The MLB playoffs 2010 saw another day of chaos yesterday. As the MLB playoffs 2010 near the league championship round, teams have been winning and losing in ugly, surprising ways. Only the Yankees and Phillies have maintained order, although even they have gotten a share of help. The Rangers, Giants and Braves had their chances to establish control at various points, but circumstances have worked against them. Yesterday, the playoffs saw the Rangers and Braves fall victim to comeback efforts, although the Phillies did not fall victim to them.
The Rangers looked to have everything in hand against the Rays, with a 2-0 series lead going back to Texas. Yet ever since the eighth inning of Game 3, everything has fallen the Rays’ way. Yesterday, they did not need a comeback, as Tampa Bay jumped ahead from the start in a 5-2 triumph.
Now the MLB will have its first do-or-die game Tuesday in a rematch of aces. Cliff Lee easily bested James Shields in Game 1, and the Rangers need that to happen again to avoid a devastating collapse. The winner will host the Yankees in the ALCS, although New York has to feel even more confident now.
Meanwhile, in the National League, comebacks have highlighted the Braves-Giants series. The Braves looked finished until a Game 2 rally, and looked buried after Jonathan Sanchez dominated them in Game 3. But Eric Hinske looked to lift them up with a two-run, eighth inning blast.
However, with Billy Wagner injured, the Braves had a harder time closing things out. Although they were a strike away from winning, Atlanta could not hold up. San Francisco got two runs in the ninth – with the winning run on yet another Brooks Conrad error – and took control of the series again.
Yet the opening round of the playoffs could still see two sweeps, and two Game 5s, if the Braves win tonight. But if they don’t, the NLCS will be completely set, with San Francisco heading for Philadelphia instead of going back home.
Order was restored to the MLB at night, with the Phillies closing out the Reds 2-0. One final Reds error led to the first run, and Chase Utley narrowly cleared the fences for the second one. That was all Cole Hamels needed, as he flashed back to his 2008 postseason dominance with a five-hit shutout.
Now that the Yankees and Phillies are in the next round, they get to rest while their next opponent exhausts itself. In fact, the MLB playoffs couldn’t break any better for both teams.
Even if the Yankees face the Rangers, they would avoid Cliff Lee until Game 3, while if the Giants need a Game 5 to beat the Braves, they can’t throw Tim Lincecum at the Phillies right away. But the Giants can avoid that by clinching tonight in Atlanta.
SI.com- “Five Cuts: Reeling Rangers will have edge in decisive Game 5”