It looks like Tim Anderson will have to settle for personal achievements this season.
After overcoming a 4-run deficit Sunday night to force a Game 4, the Chicago White Sox gave their fans an ending more disappointing than the Sopranos Series Finale, getting wacked 10-1 by the Houston Astros.
The White Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but the Astros once again battled back to take a 5-1 lead and would never trail again.
Houston overpowered the White Sox in every facet of the game, including at manager. Dusty Baker sonned his former rival Tony LaRussa all series, countering every move LaRussa had with a better of his own.
Both men have said the rivalry is behind them, but a beating like this seems personal.
As for Anderson, there is still plenty to be proud of this season. The White Sox won their first division championship in 13 years and appeared in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in team history.
TA7 Stepped It Up
Now TA7 will always be known as a hitter, but another aspect of his game that has drastically improved is his defense.
In 2019, the last full MLB season, Anderson had 26 errors and a .951 fielding percentage.
This season TA cut his errors down to 10, while raising his fielding percentage to .971.
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson set a MLB record for most hits in his first 5 playoff games after going 3-for-5 today in a loss to the Astros in Game 2 of ALDS. The White Sox shortstop has 13 hits in 5 career postseason games.
Tim Anderson and the American League Central Champion Chicago White Sox stumbled out the gate Thursday night in Houston, falling 6-1 to the Astros in Game One of the American League Divisional series.
Anderson, who’s .309 batting average was 4th in the American League this season, was 1-4 Thursday night.
This entire season the White Sox offense has followed the lead of their superstar shortstop. Game 1 was no different.
Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. scattered 4 hits over 6 2/3 innings pitched, and Houston cruised to an easy victory.
Anderson’s average day at the plate is a complete 180 from his hot start to the 2020 playoffs.
Last season against the Oakland A’s, Anderson started the series with three straight hits en route to 9 hits in 14 at-bats (.643 BA).
The White Sox, who are making consecutive post season appearances for the first time in franchise history, now fall to 2-6 against Houston in 2021 and 0-5 at Minute Maid Park.
First pitch tomorrow is at 2:07pm eastern, and if Anderson and the Sox aren’t able to put this game behind them and win Game 2, their World Series hopes could quickly turn into division series nightmares.
Anderson didn’t have a game changing day but he gets to go back at it four more times if the baseball gods allow it.
"These are the moments you want to be in. It's what you play for," Tim Anderson said. "Competing at the highest level where everybody is tuned in." pic.twitter.com/6t8CC7xFi5
Statistics would tell you it has been a “down” year for Betts whose .266 batting average is his lowest since 2017. But those are the type of expectations burdened by superstars of his caliber. Betts ended his All-Star season with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and an .854 OPS. His Dodgers will take on the Cardinals in a Wild Card play-in game and should they win, they would meet their divisional rivals over in The Bay.
Betts batted .269 with an .898 OPS, two home runs, two doubles and five runs scored in last year’s World Series It was the second time Betts was able to earn some bling as he won with the Red Sox in 2018.
Even when Betts isn’t hitting at the top of his game, the game saving catches he provides defensively will be a major factor in October. The Cardinals are no joke, and neither are the 107-win Giants, so the Dodgers will need their stars to be stars and show up when needed most.
Jack Flaherty was on his way to joining the Black Ace club of 20 game winners before injuries put a stop to his 2021 season. It’s taken him some time to get back to form, but now the Cardinals plan on using him as a convertible piece in their bullpen.
Last Wednesday Flaherty made his first relief appearance since 2017.
Teams typically shorten their rotations in the postseason so it’s not surprising the Cardinals choose Flaherty for the role since he missed so much time with injury. The MLBbro hurler worked a clean inning on the last day of the season, striking out two Cubs batters. He had a 3.22 ERA to go along with 85 strikeouts on the season.
It is expected that the Cardinals would use Flaherty first out of the bullpen in the Wild Card game behind probable starter Adam Wainwright.
Lo Cain finds himself back in the playoffs for the first time since his magical World Series run with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Cain won an ALCS MVP award after posting a .533 batting average, the highest batting average for a postseason series in Royals history.
Wade is one of many unsung heroes this season for a Giants team that shocked the baseball world by having the best record in the Majors this season. I cannot wait to see this MLBbro represent in the Bay Area, especially late in games when he seems to show up most.