No matter who gets to the World Series this year, a long drought will come to an end. The Dodgers last made it to the World Series in 1988; the Cubs haven’t been there since 1945. In the American League, the Indians have been since ’97 and the Jays since ’93. Has there ever been an LCS field with a longer combined pennant drought? The Jays and Dodgers won it all the last time they made it, but the Indians and Cubs have the longest title droughts in their leagues, dating back to 1948 and 1908, respectively.
There is going to be heavy celebrating no matter who wins this thing. The Cubs are still the favorite according to this site, thanks in part to Javier Baez. His play this postseason led one writer to call him the “most exciting player in baseball,” and Baez’s defense alone could earn him that title. He made two difficult plays at second base look easy on Sunday night, both double plays.
In the eighth, he was running towards third to field a throw from the third baseman, made the catch, stepped on second, and threw to first to turn two, all in one fluid motion. In the sixth, he let a soft liner drop in front of him, threw to second for a force out, then instructed the shortstop what to do to get the second out. Letting the ball drop on a play like that is the type of thing fans suggest after the fact—Baez made the decision in real time, unfazed by the prospect of the ball taking a tricky hop.
If the Indians continue to roll through the postseason, Andrew Miller will likely play a big role. He’s been dominant so far, as I noted in my recap for CBS Local, and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner goes in-depth on Miller’s slider.
Another dominant American League reliever didn’t see any action in his team’s lone postseason game, but that didn’t stop MLB from auctioning his “game-used jersey.” Zach Britton was infamously left in the bullpen as the Orioles lost to the Blue Jays in the AL wild card game, but his jersey from the game sold for $2,650. Given some of the bids for other game-used jerseys, the circumstances surrounding Britton’s non-appearance likely had something to do with the high selling price. Britton tweeted a link to the jersey, adding “Lol…#falseadvertising.”