Around The League: Road To The World Series


Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Venom Strikes focuses on the Arizona Diamondbacks, but attempts to cover all of baseball. In this edition of Around The League, we take a look at the two Championship Series’ currently taking place, as four teams fight for two spots in the World Series.

(3) Detroit Tigers VS. (1) Boston Red Sox:

Since 2006, there have been only two instances where the Detroit Tigers or Boston Red Sox have not been part of the ALCS. Already two games into their 2013 matchup, and the series is knotted 1-1. Game One was the story of Detroit’s pitching – led by starter Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers’ pitching staff nearly combined to no-hit the Boston Red Sox. Their one and only hit of the evening was thanks to Daniel Nava, who lined a single off Joaquin Benoit with one out in the ninth inning. It would have been Detroit’s first postseason no-hitter of all-time. The only run of the game came in the sixth inning, with Jon Lester on the mound. Jhonny Peralta looped an RBI single to center field, scoring Miguel Cabrera.

Just as in the previous game, the Tigers were moving right along in Game 2. Due to the bats of Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, Detroit took a 5-1 lead into the eighth inning. The Red Sox recorded just two hits in the first seven innings, but managed to get four hits in the eighth. There was none bigger than David Ortiz‘s, who slugged dramatic a two-out, game-tying grand slam off Benoit to tie the game 5-5. The game ended in walk-off fashion after Jarrod Saltalamacchia lined a single to left field, scoring Jonny Gomes and ending the heated contest.

Game 3 will take place Tuesday afternoon at Tiger Stadium.

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers VS. (1) St. Louis Cardinals:

After two games of the NLCS, the St. Louis Cardinals have dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers and are now just two wins away from reaching the World Series for the second time in the past three years. In Game One, Carlos Beltran, once again, proved to the baseball world why he is one of October’s best performers in recent memory. With the score tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the thirteenth inning, Beltran stepped up to the plate and delivered a walk-off single, just the latest of his postseason heroics. Just 14 1/2 hours later, the two teams took the field again for Game Two of the series.

Arguably the game’s best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers while rookie phenom Michael Wacha was on the hill for the Cardinals. Coming off two outings where he flirted with no-hitter’s, Wacha controlled the game again. He worked 6.2 innings, allowing five hits and striking out eight. The bullpen was just as impressive, not even allowing a hit for the rest of the game. The 22-year-old outdueled Kershaw, who lasted six innings, suffering one run on two hits. That single run, Jon Jay‘s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth which scored David Freese, proved to be the difference in the game as St. Louis took a two-game advantage after the 1-0 victory.

Game 3 will take place on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.