Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Players in the Postseason: #WinorGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite (Oct. 18)

Updated: Oct. 18

Trivial Pursuits

In this year's National League Wild Card game against the Pirates, this player became the youngest Cubs player to hit a postseason homer since Frank Demaree hit one on Oct. 2, 1932. Who is he?

That Winning Feeling

When Ben Zobrist's lazy fly fell for a hit in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 2, there was a familiar feeling among Royals players. They've developed a knack for the kind of comeback win they mounted against David Price and the Blue Jays. Price shut them down for six innings and had retired 18 consecutive batters before Zobrist's hit dropped into the outfield, but as Eric Hosmer later said, the feeling among the players was the same:

"You know we've got something brewing," Hosmer said.

Zobrist's turned out to be the first of four singles and a double in the inning that turned the game. Hosme, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Alex Rios got the hits, and Kendrys Morales had an RBI groundout.

"Once this lineup gets moving, it's one guy after another," Gordon told the Kansas City Star.

The Ace

The Cubs would rather have no other pitcher than Jake Arrieta starting for them in NLCS Game 2 (8 p.m. ET, TBS) at Citi Field, where forecasters predicted another windy night in the 40s. Arrieta set a Major League record with a 0.75 ERA after the All-Star break and was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against the Mets. But his 34-inning scoreless streak ended in his last NLDS start against the Cardinals on Monday when he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He has pitched 243 2/3 innings so far this season, with as many as four possible starts remaining if the Cubs reach the World Series.

"Physically, my body feels great," he said Saturday. "There's still some work to be done, and I don't think I've gotten to the end of my leash yet."

The Rotation

With Matt Harvey's dominating performance in NLCS Game 1, the Mets rotation is lined up exactly as they'd like, with Harvey, Game 2 starter Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom each potentially available for two starts. deGrom, who is expected to start Game 3 at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, would be in line for a win-or-go-home Game 7. Syndergaard was 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA and struck out 166 in 150 innings and got better as the season went on. In the NLDS, the 23-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on five hits, walked four and struck out nine in his start, then helped put the series away with a solid relief inning in Game 5 on Thursday.

The Big Apple

The big red apple that rises up in the center field stands at Citi Field whenever a Mets player hits a home run has a scratch mark courtesy of Travis d'Arnaud. The catcher's long, sixth-inning solo homer ricocheted off the apple and into the seats.

"I've never seen that before," Daniel Murphy said. "We've been in this stadium since 2009. I've never seen someone drop it in the apple like that. That was a great at-bat."

The blast gave the Mets a 3-1 lead, but d'Arnaud never saw it come down.

"I knew I struck it well," d'Arnaud said. "I knew center field is really deep here so I was running hard."

The Right Priorities

You can excuse Kyle and Tricia Kovach for leaving Game 2 early and missing the Royals' big comeback against the Blue Jays at Kaufmann Stadium. Tricia had won the two tickets and with a little logistical work, decided they could squeeze in a couple innings after their 1 p.m. wedding and before the 6:30 pm reception.

"I grew up watching the Royals," Tricia said. "My family, we all love the Royals and we just cannot imagine anything better than this."

As for Kyle, well, he's a Cardinals fan. But a chance to see a playoff game on your wedding day seemed like a good opportunity to him, too.

"I'm on Cloud 9. I couldn't ask for a better experience," he told the Kansas City Star.

The Quote

"Daniel Murphy plans on going as a world champion for Halloween. Dude has come to play this postseason!"
--Dallas Braden via Twitter

The Trivia Answer

Kyle Schwarber

Follow us @MLB_Players and to catch our postseason social media series, titled #WinOrGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite, featuring some up-close photos courtesy of Getty Sports.