MLB Playoffs: Mariners host Astros, Yankees visit Guardians – Star Tribune

MLB Playoffs: Mariners host Astros, Yankees visit Guardians – Star Tribune

Playoff baseball returns to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday.
The Seattle Mariners are hoping it's more than a one-day cameo.
Julio Rodríguez and company host Yordan Alvarez and the Houston Astros for Game 3 of their AL Division Series. The Mariners are hoping to extend their October stay after dropping the first two games of the best-of-five series in Houston.
Matt Olson and Atlanta look to stay alive against Bryce Harper and Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Dodgers take on Manny Machado and San Diego in Game 4 of their NLDS on Saturday night. The New York Yankees face the Cleveland Guardians in the other ALDS matchup.
It's the first playoff game in Seattle since the Mariners were eliminated by the New York Yankees in the 2001 AL Championship Series.
“The factor that I don’t think is getting talked about enough and I think it’s going to show up tomorrow on the first inning is when there’s 45,000 Mariner fans in the stands pumped and ready to go, and all behind us. Because we certainly need it,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “I talked about it when we clinched, ended the drought, how valuable our fan base has been to this team. This team really, somehow, we get wired, we get going when it's loud here.”
Seattle snapped the longest playoff drought in the four major North American sports when it clinched one of the AL wild cards on Sept. 30 thanks to Cal Raleigh’s home run.
Even the starting pitcher for Houston — trying to end Seattle’s season on Saturday — has appreciation for seeing the Mariners back in the postseason.
“Moments like these where the fans get to come back out and watch postseason baseball for an organization that hasn’t been there in a while I think is really cool,” Houston right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. said.
Here’s what else to know about the MLB playoffs Saturday:
NLDS Game 4: Atlanta at Philadelphia, 2:07 p.m., FS1
ALDS Game 3: Houston at Seattle, 4:07 p.m., TBS
ALDS Game 3: New York Yankees at Cleveland, 7:37 p.m., TBS
NLDS Game 4: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego, 9:37 p.m., FS1
Maybe a change of scenery will help Aaron Judge as he looks to find his timing at the plate. Judge and the Yankees visit the Guardians for Game 3 of their AL Division Series on Saturday.
Judge went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts in Friday’s 4-2 loss in Game 2. He is 0 for 8 with seven strikeouts in the deadlocked best-of-five series.
“Just a little late,” Judge said. “When you’re a little late, you’re missing pitches that you’re usually doing some damage on. You’re swinging at stuff that you usually don’t. So it’s truly all about timing.”
The 30-year-old Judge hit .311 with 62 homers and 131 RBIs this season, leading New York to the AL East title and setting himself up for a big payday. The 6-foot-7 outfielder is eligible for free agency after breaking Roger Maris’ AL home run record.
Atlanta is on the brink of elimination heading into Game 4 at Philadelphia. The Braves won the World Series last year, and then rallied past the Mets for their fifth consecutive NL East title this season.
Charlie Morton starts for Atlanta, and Noah Syndergaard takes the mound for Philly. Morton, who turns 39 on Nov. 12, is 7-4 with a 3.35 ERA in 17 career postseason appearances. Syndergaard is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in six postseason games, including a scoreless eighth inning in Game 2 at Atlanta.
Morton was in the mix for Friday's Game 3, but the Braves went with Spencer Strider instead. The rookie right-hander was tagged for five runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 9-1 loss.
“It’s the postseason. You’ve just got to be ready to throw when they call on you,” Morton said.
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