Yesterday, we had a full slate of division series games with all teams in the American League and National League battling it out. We got to see Game Two’s between Detroit and Oakland and between Cincinnati and San Francisco. In both of those games, the team that won Game One again succeeded as the Tigers topped the A’s 5-4 while the Reds blasted the Giants 9-0. Meanwhile, we also got to see the first game of series between the Nationals and Cardinals and the Yankees and Orioles. We got no surprises there with the Nats edging it out against the Cards, 3-2, and the Yankees routing the O’s 7-2.
Normally, one would say that it’s no real surprise that the Yankees trampled the Orioles given their incredibly favorable pitching matchup. However, both the experienced CC Sabathia (8.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 7 K) and inexperienced Jason Hammel (5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 K) pitched pretty well. It was tied 2-2 for much of the game, until the Yankees exploded for five runs in the top of the ninth. Closer Jim Johnson (2.49 ERA, 51 saves) came in and promptly allowed a leadoff home run to Russell Martin. The Yankees went on to load the bases and score three on Robinson Cano‘s double; Cano would score on a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2 and the Yanks rode that to a Game One victory.
The Tigers-A’s game was similarly exciting, almost from the start as a great matchup of Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45) and Tommy Milone (13-10, 3.74) translated to a great game. Both teams scored in the third inning, the A’s on a Yoenis Cespedes single and the Tigers on a Delmon Young groundout. Both teams scored in the again in the seventh, the A’s on a Cliff Pennington single and then the Tigers scored two on an error. However, the A’s battled back for two in the next inning as Yoenis Cespedes singled, stole second, stole third, and scored on a wild pitch. Former Red Sox Josh Reddick would also make his mark with a solo home run to give the A’s a 4-3 lead. However, the Tigers scored in the eighth before Don Kelly’s sac fly in the ninth worked as a walk-off as the Tigers won 5-4.
Another great pitching matchup in the Nationals-Cardinals game led to another great game in St. Louis. Gio Gonzalez (21-8, 2.89) and Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94) welcomed the playoff atmosphere and pitched their hearts out. Gonzalez would allow just a hit and two runs (while walking seven) and striking out five in five innings. Wainwright was better, allowing a run and striking out ten in 5.2 innings. However, it would be the late game heroics of Tyler Moore that were remembered in this game. With runners at second and third and two outs in the top of the eighth, the rookie Moore lined a soft fly ball into right for a two-run single that would be the biggest blow in a 3-2 win.
The Reds-Giants Game Two matchup of Bronson Arroyo (12-10, 3.74) and Madison Bumgarner (16-11, 3.37) looked like another great matchup. However, only one of those pitchers really showed up– while Bumgarner was rocked for seven hits and four runs in 4.1 innings, Arroyo allowed just a hit and walk in seven innings. The Reds benefited from a Ryan Ludwick home run, two doubles by Brandon Phillips, and a 2-4, 3 RBI day for Ryan Hanigan en route to a 9-0 win.