MLB Week in Review (October 16-22)

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The postseason is almost over as one team has found their way to the World Series and another is only a win away.

The New York Mets ended the “Back to the Future” season of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had plenty of promise after a big NLDS win over the St. Louis Cardinals but the pitching of the Mets was just too relentless to get past.

Meanwhile the Blue Jays are at it again as they lost the first two games in Kansas City only to come back and win Game 4.

Then the Royals put them on the ropes winning their third game before a Toronto win in Game 5 extended the series to at least six games.

As the World Series approaches the scrutiny increases on those great players that can sometimes falter.

That is not the only revelation of the postseason though as there are other players who have little to no expectations that all of a sudden carry the team.

The big names on every roster are the players that need to play well for a team to win games in the postseason.

The players who play far above their expectations can be the players that make the difference between making it a good series and winning the World Series.

Thinking about a baseball team many teams have a few great hitters and one or two great pitchers.

Not all of these players get to have their say in every game so when it comes to the postseason it is up to those role players to step up and provide the extra performances needed to win a game.

So far there are two players that are stepping up when nobody expected them to and are doing things far above their expectations.

For the only team in the World Series right now that player has been Daniel Murphy who has had a record-breaking postseason.

Murphy is a good solid player in the MLB hitting 14 home runs this year with 73 RBIs for the Mets.

The postseason has been different though as Murphy has been the go-to offensive player in the Mets run to the World Series.

So far Murphy has hit seven home runs including six of those in six straight games, an MLB postseason record.

Considering that he has hit half of his season total in only nine games is spectacular for a guy that was expected to contribute but not be the star.

For a team on the ropes in Toronto the production has come from the mound where Marco Estrada has been their best pitcher.baseball-sidebar

Estrada was a nice signing in the off-season to add a bullpen guy that could put in some big innings in a pinch.

Then he became a starter and was one of their best pitchers but was buried under the addition of David Price and the comeback of Marcus Stroman.

He is having his time in the spotlight now after throwing a gem in Game 5 of the ALCS. In total Estrada has a 2.33 ERA with 15 strikeouts and a 0.78 WHIP.

His ERA is the second only to Jacob DeGrom for starters who have pitched more than ten innings in the postseason.

Both Murphy and Estrada are becoming players that their teams depend on for big games and big performances.

What links both of these players even more this postseason is the fact that they both have some extra motivation for their performances.

Both players will not have a contract when this postseason ends for their teams as they are playing on the last year of their current deals, Estrada only had a one-year deal.

These performances could be coming from a need to perform great to earn a big payday or just a sign of what either can do in important games.

Either way both of these players will look to continue their great play this year and when all is said and done will need to decide if they want to stay with their teams or leave for a payday.

On one hand they could sign a contract with their current teams and take less money than free agency with the chance that they are at the beginning of a new era for both teams.

On the other hand home run hitters and starting pitchers are always in need and there are plenty of teams with deeper pockets than the Mets or the Jays that will pay both of these players plenty of money for their potential.

The postseason is always interesting as players that are supposed to perform don’t but the unexpected is bound to come through and both the Jays and the Mets they hope that can continue this year.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Another Postseason First
It is not a piece of history that the Blue Jays are going to be proud of as they were crushed by the Royals in Game 3 and tried not to waste their best bullpen pitchers forcing Cliff Pennington to be the only position player to pitch in a postseason game

Greinke to Test Market
The Dodgers made the postseason for another year largely due to the pair of pitchers but one doesn’t seem to want to stick around as Zach Greinke rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer and will test the free agent market

The Search for Managers
Three teams are focused on right now while everyone else is looking to next year with a number of teams looking for managers including the Dodgers who fired Don Mattingly although he has plenty of interest from other teams in the league

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