Outside of the Yankees getting dumped from the postseason on the first day, closing out 2021 with the exact same number of playoff wins as the Orioles, this year’s postseason hasn’t been a whole lot of fun.
There’s nothing good to be said about the Red Sox advancing. The Astros being on the verge of knocking off the White Sox isn’t much better. The near-vanishing of the Brewers offense has really put a damper on that series, and Giants-Dodgers is just being played too late for any mostly disinterested east coast fan to get all that invested.
We line it all back up for one more go for the three remaining series on Tuesday. Due to Monday’s rain in the Chicago area causing their scheduled Game 4 to be moved from yesterday to today, both leagues are lined up to play today. If Houston beats Chicago, there will be no baseball tomorrow. If both Atlanta beats Milwaukee and San Francisco beats Los Angeles, there will be no baseball on Thursday. So if you are rooting for maximum baseball, your rooting interest for today is quite clear.
Here is how the schedule lines up for this three-game slate, the final one to be found in the 2021 postseason. (I know I said that same thing yesterday, and then the weather in Chicago proved me wrong.)
- Astros at White Sox, 2:07, FS1. Houston leads, 2-1
- Brewers at Braves, 5:15, TBS. Atlanta leads, 2-1
- Giants at Dodgers, 9:07, TBS. San Francisco leads, 2-1
It’s within the realm of possibility that there could be ten or eleven straight hours of baseball here, although the weak link is in the middle with Milwaukee-Atlanta. The teams have scored a combined nine runs in their first three games, and while they’re playing slow low-scoring games, they aren’t taking 3:45+, or at least not so far. Game 1 was three hours on the nose, while the second two have been in the 3:20 range.
5:15 to 9:07 is just a big gap to get through. But even if the Brewers game is over at 8:40, that’s still pretty close to continuous baseball for anyone who wants it.
The early game starting lineups:
- Jose Altuve - 2B
- Michael Brantley - LF
- Alex Bregman - 3B
- Yordan Alvarez - DH
- Carlos Correa - SS
- Yuli Gurriel - 1B
- Kyle Tucker - RF
- Jake Meyers - CF
- Martin Maldonado - C
With the benefit of the extra day of rest brought on by the rain, Houston turns to Game 1 starter Lance McCullers Jr. He would have only been on three days rest for the originally scheduled Game 4 date.
Chicago White Sox
- Tim Anderson - SS
- Yoan Moncada - 3B
- Luis Robert - CF
- Jose Abreu - 1B
- Yasmani Grandal - C
- Eloy Jimenez - LF
- Gavin Sheets - DH
- Leury Garcia - RF
- Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Chicago turns to Carlos Rodon, who finished the regular season with a 2.37 ERA in 24 starts, to try to stave off elimination. Rodon struck out 185 batters in 132.2 innings and had a WHIP under 1. There were some injury issues, which is why he only made 24 starts, but from the outside it seems rather puzzling that they aren’t having this guy pitch until Game 4.