Due to the brevity of the MLB playoffs, particular plays or individual performances can influence an entire series. From each Division Series matchup of Friday's quadruple-header, there are big takeaways that could affect upcoming games.
The aim of this article is to find deeper meaning in the latest on-field occurrences and use them to project how this round of the postseason will play out in the American and National Leagues.
In the first game of the day, the Pittsburgh Pirates struck back with a 7-1 blowout to even their series with the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. Rookie Gerrit Cole had a great outing, and Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte each provided home runs.
Then, the Boston Red Sox thoroughly demolished the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, taking the series opener by a final score of 12-2. Every Red Sox position player contributed at least one hit and one run scored, which was more than enough support for rotation leader Jon Lester.
The nail-biting 4-3 victory for the Atlanta Braves over the Los Angeles Dodgers evened their NLDS at one win apiece. It featured late-inning scoring from both sides, and ultimately, a dramatic save for superstar closer Craig Kimbrel.
Out West, the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics clashed in the only legitimate duel between staff aces: Max Scherzer vs. Bartolo Colon. Sixteen A's batters whiffed, as Detroit triumphed at the O.co Coliseum, 3-2.