Not your average lunch break
By Lisa R. Neilson
Take your lunch break early today and tell your boss you won’t be returning.
He’ll wonder if you’re riding the back of the government shutdown, or cashing in that Mega Millions winning ticket.
Let him wonder.
What you don’t have to tell him is that you’ll be spending the next twelve hours cozying up to your big screen television enjoying one of the best days of baseball this season.
Today, baseball fans have the opportunity to wallow in four division playoff games beginning at 1 pm EST. That’s a marathon of good baseball even your boss might want to peek at.
I don’t have a team in the running but like fellow blogger Geary Kaczorowski, I’m charged up about this year’s postseason. It will be full of classic pitching, like Dodger’s ace Clayton Kershaw’s amazing performance last night with 12 strikeouts over seven innings. That was more than enough to put away the Braves and take the first game of the NLDS in a 6 to 1 victory. The Dodgers will also throw Zack Greinke, who finished in the top 5 in all of baseball in ERA. Other top-notch pitchers slated to take the mound in the division series include Pittsburgh’s veteran Francisco Liriano, the Cardinals’ playoff-proven Adam Wainwright, Detroit’s reliable Justin Verlander and likely AL Cy Young Award-winner Max Scherzer, and the Rays’ effective one-two punch David Price and Alex Cobb. And that’s just a few of them!
We’re also guaranteed to see some outstanding offense in these games. Time magazine blogger Eric Dodds tags Cardinals Carlos Beltran as the best playoff hitter of all times with the greatest all-time OPS (on-base plus slugging) in postseason history. Four Braves hit more than 20 home runs this season, with first baseman Freddie Freeman’s .319 batting average and 109 RBIs as well. Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen has a bat to contribute, as do A’s Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes and first baseman Brandon Moss. Boston’s lineup is of course solid and the Rays’ is pretty productive, too.
It’s safe to say that nothing is a sure thing in these division matchups. The Braves spent September treading water, the Red Sox have had a four-day layoff, and the Rays haven’t had a minute to sit down.
Except none of that matters in postseason baseball. All it takes is one wild pitch, one stolen base, or one home run over the center field wall to change the outcome of a game, or a series. Don’t expect any team to go down quietly.
So settle in this afternoon and get dinner delivered. You’ve got some baseball to watch.
Welcome to October.