The Rays Tank: Dodgers notch a win, Tigers look for lead

Wins are beary exciting. Beary exciting. - Jeff Gross

Rally bear helped secure LA a win, so the NLCS now stands at 2-1 St. Louis, while Detroit looks to take a 2-1 lead over Boston this afternoon.

The Dodgers beat the Cardinals 3-0 after a seven inning, three hit start from Hyun-Jin Ryu where Yasiel Puig went two-for-three with a triple and an RBI and Hanley Ramirez came through with an RBI hit, despite playing with a fractured rib.

Oh, and rally bear made an appearance, gleefully pumping up the crowd prior to being ejected.

Defensively, Jon Jay continues to struggle for St. Louis, while Adam Wainwright notched the first postseason loss of his career, after seven innings of only two run ball.

The Red Sox and Tigers are currently even in the ALCS with a win apiece, with John Lackey and Justin Verlander facing off this afternoon at Comerica Park.

Links:

- The human element lost one of the good guys on Monday, as news surfaced that umpire Wally Bell passed away of an apparent heart attack.

- Well, if you want another reason to cheer against the Red Sox, Verlander echoed sentiments voiced during the Rays/Red Sox ALDS concerning Shane Victorino and his affinity for getting hit by pitches:

"I've seen pitches that he got hit on that were strikes," Verlander said during a formal media interview session. "So, I mean, I don't think you can worry about that. I think just whoever is the home plate umpire needs to be aware he's up there.

"Anything on the inner half, occasionally he's looking to get hit. He's up there, he's right on top of the plate. And his arms are over the batter's box and over part of the plate. If he doesn't get out of the way, there could be an occasion that it could be a strike and it actually hits him. That's something that I think that those guys [umpires] are aware of.

"But you can't think about not hitting a guy," Verlander said. "You've got to think about executing your pitches and not changing anything because of that. And hopefully, if something like that happens, those guys are on top of it."

- Bats have been historically silent this postseason, and Tom Verducci shared some impressively low numbers concerning this:

  • One out of every three batters that steps to the plate this postseason strikes out or walks (546 of 1,627 batters, or 34 percent of all plate appearances).
  • Saturday was the first day in baseball history with two 1-0 postseason games on the same day.
  • Batting average of all teams this postseason: .231.
  • The Dodgers, Cardinals, Red Sox and Tigers combined to bat 1-for-27 with runners in scoring position on Saturday (.037).
  • Postseason games this year are averaging 17.48 strikeouts per game. That's up 16 percent from the regular season average this year (15.1) -- and up 51 percent from how the game was played just 20 years ago (11.6).
  • The results from the first three LCS games: a .159 batting average, no home runs, seven runs and 65 strikeouts with an average time of game of 3:48. That's an average of one run every 98 minutes.

- It's the postseason, so Torii Hunter would "die on the field." He actually said that.

- Puig GIF of the game.

- Jonah Keri assessed the ALCS thus far, noting highs and lows for both teams; examples: Miguel Cabrera's mobility (er, lack thereof), David Ortiz not sucking at baseball, etc.

- David Ortiz's four-pitcher grand slam on Sunday was only the seventh of its kind, and the first in the postseason.

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