[MLB.com] Max’s masterpiece gives Nats 2-0 NLCS lead - This kind of dominance has so often been routine for Max Scherzer, who bullies opposing lineups and carries no-hitters deep into games. Five times in his postseason career he has carried a no-hitter past at least the fifth inning, three more times than anyone in MLB history. In the Nationals’ 3-1 victory in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on Saturday, Scherzer was at it again, following Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid the night before with his own brush with history. Scherzer did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, when Paul Goldschmidt’s leadoff single was hit sharply enough that Juan Soto had to pull up to field the ball rather than make a diving attempt.
[Sporting News] Three takeaways from Nationals’ Game 2 NLCS win over the Cardinals - Michael A. Taylor was supposed to be the Nationals’ next big thing a little more than five years ago, but injuries and poor performance got him passed up by Victor Robles. But with Robles’ injury in the NLDS this year, Taylor was thrust into a starting role and boy did he make use of it in Game 2. Taylor smacked a home run off of Adam Wainwright in the third inning to open up the scoring and give the Nationals some early confidence on the road.
[USA Today] Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, 22, not scared of the big stage in the ALCS - Kids these days, they’ll sure say the darndest things. It was New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres’ responsibility to give the Yankees’ WWW-style championship belt to their player of the game Saturday, after hanging onto the belt since their last game Monday. He sat down with teammate Aaron Judge on Saturday afternoon and broke the news. He had no intention of giving it back. “I’m going to win the belt again tonight,’’ he said. Well, after terrorizing the Houston Astros all evening in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, driving in five runs in their 7-0 victory, no one may ever see it again. “I don’t know,’’ Yankees first baseman D.J. LeMahieu said, “if he’s ever going to give it back. I hope he just keeps it.” Yep, like striking out in his first at-bat against Astros starter Zack Greinke, and then driving in a run every time he stepped to the plate the rest of the game. He had a run-scoring double in the third inning. A homer in the sixth. A two-run single in the seventh. A run-scoring groundout in the ninth.
Around the League
[ESPN] Los Angeles Angels employee details team’s knowledge of Tyler Skaggs’ drug use to federal DEA investigators - A public relations employee for the Los Angeles Angels told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years, and that two team officials were told about Skaggs’ drug use long before his death, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. Eric Kay, the Angels’ director of communications, also gave U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels, the sources said. Kay’s attorney, Michael Molfetta, reached late Friday, confirmed the details of Kay’s statements, given in separate meetings with DEA agents in Dallas and Los Angeles in late September.
[MLB Trade Rumors] David Freese Announces Retirement - David Freese announced his retirement from baseball today. Freese is of course most well known for his unassailable performance in the 2011 postseason for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Missouri native improbably knocked a two-out, two-run triple for his hometown team in the bottom of the ninth of game six to keep the Cardinals alive. Then just for kicks, he went ahead and won it with a walk-off home run leading off the 11th inning to force game seven. Not to outdo himself, but when the Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first of game seven, Freese responded in the bottom half with a game-tying 2-run double. It is not an understatement to put Freese’s 2011 among the most clutch and dramatically interesting performances in baseball history.