Updated: Oct. 13
This pitcher, who eats Chipotle before every start, set an All-Star Game record when he struck out three batters in one inning, using only 10 pitches. He got married two days before winning the Rookie of the Year award. Who is he?
The Booming Bats
Sure, pitching and defense win a lot of games. But baseballs were flying into seats and banging off walls in the four Division Series games Monday. The eight teams combined for postseason records of 21 home runs, including six by the Cubs, and 61 total runs. According to STATS Inc., the previous record for home runs was the 15 hit on Oct. 3, 1995. The old record for runs scored was 48, set Oct. 5, 2002.
The wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field last night, so the Cubs' postseason-record six home runs traveled a little further into the seats than they may have ordinarily. Blasts by Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler provided the necessary offense to hold off the Cardinals.
''Pretty impressive,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ''You know, I know the wind was blowing out -- we'll concede that -- but most of them were properly struck. We are definitely capable of that.''
Hot, Hot, Jorge!
Rookie outfielder Jorge Soler still hasn't made an out in the postseason, stretching his streak to nine at-bats. The 23-year-old from Havana had two walks, sparked a three-run uprising with a sharp single to left in the fifth, then crushed an Adam Wainwright fastball for a two-run homer in the sixth before leaving for defensive replacement Austin Jackson in the seventh.
"I've got tremendous confidence right now,'' Soler said through Cubs bench coach and translator Dave Martinez.
The Other Way of Thinking About It
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus isn't concerned about momentum or playing the deciding Game 5 in Toronto. Having lost the last two games in Texas after winning the first two in Toronto, the 27-year-old Venezuelan shortstop liked his team's chances.
"We did it in 2010, so why not 2015? We want to win. We really want to win really hard," Andrus said. "We're going to do what we're supposed to do. And that's the key for us, score early and let Cole (Hamels) do the rest."
"It was hit right to me, so that was pretty cool. I got it authenticated."
-- David Price, who caught Kevin Pillar's home run in the bullpen
The Grandy Man
Curtis Granderson, who had made a costly throwing error in the top of the second, more than made up for it in the bottom of the inning with a two-out, three-run double off the wall in right-center field.
"The guys ahead of me ended up getting on base," said Granderson, who added a two-run double in the seventh to total five RBIs. "They went out and continued to keep their heads held high. It was just take it at-bat to at-bat and just look for a pitch to drive."
The Bat Flip
There were 21 home runs hit in Monday's Division Series games, but Yoenis Cespedes easily won the most style points after hitting a 431-foot, 111 mph laser shot into the second deck in left field with what is so far the bat flip of the 2015 postseason.
The Performance That Shouldn't Be Overlooked
Despite the Astros loss, rookie Carlos Correa showed why he will be a force for years to come. The super-poised 21-year-old went 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs. Almost as impressive was the way he stood in front of his locker after the difficult loss and took responsibility (in both English and Spanish) for his eighth-inning error:
"I missed it. It happens. I wish I was perfect, but I'm not. I'm human."
The Stud Pitcher
Not surprisingly, Clayton Kershaw will pitch on short rest for the Dodgers in Game 4. Manager Don Mattingly has gone to Kershaw on short rest in each of the club's last two division series appearances. In 2014, he allowed three runs over six innings in the Dodgers' loss to the Cardinials. He threw six strong innings in a win against Atlanta in 2013. Mattingly considered starting Kershaw a no-brainer: "Do I have to explain that one? He's pretty good."
St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs; 4:37 p.m. ET; TV: TBS
Starters: John Lackey vs. Jason Hammel
Los Angeles Dodgers @ New York Mets; 8:07 p.m. ET; TV: TBS
Starters: Clayton Kershaw vs. Steven Matz
The Trivia Answer
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom
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