Players in the Postseason: #WinorGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite (Oct. 16)
Updated: Oct. 16
This Cuban-born player decided to live out his father's dream of becoming a professional baseball player after his father passed away when he was just 8 years old. During the offseason, he travels back and forth between his home in Miami and the Dominican Republic, where he used to play winter ball. Since he was such a fixture on the Gigantes del Cibao, they even gave him a key to the team's home city! Who is he?
Daniel, My Brother
Daniel Murphy showed both long-ball and small-ball skills in helping the Mets advance to the NLCS. He hit an RBI double in the first inning to score Curtis Granderson and put the Mets ahead, and he hit a home run off Zack Greinke in the sixth to give New York the lead for good. But his fourth-inning contribution garnered the most postgame buzz.
On first after hitting a single, the 30-year-old second baseman was trotting to second following Lucas Duda's one-out walk, when he noticed that the Dodgers infielders weren't quickly returning to their normal positions after shifting to the right side of the infield for Duda's at-bat. So he nonchalantly took second, then geared up and made it to third without a throw. The next batter, Travis d'Arnaud, hit a sacrifice fly to bring him home.
"I've never been in the playoffs before," Murphy said, "but I'm starting to understand how valuable 90 feet can be."
The ALCS Begins
Marco Estrada, who was 13-8 with a 3.13 ERA in the regular season and helped Toronto get on track with a win in Game 3 of the ALDS, will start Game 1 of the ALCS for the Blue Jays in Kansas City on Friday at 8:07 pm ET on FS1. He gave up five hits and one earned run over 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and no walks as the Jays beat the Rangers, 5-1, to start their comeback from 2-0 down in the series. The Royals will counter with Edinson Volquez, who went 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA during the regular season. Volquez lost his ALDS start against the Astros' Dallas Keuchel, giving up three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Election Day in Canada is Monday, but so is Game 3 of the Blue Jays' ALCS against the Royals, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET -- 90 minutes before the polls close. With an average Canadian TV audience of 2.8 million for the first three games against the Rangers and more than 9 million people tuning in for Wednesday night's thrilling Game 5, fans are going to be torn between the important election and the important baseball game; some are wondering if the game will keep some serious fans from voting.
"Seriously. Elections Canada should consider setting up polling stations in sports bars on Monday night," tweeted Blue Jays fan Conway Fraser.
One Blue Jays fan wasted little time memorializing the high point of the team's Game 5 ALDS victory over the Rangers. On our social media feed this morning was this from @JoeyBats19, aka Jose Bautista:
"I have heard and seen some crazy stuff in the last 24 hours but this one takes the prize."
… And by the way, this is how Canada's hero got home from the game.
The Rising Star
On a club that features young talents like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler, nobody's star is rising faster than Kyle Schwarber's. In July, about a year removed from playing collegiate ball for Indiana, he was named MVP of the Futures Game. And a couple weeks after that he was inserted into the Cubs' lineup. Now, at 22, he's a household name in the Windy City, with three postseason home runs under his belt. Mickey Mantle, Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper and Andruw Jones are the only players who have hit more before age 23. The ball from his gargantuan homer in Game 4 is being left atop the right-field video board at Wrigley as a good luck charm for the remainder of the Cubs' playoff run. It was also learned yesterday that he's agreed to a contract with baseball cap manufacturer New Era to be a brand ambassador along with Andrew McCutchen, David Ortiz and Buster Posey. Manny Machado and Curtis Granderson are the New Era brand spokesmen.
Addison Russell Won't Play in NLCS
Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Addison Russell's left hamstring injury will keep him out of the NLCS. But the club hasn't ruled him out if it advances to the World Series. The team has until Saturday morning to name a roster replacement for him. The 21-year-old shortstop got hurt while running out a triple in NLDS Game 3 against the Cardinals.
Another passage from Roger Angell ...
From The New Yorker, here's another passage from 95-year-old poet laureate Roger Angell, this one describing the wild seventh inning in Wednesday night's ALDS Game 5 in Toronto:
In the top half, with the score tied 2-2, and two outs and a Ranger base-runner on third, Toronto catcher Russell Martin made a routine flip back to his pitcher, only to see the ball ricochet off the upheld bat of the Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo, innocently standing in the batter's box. The ball trickled weakly toward third, whereupon the Ranger base runner, Rougned Odor-I love to write it-scurried home with the go-ahead run. The play was lengthily umped and viewed but stood up-not an injustice but an irreversible little unfairness, a bad joke. I've been watching baseball since 1930 and have never seen a catcher's throw-back nick the batter's bat or person.
The Trivia Answer
Kendrys Morales, Kansas City Royals
Follow us @MLB_Players and to catch our postseason social media series, titled #WinOrGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite, featuring some up-close photos courtesy of Getty Sports.