Final four teams dealt with short championship series in the MLB postseason


A used baseball rests against a lamp post at a park in Simi Valley, CA. Photo credit: Briana Cruz

By Briana Cruz

The third round of the Major League baseball playoffs concluded quickly, despite the opportunity for the series to stretch to seven games.

In this round, the Houston Astros faced the New York Yankees as they looked to return to the World Series for the second year, and the San Diego Padres battled the Philadelphia Phillies as both teams fought to make a name for themselves.

Here’s what you missed in these action-packed games.


(AL 1) Houston Astros vs. (AL 2) New York Yankees

The Houston Astros are known for having an extremely experienced playoff team with leaders like future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander and All-Stars Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez. The Astros are undefeated in the postseason so far; however, the New York Yankees team is stacked with All-Star hitters Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.

In game one, Justin Verlander pitched like any future Hall-of-Famer and surrendered just one run to the Yankees’ offense. The Yankees could not wake the bats up and dropped game one in Houston 4-2. The second game followed the same storyline, with solid pitching and heavy offense from the Astros that gave Houston a 2-0 series lead.

The Yankees were silenced entirely in Game 3, as they could not manage to get a run across the board and were shutout, 5-0.

Game 4 was the most eventful of the set, as the Yankees faced elimination without winning a single game. They made the Astros do some heavy lifting in this game, as they were down 3-0 after just two innings. However, the Astros returned in the late innings to win the game 6-5 and complete the sweep of the New York Yankees.

Rookie Jeremy Peña was awarded the ALCS MVP and reflected on the accolade in an interview after the game.

“It’s surreal, you dream about this stuff when you’re a kid, ” Peña said. “And, shout-out to my teammates. We show up every single day. We stayed true to ourselves all year. We’re a step away from the ultimate goal.”

After winning seven games straight, the Houston Astros were back in the world series for the second year.


(NL 6) Philadelphia Phillies vs. (NL 5) San Diego Padres

In what could be considered the most unexpected postseason series, these teams surpassed all expectations to be present in the National League Championship Series. The San Diego Padres took on the Philadelphia Phillies as both teams had something to prove and played hard.

In the National League Championship Series opener, the Phillies sent out ace Zach Wheeler for game one and completely dominated the Padres. The Padres could not scrape a run against Wheeler and lost Game 1, 2-0. Game 2 was an offensive explosion, but the Padres outscored the Phillies, 8-5, to split the series.

However, the Phillies brought the heat in game three. They showcased elite pitching and a consistent offense that the Padres could not handle. The Phillies won the game 4-2 and took a 2-1 series lead. Game 4’s storyline was incredibly similar to Game 2, with heavy offense delivered from both teams. This time, the Phillies were victorious over the Padres and won 10-6.

Game 5 was tied until the seventh inning, as the Phillies pushed to move on while the Padres hoped to stretch the series to seven games. However, All-Star Bryce Harper hit a 2-run bomb that would send the Phillies to the World Series for the first time in 13 years.

Harper, who later won the NLCS MVP, spoke in an interview after the go-ahead home run.

“I saw his heater and tried to take the best swing I could and I was able to do damage on it,” Harper said.

The World Series stage is set, with the Houston Astros taking on the Philadelphia Phillies in what is expected to be a high-tension matchup. Moorpark College student Logan Van Houten commented on the matchup and shared which team he’s rooting for.

“Being a Dodger fan, I hate the Astros and I also love to root for the underdog, so I’m hoping the Phillies can keep rallying and probably win in six or seven games,” Van Houten said.

To view the World Series schedule, click here.