All eight teams vying for advancement in the playoffs are in action today. There are two day games and two this evening.
First up, in Washington, D.C., the National League East champion Nationals are enjoying their first-ever home playoff game. The Nats and Cardinals are tied at 1-1 after splitting the opening games of the best of five series in St. Louis. The pitching matchup has Chris Carpenter going for the Cards against Edwin Jackson. Carpenter, who missed most of the season because of surgery, joined the club on Sept. 21 and turned in three starts. He was 4-0 in the playoffs last year with the Cards when they won the World Series. Jackson is the only member of the Nationals pitching staff who has prior playoff experience. He was roughed up by St. Louis for nine runs in 1 1/3 innings of work on Sept. 28.
Game 4 in the series will take place tomorrow in Washington.
The other day game is in Cincinnati as the Reds are facing the Giants in game 3 of their series. Cincy won the opening two games of the series in San Francisco before dropping a 2-1 decision last night at home to the Giants. Barry Zito (ZEE'-toh) gets the ball for San Francisco. The Giants have won eight of the last 11 games started by the left-hander. In six career starts against the Reds Zito is 0-2 with a 6.10 earned run average. The Reds have not yet named their game 4 starter starter.
The fifth game will be played tomorrow in Cincinnati.
The first of the evening games has Baltimore playing in New York. The Yankees took the first game of the best of five affair while the Orioles came back to win the second. This evening's pitching matchup has Miguel Gonzalez going for the Birds against Hiroki Kuroda (hih-ROH'-kee kih-ROH'-dah) for the Yankees. Gonzalez has pitched well on the road and is 2-0 against the Yankees with a 2.63 ERA in two career starts in the Bronx. This is Kuroda's third post season appearance as he went to the NLCS with the Dodgers in 2008 and 2009.
Game four is tomorrow in Yankee Stadium.
The final game of the night will feature the Athletics at home to the Tigers. Oakland kept its playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 win last night on the home turf. The win came after the Tigers won the first two games of the series in Detroit. On the mound for the Tigers is right-hander Max Scherzer, who is pitching on six days rest. He'll be facing 24-year old rookie A.J. Griffin, who joined the A's in June from the minor leagues. He was drafted in the 13th round of the draft two years ago from the University of San Diego. This is his first post season appearance.
Should the A's win tonight's game, the fifth and final game will be played Thursday in Oakland.