MLB Playoff Full Schedule

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Baseball postseason schedule. Times for division series, league championship series and World Series TBA. *-if necessary.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME

Tuesday, 8:07 p.m. ET, Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals, TBS

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME

Wednesday, 8:07 p.m. ET, San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates, ESPN

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES

AL wild-card winner vs. Los Angeles Angels

Game 1, Thursday, A’s or Royals at Angels, TBS

Game 2, Friday, AL wild card at Angels, TBS

Game 3, Oct. 5, Angels at AL wild card, TBS

Game 4*, Oct. 6, Angels at AL wild card, TBS

Game 5*, Oct. 8 AL wild card at Angels, TBS

Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles

Game 1, Thursday, Tigers at Orioles, TBS

Game 2, Friday, Tigers at Orioles, TBS

Game 3, Oct. 5, Orioles at Tigers, TBS

Game 4*, Oct. 6, Orioles at Tigers, TBS

Game 5*, Oct. 8, Tigers at Orioles, TBS

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES

NL wild-card winner vs. Washington Nationals

Game 1, Friday, NL wild card at Nationals, Fox Sports 1

Game 2, Saturday, NL wild card at Nationals, Fox Sports 1 or MLB Network

Game 3, Oct. 6, Nationals at NL wild card, Fox Sports 1 or MLB Network

Game 4*, Oct. 7, Nationals at NL wild card, Fox Sports 1

Game 5*, Oct. 9, NL wild card at Nationals, Fox Sports 1

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Game 1, Friday, Cardinals at Dodgers, Fox Sports 1

Game 2, Saturday, Cardinals at Dodgers, Fox Sports 1 or MLB Network

Game 3, Oct. 6, Dodgers at Cardinals, Fox Sports 1 or MLB Network

Game 4*, Oct. 7, Dodgers at Cardinals, Fox Sports 1

Game 5*, Oct. 9, Cardinals at Dodgers, Fox Sports 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Game 1, Oct. 10, AL lower seed at AL higher seed, TBS

Game 2, Oct. 11, AL lower seed at AL higher seed, TBS

Game 3, Oct. 13, AL higher seed at AL lower seed, TBS

Game 4, Oct. 14, AL higher seed at AL lower seed, TBS

Game 5*, Oct. 15, AL higher seed at AL lower seed, TBS

Game 6*, Oct. 17, AL lower seed at AL higher seed, TBS

Game 7*, Oct. 18, AL lower seed at AL higher seed, TBS

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Game 1, Oct. 11, NL lower seed at NL higher seed, Fox

Game 2, Oct. 12, NL lower seed at NL higher seed, Fox Sports 1

Game 3, Oct. 14, NL higher seed at NL lower seed, Fox Sports 1

Game 4, Oct. 15, NL higher seed at NL lower seed, Fox Sports 1

Game 5*, Oct. 16, NL higher seed at NL lower seed, Fox Sports 1

Game 6*, Oct. 18, NL lower seed at NL higher seed, Fox

Game 7*, Oct. 19, NL lower seed at NL higher seed, Fox Sports 1

WORLD SERIES

Game 1, Oct. 21, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

Game 2, Oct. 22, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

Game 3, Oct. 24, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

Game 4, Oct. 25, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

Game 5*, Oct. 26, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

Game 6*, Oct. 28, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

Game 7*, Oct. 29, NL champion at AL champion, Fox

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Mariners- A’s Resume Series

 

By the time Oakland gets through its first eight games, the Athletics will already have faced Mariners ace Felix Hernandez three times.

It’s a crazy schedule that began with these two clubs facing off in their first two games last week in Japan, with each winning once – including ”King Felix’s” Game 1 victory at the Tokyo Dome.

Now, the AL West rivals resume their season-opening series stateside – albeit eight days later. It’s a nontraditional two-game series Friday and Saturday. Then, the A’s travel to Seattle next weekend for a three-game series at Safeco Field in the Mariners’ home opener.

Yes, the Mariners and A’s will know each other inside and out by mid-April.

”It’s a little weird playing so many games, then we’ve got their home opener, too,” Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki said. ”We’ve got like nine games in the first two weeks. That’s part of scheduling, but they’re in our division so we’re going to see them a lot.”

Seattle manager Eric Wedge even swapped his starters for this weekend to move Hernandez to Saturday and Jason Vargas to Friday so Hernandez is lined up to also pitch the Mariners’ home opener April 13.

”He’s the ace,” Hernandez joked of Vargas.

This situation is also unique for these clubs given they opened the regular season last week only to return for more exhibition games before they reunite in the Bay Area.

These two clubs will certainly know each other well by mid-April.

Prince Fielder grabs a King’s Ransom

On the long list of Scott Boras shockers, this one ranks near the top….Boras’ top free-agent client, first baseman Prince Fielder, has agreed to a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers, according to major-league sources.

Fielder’s deal with the Tigers does not include an opt-out provision, a source said.

Tigers general manager David Dombrowski recently told ESPN.com that Fielder, “doesn’t fit for us. He’s looking for a long-term deal and that just doesn’t fit.”

Either Dombrowski was shading the truth, or Tigers owner Mike Ilitch — who has worked well with Boras in the past — made a last-minute call to sign Fielder.

The Tigers’ slugging first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, is guaranteed $86 million over the next four seasons. But the team recently lost its principal DH, Victor Martinez, to a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for all of ‘12.

Fielder and Cabrera figure to share time at first base and DH, forming one of the game’s most potent middle-of-the-lineup combinations. Fielder hits from the left side, Cabrera from the right The Nationals had been a leading contender for Fielder, but their ownership was divided on whether to give him the type of long-term deal he was seeking. The Orioles, Rangers and Mariners also showed varying interest in Fielder….Fielder’s average salary of $23.8 million will be third only to the Phillies’ Ryan Howard and Pujols among first basemen. Howard averages $25 million, Pujols $24 million. The Yankees’ Mark Teixeira averages $22.5 million, the Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez $22 million.

Mariners Player Greg Halmann……Murdered

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP)

Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early Monday and his brother was arrested as a suspect, Dutch police said……Rotterdam Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said police were called to a home in the port city in the early hours of the morning and found the 24-year-old Dutch player bleeding from a stab wound.

The officers and ambulance paramedics were unable to resuscitate Halman.

Wessels said the officers arrested Halman’s 22-year-old brother. She declined to give his name, in line with Dutch privacy rules.

”He is under arrest and right now he is being questioned,” Wessels told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. ”It will take some time to figure out what exactly happened.”

No charges have been filed in the case.

Halman hit .230 in 35 games and made starts at all three outfield positions for the Mariners in 2011 before being optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Mariners Chairman Howard Lincoln, President Chuck Armstrong and general manager Jack Zduriencik paid tribute to Halman on behalf of the club.

”Greg was a part of our organization since he was 16 and we saw him grow into a passionate young man and talented baseball player,” they said in a statement. ”He had an infectious smile that would greet you in the clubhouse, and he was a tremendous teammate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Greg’s family.”

Because he played professionally in the United States, Halman was not part of the Netherlands team that won the Baseball World Cup in Panama last month. The Dutch beat Cuba 2-1 in the final to become the first European team to win the title.

”The loss of a talented 24-year-old young man like Greg, amid such tragic circumstances, is painful for all of us throughout the game,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. ”On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to the entire Mariners organization and to all those whose lives were touched by Greg.”

Born in the city of Haarlem, Halman played in the Dutch Pro League and was part of the gold-medal winning Dutch squad at the 2007 European Championship and played for the Netherlands at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Former major leaguer Robert Eenhorn, the technical director of the Dutch baseball association, said he was devastated by the news.

”The only thing I can say right now is we are deeply shocked,” Eenhorn, who played for the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels in the 1990s, told the AP. ”All our thoughts are with his family and how they are going to have to deal with this tremendous loss.”

Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, also paid tribute to the slain player.

”Greg was passionate about the game of baseball and generously gave of himself to share his passion with others in an attempt to help grow the sport’s popularity across Europe,” Weiner said. ”He will be sorely missed.”

Rangers vs. Cardinals World Series Preview…Who Ya Got?

Schedule

WEDNESDAY
Texas (C.J. Wilson) at St. Louis (Chris Carpenter), 5:05 p.m.

THURSDAY
Texas (Colby Lewis) at St. Louis (TBD), 5:05 p.m.

SATURDAY
St. Louis (TBD) at Texas (TBD), 5:05 p.m.

SUNDAY
St. Louis (TBD) at Texas (TBD), 5:05 p.m.

MONDAY
St. Louis (TBD) at Texas (TBD), 5:05 p.m.

WEDNESDAY
Texas (TBD) at St. Louis (TBD), 5:05 p.m.

THURSDAY
Texas (TBD) at St. Louis (TBD), 5:05 p.m.

* if necessary

 

Projected Game Time Lineups

RANGERS
1. 2B Ian Kinsler. His .396 OBP in playoffs leads team

2. SS Elvis Andrus. 6 of his 8 postseason hits came in ALCS

3. LF Josh Hamilton. Battling sore groin, has no HRs in playoffs

4. 1B Michael Young. Only 9 postseason hits, but also 7 RBIs

5. 3B Adrian Beltre. All 3 postseason HRs came in Game 4 of ALDS

6. C Mike Napoli. 1 RBI, no extra-base hits in ALCS; but 6 runs

7. RF Nelson Cruz. Had .133 OPS in ALDS; 1.713 OPS in ALCS

8. LF David Murphy. Team-high .500 OBP in ALCS

9. P C.J. Wilson. 6 HRs allowed in playoffs (16 in regular season)

 

CARDINALS
1. SS Rafael Furcal. Has managed just a .220 OBP this postseason

2. CF Jon Jay. All 7 of his postseason runs came in NLCS

3. 1B Albert Pujols. 6 extra-base hits, 9 RBIs in NLCS

4. RF Lance Berkman. Hasn’t homered since Game 1 of NLDS

5. LF Matt Holliday. Improved health resulted in 10 NLCS hits

6. 3B David Freese. Team-best 4 HRs, 14 RBIs, .426 AVG in playoffs

7. C Yadier Molina. 8 of his 12 postseason hits came in NLCS

8. 2B Nick Punto. Team-high 8 K’s in 15 NLDS at-bats

9. P Chris Carpenter. In 17 postseason innings, 8 K’s and 6 BBs

 

Keys to Victory

1. Bullpen battle
The Cardinals’ (5.43) and Rangers’ (5.62) rotations have posted miserable ERAs this postseason, so starting pitching clearly isn’t what pushed them to this point. Each team lacks a legitimate ace, but both teams feature a reliable bullpen that can deliver plenty of innings. The Cardinals averaged only about a dozen outs per game from their starters in the NLCS, but their bullpen has posted a strong 2.55 ERA and a stellar .177 opponents’ average against this postseason. But the Rangers’ relief corps has been just as good, with a 2.34 ERA and .193 opponents’ average against through two playoff rounds. Texas has the more established and consistent back end in Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz.

2. Star power
The Cardinals have one of the deepest playoff lineups, but the Rangers have the deepest. From the top spot to its No. 7 hitter, Texas is powerful. Although ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz doesn’t have the average (.243) or on-base percentage (.300) of some other playoff stars, he has gone ballistic at the right times with six homers and 13 RBIs—and he hits seventh. On the other side, Albert Pujols’ .419 average, .490 on-base percentage, 10 RBIs and six walks prove he has been a factor all postseason. If David Freese, the NLCS MVP, can continue to solidify the heart of the order, the Cardinals’ attack can be just as deadly as the Rangers’.

3. The aces
Neither team was pushed to a Game 7 in its LCS, so each will trot out its top starter in Game 1 in hopes of setting a positive tone. Cardinals righthander Chris Carpenter has pitched three times in October but has produced just one quality start: a complete-game shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 of the NLDS. He has been mediocre (at best) in his other two outings, one coming on short rest. Rangers lefthander C.J. Wilson hasn’t been any better, surrendering 14 earned runs in three starts (15 2/3 innings) this postseason.

 

Rangers head back to World Series will play Cardinals

ARLINGTON, Texas

By the ninth inning, the fans were chanting “Tex-as Ran-gers” the way New York Yankees fans chant “De-rek Je-ter.” In case there was any doubt — and there shouldn’t have been after the Rangers’ ridiculous nine-run third inning — the passing of the torch was complete.

It started last season actually, when the Rangers won their first American League title. But then they lost left-hander Cliff Lee to free agency and nearly traded their longest-tenured player, Michael Young. Undaunted, the Rangers finished with the league’s second-best regular-season record, just behind the Yankees….Still, as one rival GM said Saturday, people don’t seem to talk about them — perhaps because they play in the AL West, not the AL East. Maybe, the GM mused, the lower expectations work to the Rangers’ benefit. No longer: The Rangers, the first back-to-back AL champions since the 2000-01 Yankees, will not be overlooked again.

Game 6 of the American League Championship Series was a 15-5 bludgeoning of the Tigers, an almost predictable eruption by the Rangers after a series of tight games. The Rangers were better offensively, defensively and on the bases. Their rotation had a 6.59 ERA in the series, averaging fewer than five innings per start. Not to worry; the relievers accounted for nearly as many innings as the starters and produced a 1.32 ERA.

“I honesty feel like they’re a team that, once one thing starts going in their direction, they absolutely snowball,” Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. “Just look what they did to us. Fifteen runs. Nine in one inning. I was like, ‘Good God.’ ”

And to think, this might be only the beginning.

Detroit bites Yankees 3-2

 

Tigers 3, Yankees 2

Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit first-inning home runs, Doug Fister and the Detroit bullpen held on and the Tigers edged the New York Yankees 3-2 Thursday night to win the deciding Game 5 of the AL playoff series. The Tigers escaped jams all game and advanced to the AL championship series against Texas. Jose Valverde shut down the Yankees in the ninth as the Tigers eliminated New York in the division series for the second time in six seasons….Game 1of the ALCS Saturday night

MLB Playoffs

David Freese homered, doubled and drove in four runs as the St. Louis Cardinals tagged playoff nemesis Roy Oswalt and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 Wednesday night, forcing a deciding fifth game in their NL division series. Center fielder Jon Jay made a sliding catch on Placido Polanco’s soft fly for the final out, and was already pointing his index finger before he got to his feet. Now it’s back to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Friday night…series tied 2-2

Counted out by most everyone else, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in position to complete another comeback. And this one could be the greatest of the bunch. Ryan Roberts hit a grand slam, Chris Young had the first two-homer game in Arizona’s postseason history and Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-6 Wednesday night to force Game 5 in the NL division series. ”We’re not going to give up, even when we’re down 2-0,” said Young….series tied 2-2

 

Tonight’s schedule

Tigers at Yankees

Rangers advance to ALCS…again

Adrian Beltre hit three straight home runs and the Texas Rangers powered themselves back into the AL championship series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Tuesday to win their playoff matchup. Beltre became just the seventh player to homer three times in a postseason game. He led the Rangers to victory in Game 4 of the best-of-five division series. Texas ended the Rays’ remarkable run to the AL wild-card spot, and will play for the AL  pennant.

 

 

Curtis Granderson made two spectacular catches against his former team and A.J. Burnett came through when the Yankees needed him most, leading New York past the Detroit Tigers 10-1 Tuesday night to send their AL playoff series back to the Bronx for a decisive Game 5. Derek Jeter rebounded from a game-ending strikeout Monday, putting the Yankees ahead to stay with a two-run double in the third inning….tying this series 2-2

 

 

Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco and closer Ryan Madson made manager Charlie Manuel’s moves look smart, and the Philadelphia Phillies held off the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Tuesday for a 2-1 lead in their NL playoff series. Francisco batted for pitcher Cole Hamels and broke open a scoreless game with a two-out, three-run homer in the seventh inning. Madson earned his first multi-inning save of the year.

 

 

Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam and tied a franchise postseason record with five RBI, fellow Arizona rookie Josh Collmenter befuddled Milwaukee batters again and the Diamondbacks stayed alive in the NL division series with a 8-1 rout of the Brewers on Tuesday night. Goldschmidt, who has made big hits a habit since he was called up from Double-A Mobile on Aug. 1, gave Arizona a 7-1 lead in the fifth and Arizona never looked back….Milwaukee still has a 2-1 series lead

 

Tigers-Rangers Win

 

Justin Verlander struck out 11 in eight gritty innings and Jose Valverde stopped a New York Yankees rally for the second straight night, whiffing Derek Jeter with two on to close out the Detroit Tigers’ 5-4 victory Monday. Delmon Young hit a tiebreaking homer in seventh off Rafael Soriano and the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five American League playoff, pushing the Yankees to the brink of elimination.

 

 

Back on the road in the playoffs, the Texas Rangers won again. Colby Lewis outpitched All-Star David Price, Mike Napoli hit a go-ahead two-run homer and the defending AL champions survived a shaky night from the bullpen to hold off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Monday night in Game 3 of their postseason series. The Rangers’ fourth straight division series road win matches the third-longest streak in major league history and gives Texas a 2-1 lead.