Three playoff division series are tied. Houston is the only unbeaten postseason team remaining.
Arizona Diamondbacks News
[Phoenix Business Journal] Here’s how the Diamondbacks’ 2021 season attendance compares to MLB teams – The D-backs ended up bringing in 1,043,010 fans in 2021, about half the number who attended games in 2019, when 2,135,510 fans came through the turnstiles… This year’s attendance numbers underscore an existing yearslong slide in MLB attendance across the league’s stadiums. Between 2018 and 2019, 13 teams reported drops in total attendance, and for those 17 who reported increases, a dozen reported bumps of less than 6%. Even the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field, which operated at an only slightly reduced fan capacity, saw nonexistent growth in attendance from 2019. The Oakland Athletics saw the biggest drop in attendance in 2021 – fewer than a million fans in total attended home games, after 2019 saw slight growth from 2018.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Ildemaro Vargas, Chris Devenski Elect Free Agency – Utilityman Ildemaro Vargas and right-hander Chris Devenski have elected to become free agents, as reported by the official transaction pages for Triple-A West (for Vargas) and MLB.com (for Devenski). The two 30-year-olds both finished the 2021 season with the Diamondbacks. Vargas was outrighted off Arizona’s roster earlier this week, and since he’d been previously outrighted earlier this week, Vargas had the option of either accepting the assignment to Triple-A or choosing to become a free agent. He’ll now hit the open market and could be on the move again after a whirlwind 14 months that saw Vargas play for three different teams (the Twins, Cubs, and Pirates) in between two stints with the D’Backs.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs to prioritize more power bullpen arms, grinding hitters – In the bullpen, Hazen wants to reshape things with more power arms — at least a few. Offensively, he wants to identify veterans who can help at the plate but also in mentoring Arizona’s younger talent. “We lost 30-plus one-run games last year. It doesn’t just fall on the young players. If it ends up just falling on the young players, we’re going to lose those games again next year,” Hazen told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “It’s going to take veteran players stepping up in those situations and veteran players helping younger guys to slow the heartbeat down a little bit … move a runner, just make contact and knock a guy in.”
[MLB.com] Fried evens NLDS with ‘just a ton of strikes’ – Showing why he has quickly established himself as one of the game’s top starters, Max Fried once again got the Braves back on track with another of those dominant starts he frequently produced over the past couple of months. Ozzie Albies capped a two-run third with a double and Austin Riley drilled a sixth-inning solo homer that gave Fried some comfort as he guided the Braves to a 3-0 win over the Brewers in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Saturday at American Family Field.
[NBC Sports] Urías hits, pitches Dodgers past Giants to even NLDS series – Julio Urias shut down San Francisco and contributed an RBI single for his cause, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock delivered two-run doubles to break it open in the sixth, and Los Angeles pounded the Giants 9-2 on Saturday night to even the series between baseball’s two winningest teams at one game apiece. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts declared earlier in the day, “We’re going to play this game essentially like a do or die,” and the reigning champs did just that by continuing to add on all game, including Will Smith’s leadoff homer in the eighth. Now, NL West runner-up Los Angeles – second place despite 106 wins to the Giants’ 107 – is going to Chavez Ravine with a chance to ride this win and hand ace Max Scherzer the ball next.
[MLB.com] Full circle: Ras to start Game 3 at Fenway – The 26-year-old righty [Drew Rasmussen] has only been part of the Rays’ organization since May 21, but the team had its eye on him since 2017 when it drafted him as a starter in the first round of the MLB Draft (31st overall) out of Oregon University. Instead of signing, he had to address his elbow yet again, undergoing a second Tommy John surgery before returning the next year to be drafted in the sixth round by Milwaukee. In 2019, he quickly moved up to Double-A — still as a starter — and was with the Brewers in 2020, but made all 12 of his appearances in relief. He returned this season to make 15 relief appearances, posting a 4.24 ERA before Milwaukee traded him to the team that once fancied him a first-round draft pick in the deal that sent Willy Adames to the Brewers in May.
[ESPN] MLB playoffs 2021 – Will the Astros sweep? Who has the edge in Rays-Red Sox? – After a travel day Saturday, both American League Division series of this year’s MLB playoffs resume Sunday in new locations. Led by their dominant offense, the Houston Astros look to sweep away the Chicago White Sox in Game 3 while the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox head to Fenway tied 1-1.