday, and it did not disappoint. Two of the four games went to overtime, though once they got there, had massive competitive differences. The Seattle Sounders, on the back of a hat trick from Jordan Morris, the last of which came in OT, held off FC Dallas at home for a 4-3 win. Across the continent, Toronto FC shook off a late comeback by DC United to eventually throttle them 5-1 in extra time as they scored four goals in a 15-minute span to punish them for their insolence. In the other two matches, defending MLS Cup champions Atlanta United defeated New England 1-0 and Real Salt Lake won at home over the Portland Timbers 2-1, making it a clean sweep for the home sides on the day.