The National League wild card game was wild indeed, with the Arizona Diamondbacks jumping out to a 6-0 lead over the Colorado Rockies in a game that looked like it would be over early, but was filled with offense on both sides before the D-Backs hung on for an 11-8 victory.
Paul Goldschmidt hit a 3-run homer to help Arizona to that 6-0 lead but the Rockies got to Arizona ace Zack Greinke and by the eighth inning the D-Backs had a tenuous 8-7 lead. The D-Backs offense featured a rarity in the playoffs, or really an baseball game: not one, not two,not three, but four triples on the night, and one of those triples was hit by relief pitcher Archie Bradley, a fan favorite for his big, bushy beard and high energy demeanor on the mound. Bradley smacked his two-run triple in the seventh inning to give Arizona an 8-5 lead but then in the eighth he gave up back to back home runs as the Rockies pulled within a run. But the D-Backs had more three-bag plans, with A.J. Pollock knocking in two big insurance runs with a triple in the bottom of the eighth. Fans of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in Vermont may have been cheering that performance, recalling Pollock's contributions when he played for the Mountaineers. And as for all those triples it was the most hit by one team in a playoff game since the Boston Red Sox--then known as the Boston Americans--hit five of them in the very first World Series, back in 1903, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Now the Arizona squad led by former Red Sox bench coach Torey Luvullo now moves on to the division series to face the L.A. Dodgers, and while Los Angeles will be favored in the best of five series, the D-Backs have no fear of the Dodgers, having beaten them the last six times the two teams met in the regular season.
Later this afternoon the Boston Red Sox begin their division series in Houston against the Astros with ace Chris Sale getting his first post-season start against a guy who's been there before, Justin Verlander, making his first playoff start with Houston after years as ace of the Detroit Tigers.
The new champions of the WNBA are no strangers to the title. The Minnesota Lynx won the championship last night, beating the Los Angeles Sparks 85-76, Minnesota's fourth title in the past seven years. They took the best of five series three games to two, with Sylvia Fowles leading the way for the Lynx. She scored 17 points and broke her own WNBA Finals record by pulling down 20 rebounds in the win.
The NHL dropped the puck on its 2017-18 season last night, with four games that included a 7-2 win by the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Winnipeg Jets. The Leafs took a big step forward last season and will do even better things this year with a young, talented squad and a great coach in Mike Babcock. The Philadelphia Flyers were also winners last night, topping the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on the strength of a hat trick by Wayne Simmonds.
Connor McDavid also recorded a hat trick in the Edmonton Oilers' 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames, and the St. Louis Blues took the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins down a peg, beating them 5-4 in overtime on a goal by Alex Pietrangelo.
The Boston Bruins play their first game of the season tonight against the defending western conference champion Nashville Predators in Boston, and the Montreal Canadiens open on the road against the Buffalo Sabres.
In college field hockey Castleton University scored five goals in the second half to beat Keuka College 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon. Emily Lowell tallied her 10th goal of the season, which leads the team, and Castleton improves to 7-6 with the win.
Elsewhere Franklin Pierce beat rival St. Michael's 3-1. Morgan Johnston staked the Purple Knights to an early 1-0 lead with her first goal of the season, but the Ravens scored the next three unanswered to take the victory.
In men’s college soccer the Purple Knights have been hanging tough in a lot of one-goal games, but they fell short again in one of those with a goal in the 88th minute being too little too late to prevent a 2-1 loss to Southern Connecticut State. Senior Matt Vlasich scored the late goal for St. Mike's and freshman Leland Gazo had a career-high eight saves in net, as the Purple Knights fall to 2-6-1 on the season.
In New Hampshire the Norwich Cadets were led by two seniors Camilo Estrada and Wilimington, Vermont native Colin Lozito, who each scored goals to lead Norwich to a 2-1 win over Plymouth State.