Monday night brought plenty of drama for baseball fans as two teams kept their postseason hopes alive.
Game 4: Blue Jays at Rangers
Just days after the Blue Jays seemed like they were out of the playoffs, the ALDS is going back to Toronto.
When the series moved to Arlington, Texas with the Rangers holding a 2-0 lead, the Blue Jays seemed lost.
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Since then, Toronto have turned it around. They won game three and game four, outscoring the Rangers 13-5.
In game four the Blue Jays received a power surge from Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello, and Kevin Pillar who all hit home runs within the first two innings.
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While Toronto didn't receive the same contribution from everyone on the team, Chris Colabello commented on this and how that works for the Blue Jays:
"That's the best part of our team. We don't have to rely on one guy, we don't have to rely on one bat, we don't have to rely on one pitcher, and I think that is what has made us special all year."
The Blue Jays received a solid start from R.A. Dickey and went on to get three innings of relief from David Price, who will likely not start game five.
For Texas, Derek Holland did face some early trouble with the three home runs but later settled down. Commenting on his performance, Derek Holland said:
"I was executing up in the zone, when you live up in the zone, those guys are going to hit it. They are big league hitters for a reason."
For the Rangers, some of their offensive woes continued as Prince Fielder failed to deliver in two different situations.
Fielder flew out with runners in scoring position both times he had opportunities to deliver. Fielder doesn't have an RBI in his last 22 postseason games and fell to 0-16 with RISP in those 22 games.
The Rangers probably didn't see themselves in this position when they left Toronto and probably imagined they'd already be celebrating with champagne at this point. Regardless of where they thought they would be, some Rangers aren't dwelling on the past and looking forward to game five.
Ranger, Adrian Beltre said:
"We'd rather not get to this point that we're at, but we're not scared, we know that our team is going to bounce back and going to come back Wednesday ready to win.
"We're going to give it everything we've got to make it happen. We're not ready to go home yet."
Game five in Toronto sees Cole Hamels starting for the Rangers and Marcus Stroman for the Blue Jays.
For the Rangers, Hamels brought them a win in game two of the ALDS and for Toronto, Marcus Stroman only made his postseason debut in game two. It will be interesting to see how the two handle the pressure.
Game 4: Royals at Astros
They always say that October is crazy and the Royals showed us that in Houston on Monday night.
They came back from four runs down through a five-run eighth that helped seal the game.
For the second time this postseason, a comeback was started with four straight singles (Rangers at Blue Jays the other).
While the Astros seemed to be well on their way to the ALCS after Carlos Correa hit his second home run and Colby Rasmus had yet another home run, the Royals turned it around for themselves.
The Royals were able to get some extra insurance in the ninth inning when Eric Hosmer hit one out to make it 9-6, the final score of the game.
Speaking about the game, but the inning in specific, Royals manager Ned Yost said
"That was an unbelievable inning. I think we ended up seeing like 53 pitches in the eighth inning. I mean, that just shows you the quality at-bats that we had, at-bat after at-bat after at-bat. So it was a great inning right there."
Astros manager A.J. Hinch also spoke about the drama:
"They put together some good at-bats. They put, what, five or six singles in a row. Had the ground ball up the middle. They just never quit. They put together really good at-bats, and we couldn't get the inning to end in any way."
With the barrage of homeruns in this game, along with the others across the league it marked another record on a day of records in baseball.
The Astros tied a team record with four homeruns. Across baseball, 21 homeruns hit, a new single day record.
The comeback of the Royals hinted at a continuation of problems for the Astros' bullpen which posted the highest ERA in the AL in September.
In this instance, they weren't able to protect the four-run cushion that had been given to them. Of course, with six runs coming from the opposition, this wasn't the strongest performance from the Royals pitching staff either.
In the decisive game five, the series goes back to Kansas City where game two starter Johnny Cueto starts for the Royals. He is up against the Astros' game one starter Collin McHugh.
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