There was a lot of meaningful baseball played on Saturday, and as one group of MLBbros heads for the offseason, another was pushed to the brink of advancing to the ALCS.
Atlanta Bros Eliminated
The Atlanta Braves World Series Title defense came to an abrupt end Saturday evening, as their 8-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies officially eliminated them from the playoffs. After providing the spark that helped Atlanta go 78-34 down the stretch, rookies Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom were unable to help the Braves overcome a Phillies team that has been on fire this postseason.
Harris was amazing during the regular season but couldn’t find a rhythm at the plate throughout this series. He finished the season batting .297 and missed a 20/20 season by one home run, but Michael hit just .071 in the series with one RBI.
Harris struggled at the plate, but what happened in the bottom of the third was even more uncharacteristic of him. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto sent a shot into the left center field gap that Harris misplayed, allowing Realmuto to secure the ever so rare inside the park home run.
The Braves were outscored 24-13 in the series, and in their three losses the starting rotation gave up 15 hits and 14 runs in just 7.2 innings combined (14.09 ERA). Fellow rookie Vaughn Grissom didn’t see the field much this series, going 0-3 in the series but gaining some valuable experience.
Harris and Grissom may have struggled, but there is no reason to press the panic button in Atlanta. Both rookies gained valuable playoff experience and will be key to any future Braves playoff runs.
Cleveland One Game From ALCS
After a dominant playoff debut, Cleveland Guardians starter Triston McKenzie made two costly mistakes that gave the New York Yankees an early lead, but the Guardians were able to battle back and defeat the New York Yankees to take a 2-1 series lead.
McKenzie gave up four hits including a pair of two-run homers in his five innings of work on Saturday, striking out five along the way. Triston gave up his first two-run homer in the second inning to newly crowned American League home run king Aaron judge.
He managed to settle down for a few innings but found trouble again in the fifth, surrendering the second two-run shot to Yankees rookie Oswaldo Cabrera. The Guardians battled back in the ninth inning, and eventually pieced together five consecutive base hits to secure the victory.
Josh Naylor was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts but was still able to make a positive contribution on the offensive end, driving in a run on his first inning single. Naylor is 3-for-14 at home this postseason, a number the Guardians will need to see improve if they want to extend their season and force a Game 5.