Oct. 15, Los Angeles, N.L.C.S., Game 2 – The Dodgers’ Rich Hill loses a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning when a two-strike curve grazes the unkempt beard of Nationals pinch-hitter Jayson Werth for a hit-by-pitch. Trea Turner promptly breaks up the no-hitter, and the Nationals go on to win and tie the series. Hill — who was pulled from a perfecto after seven innings in 2016 and lost a no-hitter on a walk-off homer in the 10th this season — accepts condolences by phone from Dave Stieb.
Oct. 17, Houston, A.L.C.S., Game 4 – The Astros, who had the majors’ best slugging percentage but also the fewest strikeouts, fight back from elimination by slamming six home runs with no strikeouts against the Indians. Carlos Beltran goes deep twice, giving him 18 postseason homers in his career — the same as another switch-hitter, Mickey Mantle, in a similar number of games (although Mantle hit all of his in the World Series, of course).
Oct. 19, Washington, N.L.C.S., Game 5 – The Nationals clinch the first World Series berth in franchise history, eliminating the Dodgers. There to see it, from the Dodgers’ radio booth, is Rick Monday, whose homer as a Dodger in another N.L.C.S. Game 5 – in 1981 – cost the Nationals’ ancestors, the Montreal Expos, their best shot at a pennant.
Oct. 20, Washington – Basking in the afterglow of their N.L. championship, the Nationals entice Bryce Harper to forgo his free agency after 2018 by driving him to the United States Mint, telling him to take all he wants and charge it to the Lerner family. Harper becomes baseball’s first $1 billion player.
Oct. 21, Cleveland, A.L.C.S., Game 7 – The Klubot 2.25 is finally cleared by Major League Baseball to resume operations, and the Indians supercharge his spin-rate settings from their clubhouse command center. After fighting back to tie the series, 3-3, the Astros fall meekly, sending Cleveland to the World Series for the second year in a row.
Oct. 24, Cleveland, World Series, Game 1 – How can hitters top their record-setting power binge from the regular season? By setting a single-game World Series mark for home runs by a team. The Indians and the Nationals each smash the record, five, set by Babe Ruth’s Yankees in Game 4 of the 1928 World Series and tied by Jose Canseco’s Oakland Athletics in Game 3 in 1989. The Nats rip six homers and the Indians smack seven, winning, 12-11, on a game-ending blast in the ninth by Jason Kipnis. “That’s what I meant to do in Game 7 last year,” he says.
Oct. 27, Washington, World Series, Game 3 – As the World Series returns to Washington for the first time since 1933, President Trump throws out the ceremonial first pitch. It veers to the left, then turns sharply to the right. After tweeting that he had just thrown “the fastest pitch in the history of baseball,” Trump fumes when TrackMan data says otherwise. A new term, “Fake Stats,” is born. The Nationals, meanwhile, blow a big lead and lose, giving Cleveland a two-games-to-one edge. Sad!