Players in the Postseason: #WinorGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite (Oct. 21)
Updated: Oct. 21
This California native's family knew he was going to be a star when he was 3 years old and threw a ball from their driveway across the street and over the fence of the local high school. When he was in high school, he was in the fire explorers group, and might have even been a firefighter if he wasn't a baseball player. Who is he?
The TV Schedule
ALCS Game 5: Kansas City (Edinson Volquez) vs. Toronto (Marco Estrada), 4:07 p.m. ET on FS1
NLCS Game 4: New York (Steven Matz) vs. Chicago (Jason Hammel) at 8:07 p.m. ET on TBS
Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer on the fourth pitch of the game, Alex Rios connected an inning later against his former team, and the Royals never looked back, crushing the Blue Jays, 14-2, in ALCS Game 4 to pull within a victory of a World Series berth. With Alcides Escobar on base, Zobrist, an extremely versatile switch hitter who worked his way into the starting job at second base after the Royals acquired him before the July 31 Trade Deadline, launched a knuckleball 416 feet into the right-field bleachers. Escobar ended up with two hits and four RBIs, while Lorenzo Cain had two hits and three RBIs for Kansas City.
The Murphy Case
Daniel Murphy is getting ready to join the Billy Goat (1945), the black cat (1969) and Steve Bartman (2003) among the symbols of the Cubs' historic postseason futility. All it will take is one more NLCS win at Wrigley Field for the Mets, who lead the series, 3-0, to eliminate the Cubs and stop them short of yet another World Series. In the third inning of Game 3, Murphy hit his sixth home run of the postseason and fifth in successive games over the center-field wall on a sinker from Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. At 421 feet, it was also the longest homer of the postseason for Murphy, who had a career-high 14 homers during the regular season.
Thinking About Dad
"He would be just so excited, so excited," Royals starter Chris Young said when asked about his father, who died on Sept. 26 following a prolonged battle with cancer.
The 6-foot-10 pitcher made his first start with the Royals in nearly two months the day after his dad, Charles, passed away, and here he was on a club that seems poised to win its second straight AL pennant.
The 36-year-old right-hander got his passion for sports from his dad. Charles Young was captain of the Texas Christian University football team as an offensive lineman before becoming a Naval aviator and flying patrol missions for much of his 26 years in the service. He also leaned on him for advice -- not the technical pitching kind as much as about his mental approach. Like the kind he got when he was upset about being taken out of the Royals' rotation with the arrival of Johnny Cueto at the Trade Deadline.
"He just reminded me, 'Hey, worry about what you can control, and everything works out,'" Young told the Kansas City Star. "Just always there providing great insight. He was a very, very rational person. Very level-headed."
Full-size Jose Bautista decided he needed a pregame meeting with adorable 9-year-old Oscar Wood, aka Mini Bautista, who paints a Bautista-like beard on his face before games. Bautista posed for a photo with his namesake in the Jays' locker room at the Rogers Centre and later posted it on his Instagram feed.
The caption: "Getting some #Magic from #MiniBautista before the game!" The Bautista-bearded school kid became an instant internet sensation when a video of him swinging at about the same time as Bautista hit his decisive three-run home run during ALDS Game 5 went viral.
"It's funny. When I go to school people don't call me by my name, they just call me mini Jose or something like that, and yeah it's really cool." said Wood, who held a mini press conference on Tuesday at a local restaurant.
"This is an excellent (Cubs) team, and you give them room to win a game or streak along a couple good innings, and they're going to get all the confidence in the world and expect to beat us three in a row. So it's as simple as that. You can't look past (Wednesday). You have to continue to put your foot on the gas and try to play good baseball and take advantage of the type of baseball that we're playing and the type of pitching that we're getting. It starts with our starting pitching."
-- Mets captain David Wright
The Trivia Answer
Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays
Follow us @MLB_Players and to catch our postseason social media series, titled #WinOrGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite, featuring some up-close photos courtesy of Getty Sports.