Before the playoffs began this season, the Washington Nationals, as has been their current iteration since 2005, had never managed to win a single series in the playoffs. In fact, they had never won the Wild Card Game that would get them into the playoffs ‘proper.’ On top of that, the franchise as a whole had never made it to the World Series before in almost 50 years of action. All of that changed on Tuesday night when they officially swept away the St. Louis Cardinals. It took the Nats little to no time to get started on the evening, posting seven runs in the first inning, none of which came via the long ball. The Cardinals would come back, to a degree, in the fourth and fifth innings when they delivered four runs, one coming from a home run from Yadier Molina, but it was not nearly enough after Patrick Corbin had left the mound. In the end, it finished 7-4, sending the Nationals to a first World Series appearance. They will be awaiting the winner of the Houston Astros and New York Yankees for that. In other related news, Howie Kendrick, the 36-year old veteran, took home the NLCS MVP honors following a terrific series that saw him drive in four runs and go 5-15.
The Houston Astros would have been keen to take control of their ALCS series with the New York Yankees, and they did exactly than on Tuesday night by taking a 2-1 lead following a 4-1 victory. Gerrit Cole wasn’t even his normal self and he still went seven innings without allowing a single run to cross the plate. He let five batters on via a free pass, yet the Yankees could not muster much. Of course, he was aided by home runs from Jose Altuve (in the first) and Josh Reddick (in the second). Before he departed, he had two more runs in the bank as they scored thanks to a wild pitch and a sac fly to make it 4-0. Gleyber Torres hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to reduce the score to 4-1, but it was much too little on the evening to truly mount a comeback.
It should come as no surprise that the US Men’s National Soccer team is making more bad records, in all honesty, but losing to Canada on Tuesday night will nonetheless still be one that sticks out like a sore thumb to many. The 2-0 loss, in the new CONCACAF Nations League that the US had criticized as being a waste of time, came courtesy of goals from Alphonso Davies and Lucas Cavallini and some tepid American performances as well. There were a lot of similarities to the 2-0 loss in Trinidad & Tobago that kept them out of the last World Cup, so this is a worrying sign going forward for a team that is just not very good right now… at all. It’s the first loss to their neighbors up north in 17, a run that dated back to 1985.