The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros clinched their respective MLB play-off series on Monday.
The Dodgers completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series (NLDS) with a 3-1 win.
The Astros ended the Boston Red Sox's season, claiming a 5-4 win in game four of the American League Division Series (ALDS).
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees stayed alive in their ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, squaring the series at 2-2 with a 7-3 victory.
The Chicago Cubs edged ahead of the Washington Nationals 2-1 in their NLDS, courtesy of a 2-1 win.
DODGERS NEEDED BELLINGER TO REGAIN FORM
Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger was one of the best stories in baseball this season, hitting 39 home runs. But he has been struggling at the plate the past month, with only one home run since September 16. He entered game three only one-for-10 in the postseason, with six strikeouts. In short, Bellinger was overdue.
An RBI groundout in the first inning was nice. But the solo home run to left center off Zack Greinke in the fifth inning was what the Dodgers have been waiting to see.
The Dodgers have power hitters up and down their lineup – six players hit more than 20 home runs this year – but they need Bellinger hitting the way he did earlier this season.
VERLANDER IN RELIEF AS SALE DOMINATES FOR ALL BUT ONE PITCH
The Astros called on Justin Verlander in the fifth inning hoping for great results in his first career relief outing. On the first batter he faced with an inherited runner on first, Verlander allowed a two-run homer to Andrew Benintendi, surrendering the lead and putting the Astros' postseason life at risk.
After the HR, he tossed 2.2 scoreless innings but that one pitch nearly cost the Astros the game.
On the flip side, Chris Sale was called on in relief and was fantastic for all but two batters. Through four innings he allowed just two hits and no runs. He had his best stuff and was cruising.
The Red Sox just took him out two batters too late. Sale surrendered a game-tying home run to Alex Bregman in the eighth and a single to Evan Gattis, whose pinch-runner Cameron Maybin came around to score on Josh Reddick's single.
Hoping for a similar outing as game one, Indians starter Trevor Bauer flopped on three days' rest Monday, lasting just 1.2 innings. Bauer's curveball, which was nearly unhittable in game one, was torched by Todd Frazier and Aaron Hicks for the first two RBI hits of the game.
Cleveland committed the fewest errors in the AL this season but a fielding error and a passed ball were in part to blame for the two-out rally in the second inning which resulted in four straight hits off Bauer and four runs (zero earned). The Indians finished with an uncharacteristic four errors on the night.
Ahh, now we get the Bauer OUTage thing. pic.twitter.com/xrSmZ8v2Nq— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 10, 2017
NATIONALS AT CUBS
Jake Arrieta says the hamstring injury that has bothered him the past month is a non-issue. His ERA is a full run better at Wrigley Field than on the road (2.90 versus 3.87). He will face Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.57 ERA) with the Cubs 2-1 up.
16 de diciembre 2017
|Pique: I understood why Neymar left Barca for PSG|
|Celtics´ Hayward open to returning this season|
|Klopp: We´re all fighting for second place|
|Every player has a price – Mourinho hints at January exits|
|Good question! Guardiola ducks Sanchez link and lauds Walker|
15 de diciembre 2017
|Six-try Ulster see off Harlequins|
|Guardiola addresses Mourinho´s tactical foul claims|
|Call the doctor! Conte protests no malice in David Luiz absence|
|Joy for Newcastle on a historic night for referee Neville|
|Sheffield Wednesday 0 Wolves 1: Brilliant Neves fires leaders seven clear|
|Premier League title City´s to lose, but Sterling wary of United charge|
|Barcelona´s Deulofeu a Clasico doubt after training injury|
|Bills QB Taylor to start v Dolphins|
|O´Mahony and Furlong sign new IRFU contracts|
|Salah ´is a player I rate a lot´, says Zidane|
|Allardyce lauds ´invaluable´ Rooney|
|Ramos fit for Club World Cup final|
|Lille sack Bielsa to end failed experiment|
|Manchester United job like Real Madrid, says Mourinho|
|Fernandinho is much better than I was, Guardiola claims|
|That Harry Kane team? – I´m over Guardiola dig, says Pochettino|
|Tuilagi and Toomua return to Leicester line-up|
|Mourinho open to January moves as Griezmann rumours swirl|
|Berizzo set for Sevilla return after cancer surgery|
|Malinga left out of Sri Lanka´s T20 squad|
|Manchester City will not go unbeaten in Premier League - Guardiola|
|Man City are the best – Pochettino braced for Spurs´ toughest test|
|Kristaps Porzingis injury update: Knicks big man says knee ´shouldn´t´ be bad|
|Conte hopeful over David Luiz´s ´serious´ knee injury|
|Neymar not an injury risk after Brazil trip - Emery|
|Bailly to miss three months due to ankle surgery|
|Klopp defends Liverpool rotation policy|
|Arsenal fan Prince Harry´s wedding day to clash with FA Cup final|
|He´s one of the best – Simeone showers Oblak with praise|
|Juventus won´t sell in-demand Pjaca, agent claims|
|Bolasie in line for Everton return after long-term injury|
|Bedene to switch back from Britain to Slovenia|
|Maradona told Real Madrid to sign Mbappe|
|Samuels out of NZ tour, Narine to miss T20s|
|Sydney FC 3 Melbourne City 1: Champions come from behind to go eight points clear|
|Red-hot Salah wins Player of the Month|
|Heynckes unaware of reported Sanches loan termination|
|Maradona: I´d have won more Ballons d´Or than Ronaldo and Messi|
|Khawaja pleased to restore parity in Perth|
|Bairstow enjoys playful celebration of crucial century|
|The Ashes Round-up: Smith leading by example again|
|Wenger confirms Wilshere contract talks imminent|
|Sensational Smith leads Australia fightback|
|We´ve never been approached by Man United – Wenger rejects Ozil reports|
|Joshua ´absolutely´ capable of unification, says Klitschko|
|Mathews fit for India-Sri Lanka series decider|
|Lewandowski demands focus ahead of Christmas|
|Fury not rushing back to take on Joshua|
|Klopp right to rotate at Liverpool – Neville|
|Overton strikes twice for England in Perth|
|LeBron´s 59th triple-double leads Cavaliers past Lakers|
|Jets offensive coordinator admits surrender in blowout loss to Broncos|
|Osweiler helps Broncos past Colts|
|England collapse to be all out for 403 in Perth|
|Donnarumma plays down Milan exit rumours|
|Barkley could leave in January – Allardyce|
|Siemian suffers shoulder injury, Osweiler in for Broncos|
|Pulisic voted youngest-ever male USA player of the year|
|Griezmann will be allowed to leave – Simeone|
|Steelers LB Shazier has begun rehabilitation process|
|Guardiola appears to aim another dig at Mourinho|
14 de diciembre 2017
|Vardy relishing Fleetwood return|
|Pau stay perfect with win over Agen|
|USB joking? Klitschko stick and robe sold for mega money|
|Almiron blocked from becoming Las Palmas coach|