Nationals' Strasburg, Yankees' Chapman top players in Wednesday's League Division Series games

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Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman are Wednesday’s Box-Toppers Players of the Day in two League Division Series games.

NLDS Game 4: Nationals 5, Cubs 0

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks, as Washington forced a deciding Game 5 in the series.

Strasburg had 22.5 Box-Toppers points in 2017, fourth among all players, third among NL pitchers.

He had a Box-Toppers game score Wednesday of +14.0, most among Nationals players. Michael Taylor, who hit an eighth-inning grand slam, had the highest Box-Toppers game score among Nationals batters, +3.0 (1-3 R 4BI).

The Cubs had two starting pitchers, both former Box-Toppers Players of the Year, take the mound through the game:

  • Jake Arrieta (6.7 Box-Toppers points, 110th among all players, 38th among NL pitchers) started and had a Box-Toppers game score of 0.0 (4IP 2H R 0ER 5BB 4K L). Arrieta was Box-Toppers Player of the Year in 2015, leading all players that season with 29.1 Box-Toppers points.
  • Jon Lester (10.7 Box-Toppers points, 33rd among all players, 16th among NL pitchers) relieved Arrieta and had a Box-Toppers game score of +2.2 (3.2IP H R BB 3K ND). Lester was Box-Toppers Player of the Year in 2010 with the Red Sox when he led all players with 23.4 Box-Toppers points.

The deciding Game 5 in the series will be Thursday in Washington. (See below for details.)

ALDS Game 5: Yankees 5, Indians 2

Yankees closing pitcher Aroldis Chapman pitched a two-inning save, striking out four and allowing no hits, runs or walks, as the Yankees completed the comeback and eliminated the Indians in five games.

Chapman had just 1.7 Box-Toppers points in 2017 after having 7.4 points in 2016, second among NL closers. 

Chapman had a Box-Toppers game score Wednesday of +5.0, highest among Yankees players. Starting pitcher CC Sabathia had a Box-Toppers game score of +4.1 (4.1IP 5H 2R 0BB 9K ND). Didi Gregorius had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+4.0) among Yankees batters (2HR 3-4 2R 3BI).

Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (22.0 Box-Toppers points, fifth among all players, second among AL pitchers) had a Box-Toppers game score Wednesday of -1.8 (3.2IP 3H 3R 2BB 6K L).

The Indians were Box-Toppers top-ranked team in 2017, finishing the season with 140.9 accumulated Box-Toppers points among its players, most of any team. The Yankees ranked fifth among all teams with 121.7 Box-Toppers points, third among AL teams, behind the Indians and the Houston Astros (131.7).

The Indians won the first two games of the best-of-five series with the Yankees coming back to win the final three games. The Yankees now face the Houston Astros in the best-of-seven game AL Championship Series beginning Friday in Houston.

Top player from each game

BTG Game Player of the Game AB R H BI IP H R ER BB K
14.0 WSH 5, CHC 0 Stephen Strasburg W (1-1) - - - - 7.0 3 0 0 2 12
5.0 NYY 5, CLE 2 Aroldis Chapman S (2) - - - - 2.0 0 0 0 1 4
BTG—Box-Toppers game score

Coming Thursday:

NL Division Series Game 5, Cubs at Nationals, series tied, 2-2

The pitching matchup Thursday:

Cubs—Kyle Hendricks, 3.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 280th among all players, ranked 76th among NL pitchers.

Nationals—Gio Gonzalez, 9.7 Box-Toppers points, 41st among all players, 20th among NL pitchers.

Hendricks started in Game 1 and was Player of the Game in the Cubs 3-0 win (7IP 2H 0R 3BB 6K W).

Gonzalez started in Game 2, a 6-3 win by the Nationals. Gonzalez did not earn Player of the Game but had a Box-Toppers game score of 0.0 (5IP 3H 3R 2BB 6K ND).

It was still possible that Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark (7.0 Box-Toppers points, 97th among all players, 31st among NL pitchers), who had been the scheduled starter for Game 4 before it was rained out Tuesday, could start Game 5. 

With everything on the line in Game 5, expect both teams to bring their aces out of the bullpen in relief. Those most likely to be available include Box-Toppers NL Player of the Year Max Scherzer of the Nationals (25.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked second among all players) and Cubs pitchers Jose Quintana (15.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 15th) and John Lackey (6.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 127th).

See the season Box-Toppers point totals of all Cubs and Nationals players who earned Player of the Game honors in 2017.

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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