National League Division Series
Game 1: Pittsburgh 1, St. Louis 9
Game 2: Pittsburgh 7, St. Louis 1
Game 3: St. Louis 3, Pittsburgh 5
Game 4: St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 1
Game 5: Pittsburgh 1, St. Louis 6
Game 1: LA Dodgers 6, Atlanta 1
Game 2: LA Dodgers 3, Atlanta 4
Game 3: Atlanta 3, LA Dodgers 5
Game 4: Atlanta 3, LA Dodgers 4
American League Division Series
Game 1: Tampa Bay 2, Boston 12
Game 2: Tampa Bay 4, Boston 7
Game 3: Boston 4, Tampa Bay 5
Game 4: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 1
Game 1: Detroit 3, Oakland 2
Game 2: Detroit 0, Oakland 1
Game 3: Oakland 6, Detroit 3
Game 4: Oakland 6, Detroit 8
Game 5: Detroit 3, Oakland 0
The National League Championship between the Dodgers and Cardinals got off to a heart-pounding start on Friday, a start that included a spectacular finish. After throwing out the go-ahead run at home plate in the 10th inning, Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran helped his team to a walk-off victory in the 13th with an RBI single. Beltran went 2-for-6 on the night with three RBI, the final of which gave the Cards a 1-0 series lead. Lance Lynn picked up the victory for St. Louis, tossing six innings of two-run ball and striking out six.
Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha got the ball for Game 2 and came through with the flair and finesse of a veteran pitcher. Wacha went 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight Dodgers and allowing no runs. A sacrifice fly by outfielder Jon Jay in the fifth inning was the only run St. Louis needed to solidify a 2-0 series lead.
The two teams meet again on Monday night for Game 3 in Los Angeles, where the Cardinals' ace Adam Wainwright is set to face Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Cards' Lance Lynn will take on Ricky Nolasco on Tuesday. It will be the Dodgers pitcher's first career post-season start.
It would be hard to match the drama of the National League during the first two games of the Championship series, but it seems as if the American League is doing just that.
The AL Championship between Boston and Detroit flirted with the possibility of postseason history on Saturday thanks to some stellar pitching from the Tigers. Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, who tossed a no-hitter in 2006 with the Marlins, struck out 12 Red Sox batters in six innings as the Tigers came within just two outs of combining for the first no-hitter in League Championship history. In total, the Sox struck out 17 times on the evening and Detroit cruised to a 1-0 victory.
During Game 2, both teams broke out the bats. Detroit ace Max Scherzer did not allow a hit until the sixth inning and left after seven strong innings with a 5-1 lead. Boston slugger David Ortiz had much different plans in mind, however, hitting a game-tying grand slam off closer Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth on his only hit of the evening, a seeing-eye single through short stop Jose Iglesias' outstretched glove, tying the series at one game apiece.
The squads will meet again on Tuesday night in Detroit where the pitching matchup figures to be Boston's John Lackey against Detroit ace Justin Verlander. Jake Peavy and Doug Fister are set to go in Game 4 on Wednesday night. It will be Peavy's first career ALCS start.
John Lopiano can be reached at email@example.com. Follow John on Twitter: @johnlopiano.
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