Blue Jays sweep Rangers, advance to ALCS
It was looking like this year's American League Division Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers was going to be a mirror image of last year, with the visiting team winning the first four games and the home team (presumably) winning the deciding fifth game. Last night the Rangers scored in the top of the first, but the Blue Jays came back with two home runs in the bottom of the first, making it a 3-1 game. From there, it was a classic back-and-forth game, and the Rangers took a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning, on a two-run double by Mitch Moreland. The Blue Jays then tied it in the bottom of that inning on a wild pitch, and would have opened a big lead except that right fielder Nomar Mazara grabbed a line drive hit by Ezequiel Carrera to end the inning. It went into extra innings, and in the botom of the tenth, Russell Martin grounded into what would have been an inning-ending double play except that Rougned Odor threw the ball wide of first base allowing Martin to reach base. Meanwhile, Josh Donaldson rounded third base and charged toward home like a madman, scoring the winning run amidst jubilant cheers from the nearly 50,000 Toronto fans. Wow!
And so, the Blue Jays will most likely play at Cleveland (or possibly Boston) on Friday as the American League Championship Series gets underway.
Nationals even the series
Just like in the Friday game, one of the Washington Nationals' two best pitchers struggled in the Sunday afternoon game. But Tanner Roark managed to limit the damage to just two runs, getting out of bases-loaded jams. But when he allowed two base runners with just one out in the fifth inning, Dusty Baker replaced him with Mark Rzepczynski, who held the line. In the bottom of the inning, one of those totally unpredictable postseason "miracles" took place, when the Nats' backup catcher Jose Lobaton hit a three-run home run to take the lead, in spite of swirling winds. Hardly anybody expected that, but I know that Lobaton has risen to the occasion once or twice over the past couple years. But nothing in his career up to now could possibly compare to that heroic feat that instantly changed the chemistry of the game and may have saved the Nats' chances in this NLDS. Daniel Murphy got two RBIs in the latter innings, getting three hits in three at-bats plus a walk. Glad that sore gluteous maximus has healed up! The Nats' bullpen really did their job, preventing any more runs from scoring, and the Nationals won 5-2, thus evening the series at one game apiece. MLB.com
Because of the rain-postponed game, there was no travel day as the NLDS resumes in Los Angeles this afternoon.
Boston game rained out
The same storm system (related to Hurricane Matthew?) that drenched Washington on Saturday forced a postponement of the Indians - Red Sox game in Boston on Sunday. So, they're going to play this evening instead. It's a possible elimination game for the Red Sox, and therefore may be the final game of David Ortiz's career. Even though I favor the Indians, I hope [it's not the end for "Big Papi"]. I wonder what the record for rained-out games in a single postseason is?
Citi Field update update
I was going to finish the Fenway Park diagrams by today, which may be the last game played there this year, but I had to make some further corrections to the Citi Field diagrams. First, I remembered finding out that the outside ground level was the same as the field level, probably a reflection of the wet lowland soil in Flushing Meadows. (It's basically a reclaimed marsh.) Second, I noticed in one of my photos that the diagonal sides of the second deck near the two foul poles are angled [less sharply] than I previously estimated. Third, I noticed that the glass-enclosed multi-tiered luxury dining area near the left field foul pole has one one corner (not two), and that the portion toward the infield is angled differently than the upper deck above. [There is also an outdoor balcony with tables in front of the glass. Another new detail is the small video board squeezed between the second decks in the right field corner; the Mets added that in 2012 or 2013, I believe.] Finally, I made some corrections to the position of some of the upper deck stairways, elevator sheds, escalators, etc.
While looking at the photos I took in New York during my 2008 trip, I happened to see a headline on the scrolling marquee outside the ABC News studios on Times Square: "Mets pitcher sought by police." That piqued my curiousity, so I Googled that phrase and found a news item at ESPN.com dated October 2, 2008 -- the same day I was at Shea Stadium / Citi Field. A guy named Ambiorix Burgos was driving an SUV that struck and killed two women in the Dominican Republic. A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that he has had a number of personal problems, and is no longer in the major leagues.