Astros, Padres, Phils advance, Guardians close

The Houston Astros are going again to the AL Championship Series for the 6th directly 12 months.

One large swing by means of Jeremy Peña was once sufficient.

Peña homered within the 18th inning, and Houston beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 on Saturday for a three-game sweep in their AL Division Series. Luis Garcia labored 5 innings for the win, completing a stellar effort by means of the Astros bullpen.

Houston began its ALCS streak with its 2017 World Series championship. It was once eradicated within the ALCS in 2018 and 2020, and it misplaced within the World Series in 2019 towards Washington and final 12 months towards Atlanta.

“Once you’ve been through it and then you go through it again and again and again, and then you sort of expect excellence, and that’s what this team expects out of itself,” Houston supervisor Dusty Baker stated.

Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies complicated to the NLCS with an 8-3 victory over the Braves on Saturday in Game 4 in their best-of-five Division Series. It’s the primary NLCS look for Philly since 2010.

They’ll open Tuesday at San Diego in an all-wild card NLCS after the Padres surprised the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 to win their Division Series in 4 video games. San Diego is within the NLCS for the primary time in 24 years.

Next up for this 12 months’s Astros is Game 1 towards the New York Yankees or Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday in Houston. Cleveland can advance with another win towards New York in Game 4 in their ALDS on Sunday night time.

Here’s what else to understand concerning the MLB playoffs Sunday:

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE (All occasions ET)

ALDS Game 4: New York Yankees at Cleveland, 7:07 p.m., TBS

COLE’S CHALLENGE

Gerrit Cole begins Sunday night time for New York, having a look to ship the ALDS to a decisive Game 5 again house within the Bronx. Cal Quantrill pitches for Cleveland.

The 32-year-old Cole went 13-8 with a three.50 ERA in 33 begins this season for the AL East champions. The ace right-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball within the Yankees’ 4-1 win towards Quantrill and the Guardians on Tuesday night time.

“I thought we were solid in general, kind of in all aspects,” Cole stated of his Game 1 trip, “and so looking to find little ways to improve and stay right there.”

Cleveland rallied for a dramatic 6-5 victory towards New York on Saturday night time, taking a 2-1 lead within the best-of-five collection. Rookie Oscar Gonzalez hit a two-run unmarried with two outs within the 9th inning.

The 27-year-old Quantrill is making his moment profession postseason get started. He went 9-0 with a three.28 ERA in 19 house begins this 12 months. He has no longer absorbed a loss in his final 36 house begins general, the second-longest such streak in MLB historical past.

“I think some of it’s probably a little bit of randomness, but I do enjoy pitching here,” Quantrill stated. “Like I said, I just enjoy the routine of working here and preparing and, you know, things have gone well.”

THOMSON’S STORY

Philadelphia was once 22-29 when it fired Joe Girardi on June 3 and promoted Rob Thomson from bench trainer to intervening time supervisor.

The 59-year-old Thomson, who have been a profession trainer for the Yankees and Phillies, directed Philadelphia to an 87-75 end and an NL wild card. Now the Phillies are within the NLCS for the primary time since they have been eradicated by means of San Francisco in 2010.

“Once we hit June, the schedule kind of lightened up a little bit and we started winning, and guys started getting confidence and believing that they could win and believing that, OK, now this is the team that we thought we were,” Thomson stated. “And just kept going.”

Thomson is the primary Canadian-born supervisor to guide a workforce to the postseason. He had his intervening time tag got rid of on Monday when the membership introduced his new two-year contract.

END OF THE ROAD

Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers dropped 3 directly to the Padres in a painful NLDS defeat after the correct regular-season document in membership historical past (111-51) and supervisor Dave Roberts’ prediction all through spring coaching that they would win the World Series.

“Shock factor, very high. Disappointment, very high. It’s crushing,” Roberts stated. “Each man gave the entirety that they had throughout the year, and an incredible season. The wonderful thing about baseball is the unpredictability, and the cruel factor about it’s the identical factor.

“Nothing I can say is going to make it feel any better. Obviously we didn’t expect to be in this position,” he added.

The Dodgers are left with an empty feeling. They received the NL West for the 9th time in 10 seasons and completed 22 video games forward of San Diego. The Dodgers went 14-5 towards the Padres within the steady season and had received 9 directly regular-season collection towards them.

“These guys dominated us all year long, but we got hot at the right time,” Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove stated. “It’s a good feeling.”

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