NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS:
The Chicago Cubs are now working on century number two of futility. They haven’t won the World Series since 1908, and after being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers this past weekend, they won’t be winning the World Series in 2008 either.
The Cubs never competed in this series. They were outscored by the Dodgers 20-6 over the three games. And while losing three in this series to make it a total of nine straight postseason losses, the Cubs made sure that Joe Torre was able to extend his record of postseason victories with 79.
Manny Ramirez continued to earn his next big money contract as he was five for ten in the series with two homers, five runs, and three RBI. And the Dodgers, who won their first postseason series since 1988, find themselves advancing to the National League Championship Series where they will be taking on the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies defeated the Brewers in four games, clinching that series with a 6-2 win over the Brewers yesterday. Jimmy Rollins homered to lead off the game for the Phillies, and they never trailed. They will be meeting the Dodgers for the fourth time ever in postseason play. The Dodgers defeated the Phillies in the 1977 and 1978 to go to the World Series, and the Phillies defeated the Dodgers in 1983 to advance.
The National League Championship Series will begin in Philadelphia on Thursday.
AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS:
The American League playoff series are still going strong, however. Trailing 2-0 in the series, and playing the game that could end their season, the Chicago White Sox instead found a way to shut down the Tampa Bay Rays and send the series to a fourth game this afternoon with a 5-3 victory.
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John Denks got the start for the White Sox, and for the second time in less than a week, he kept the Sox season alive – Denks also shut down the Minnesota Twins last Tuesday night in the game that sent the Chi Sox into the playoffs. Andy Sonnanstine gets the start for the Rays today and Gavin Floyd gets the start for Chicago.
It took 12 innings in Boston, but the Angels finally defeated the Red Sox in a playoff game, getting the 5-4 win. The Angels were on the brink of elimination, and they had lost 11 straight postseason games to the Red Sox, dating back to the 1986 playoffs.
Angel shortstop Erick Aybar singled home catcher Mike Napoli to put the Angels up 5-4, and the Red Sox were not able to get any runs off of Jered Weaver in the bottom of the inning. And at 5:19, this was the longest game in American League playoff history.
They play again tonight with Jon Lester trying to pitch the Red Sox into the next round of the playoffs. He will face-off against the Angels John Lackey. – John Royal