The MLB playoffs will be held from October 2, 2021 to October 31, 2021. This article discusses the teams that are most likely to make it into the playoffs and what they have been doing recently.
The mlb playoffs format is a question that has been asked since the start of MLB. These days, it’s not just about who makes the playoffs, but how they are formed.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Elimination games have an uncanny ability to compress the air at a stadium. Each pitch has the ability to alter the game, and even a single at-bat may produce dramatic emotional swings. The world shrinks, and it may seem like the only thing that counts for a few hours.
And sometime around August, this game — Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and the Giants — started to seem inevitable. After a regular season in which the Giants won 107 games and the Dodgers 106, and a series in which each club won two of the first four games, there was little question that this game would live up to the expectations.
The Dodgers won a dramatic, tightly contested game, 2-1, in the ninth inning. There were many instances when it became apparent what it sounded like when over 40,000 individuals held their breath at the same time.
This season, these two teams met 24 times, with each side winning 12 times. The last game, appropriately, was tense and tense, with comments scribbled in the margins.
Despite the fact that just five games were played, themes developed. Logan Webb, the Giants’ starter, was stubborn once again, his chin at right angles and his stride spanning as much ground side-to-side as it did forward. He finished his two NLDS starts with 14 2/3 innings, one run, and 17 strikeouts after pitching seven innings of one-run, four-hit, seven-strikeout baseball. He established himself as the kind of big-game pitcher who wants the ball and isn’t willing to give it up. His job took on a metronomic precision: he’d complete an inning like he was renting the mound by the minute and swagger back to the dugout without breaking stride, giving manager Gabe Kapler a no-look fist bump.
“At every point, you’re thinking, ‘Is Logan Webb the greatest choice for getting the next three batters out?’” According to Kapler. “And we felt like, ‘Yes, yes, and yes,’ every inning we put him out there.” When the Dodgers went looking for his low and away slider, Webb responded with a 94 mph sinker that snuck up on right-handed batters. He threw them a changeup that went within four feet of the plate before diving beneath bats as they were looking for the sinker. Webb’s slider would be the loud and boisterous child who always gets everyone else in trouble if pitches had personalities, and his changeup would be the sly kid who constantly gets everyone else in trouble.
Before Corey Seager blasted a looping double to left in the sixth inning to score Mookie Betts and give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, Webb, who disclosed that he’s three Red Bulls in by the time he goes to the bullpen to warm up, extended his shutout streak in the NLDS to 13 innings. It seemed like an overwhelming advantage when Betts completed his tour of the bases — a single, his third of the game, followed by a stolen base. (The statistics back it up: the side scoring first won 22 of the 24 games between these two squads.)
Darin Ruf then led off the bottom half of the inning with a thunderous 452-foot home run to center field that sounded like a lightning bolt shattering a tree. The stadium came to life, at least three Red Bulls worth of life, and it seemed like the Giants were going to do what they’d done all season: defy the odds while frustrating the Dodgers.
Dodgers pitcher and Game 5 closer Max Scherzer said, “It’s two teams who don’t like each other but respect each other the heck out of each other.” “We believed we had them at the end of the year, but they were unstoppable. They were not going to lose. We couldn’t do it either.”
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Bellinger’s hit came on Doval’s fourth consecutive slider. It prompted questions: why would the Giants forego Doval’s 100+ mph fastball in favor of a pitch better suited to Bellinger’s hitting speed, considering Bellinger’s season-long struggle to catch up to high velocity? Doval, who stood up and answered questions afterward despite the clubhouses being closed to media, said he relied on his slider because he thought it would give him the greatest chance of forcing an inning-ending double play.
“Oh, man,” Webb recalled, “the first thing I did was give him a hug because he’s in such bad shape.” “That’s a little harsh, considering he pitched so brilliantly for us. It simply stinks that that happened, that he was the one who gave up the chase.”
The Giants will remember Scherzer’s first career save, but MLB would prefer to forget it. On a check swing that he obviously held up, Wilmer Flores was ruled out on appeal by first-base umpire Gabe Morales. After hearing the call, fans behind and surrounding the first-base dugout climbed over the protective netting and hurled garbage and beverages at Morales.
Baseball manages to shift the narrative even at its finest moments, proving once again that it is capable of doing so. Morales accompanied crew chief Ted Barrett to the postgame interview room, which looked great until Morales was asked whether the replay altered his opinion about the decision, and Barrett replied for him. Barrett replied, “Yeah, no, we, yeah, yeah,” in a less melodious tone than it seems. “He is adamant about not saying anything.”
In a strange sense, the contentious conclusion simply helped to emphasize a point: the only problem with this series is that it’s done.
The mlb playoff picture is a reference to the 2021 MLB playoffs.
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