With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• In the Major League Baseball playoffs this weekend, a trend continued - some of the teams with the best regular season records ended up washing out of the post-season, defeated by teams that got hot at the right time.
The 101-win Atlanta Braves, for example, were defeated three-games-to-one by the wild card Philadelphia Phillies in one of the best-of-five National League Divisional series, as the Los Angeles Dodgers (who won 111 games in the regular season) were beaten three-games-to-one by the wild card San Diego Padres in their National League Divisional series.
The Phillies now will play the Padres in the National League Championship series, starting tomorrow night.
Over in the American League, the 106-win Houston Astros held their own, beating the wild card Seattle Mariners three-games-to-none in their AL Divisional Series. The Astros will play the winner of the ongoing New York Yankees-Cleveland Guardians series, which is tied 2-2 and goes to the rubber game tonight.
Wow. What a fabulous baseball weekend.
On Saturday, still confined to Covid isolation, I watched a lot of baseball. I didn't watch the Braves-Phillies game, because those are two teams I pretty much can't stand. But I watched almost every moment of game three of the Mariners-Astros game, which went a monumental 18 innings and ended with the Astros winning 1-0. It was a classic duel of pitchers (starters and bullpen), and was absolutely riveting - one of the best baseball games I've ever seen. (I was disappointed with the result, but you can't have everything.)
Then, I watched the end of the Yankees-Guardian game, which ended with an exciting ninth inning comeback by the Guardians, defeating the Yankees 6-5. And then, there was the Dodgers-Padres game, which featured an exciting five-run, seventh inning rally by the Padres, sending the Dodgers home and the Padres to the NL Championship series. (I was rooting for the Dodgers, but am very impressed by the Padres.)
It was all just fantastic - games to remember, even when the results disappointed.
I'm now officially rooting for a Padres-Guardians World Series.
• In Week Six of National Football League Action…
Washington Commanders 12, Chicago Bears 7
Baltimore Ravens 20, New York Giants 24
Jacksonville Jaguars 27, Indianapolis Colts 34
New England Patriots 38, Cleveland Browns 15
Cincinnati Bengals 30, New Orleans Saints 26
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18, Pittsburgh Steelers 20
San Francisco 49ers 14, Atlanta Falcons 28
New York Jets 27, Green Bay Packers 10 (not a typo)
Minnesota Vikings 24, Miami Dolphins 16
Carolina Panthers 10, Los Angeles Rams 24
Arizona Cardinals 9, Seattle Seahawks 19
Buffalo Bills 24, Kansas City Chiefs 20
Dallas Cowboys 17, Philadelphia Eagles 26
I found myself flipping back and forth between the Jets and Giants games yesterday … what a great day for New York-area football fans. I'm not confident it will last, but for the moment, satisfying.