Game 163 Recap
by: Jordan Goldmann
Game 163 is when two teams in their division are tied for first place and play an extra game in the regular season. This year was the first time in the history of Major League Baseball that two game 163’s were played. The Dodgers and the Rockies were battling for the first place spot in the NL West and the Cubs and the Brewers were fighting for the first place spot in the NL Central. Game 163 is comparable to the Wild Card game because they both are a one game decision maker to decide who moves on, or in this case, win first place. Winning this game is extremely important because the team that wins the game is in a great spot for the rest of the playoffs and eventually play the wild card game winner.
The Dodgers and Rockies are both great hitting teams with a great pitching staff. The Dodgers had a 91-71 record season and really showed throughout the season their abilities. On the other hand, the Rockies have had struggles with either making the playoffs or staying in the playoffs as a contender. In 2017, they made it to the Wild Card for the first time since 2009 and unfortunately lost the game, but this year could be different. The Rockies also had the same record and really proved themselves as a great hitting team. However, the Dodgers would prove themselves as the better team by dominating the Rockies 5-2. Walker Buehler went 6.2 innings with no runs earned in this important game mowing down the Rockies. However, German Marquez threw four innings and two earned runs and had a tough time against the Dodgers great hitting. Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy came in clutch in the fourth and fifth innings. Bellinger hit at a homer to right field that broke the game apart and put them on top two runs. Max Muncy also had a homer that added to the pressure to the Rockies pitching and really sealed the game and gave the fans the reason to believe that the Rockies were going to lose. The Rockies really struggled with the first six innings because of the way Buehler pitched. The Rockies had some late action in the ninth with two homers off of Kenley Jansen that showed that they could hit.
The other tiebreaker was the Cubs and Brewers. This was a very close and exciting game that showed that either team could have won the game. The Cubs finished with 95-67 record season and really proved to be a good contending team. On the other hand, the Brewers finished blew many people and fans away with their breakout year. They arguably have the best player in the National League this year in Christian Yelich, who is having one of the best seasons ever for a player. He has great hitters backing him up with three hitters hitting over .270 and two hitters over .300. This game was important to win because of the way that their season is going. Fortunately, the Brewers end up winning 3-1 to take the division title. The Cubs were not too far behind the Brewers in the game as they stuck with them through the seventh. Christian Yelich hit a single in the third inning to put the Brewers up one to nothing. In the fifth inning, Anthony Rizzo crushed a home run to tie the game for the Cubs, but they gave up two runs in the seventh inning to cap the game off with a loss.
The upcoming matchups are the Wild Card games on Tuesday, October third. The matchups contain the Cubs and the Rockies and the Yankees against the Athletics. The veteran Jon Lester is starting for the Cubs and should pitch well given the amount of experience he has in the playoffs. Kyle Freeland is starting for the Rockies and has done well this season, posting a 2.85 ERA and 17 wins this season. On the other side of the league, you have the Athletics and Yankees. The Athletics became hot towards the end of the season, posting a 97-65 record that earned them a spot in the Wild Card game. The Yankees, on the other hand, posted a 100-62 record that also led them to the Wild Card game. Liam Hendrick is starting for the Athletics and is an experienced player in the league and has been put on high stakes before. The Yankees are starting their ace, Luis Severino, that has been consistent so far in his three year career.
Rockies vs. Cubs at 5:00 PT October 2nd, 2018
Athletics vs. Yankees at 5:08 PT October 3,2018