MLB Hoosiers (Sept. 22): New Dad Alex Dickerson Hits Another Homer in Giants' Win
You can pretty much sum up San Francisco Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson's great week in just two words.
Dickerson, the 30-year-old left fielder for the Giants and former Indiana baseball star, welcomed his son Levi into the world on Sunday, enjoying the moment in La Jolla, Calif., with his wife Jennifer.
A few hours later, he jumped on a plane to San Fransisco and had three hits and a homer on Monday and then hit a huge home run Tuesday night, coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter and giving the Giants the lead with his team-leading 10th home run of the season. The Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 and are still in the thick of the National League playoff race.
“It was a long process,” Dickerson said of his wife’s pregnancy. “I think I realized the weight off my shoulders on the flight back, just how good I felt. Everybody's healthy and looking great. I’m extremely excited for the offseason and getting to spend time with my family.”
That will have to wait for a little bit. The Giants are 27-27 an in a three-way tie with the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers for the final two playoff spots in the expanded 16-team playoffs. The Giants lose out on a tiebreaker this morning, but that's going to change every day through the final day of the regular season on Sunday. San Francisco has two more game with Colorado, then finishes the season with four games against the San Diego Padres.
Tuesday's big homer came a day after a big three-hit game that checked all the boxes for Dickerson. He had a single, double and homer.
Dickerson can't wait to get back to his wife and child, but he's also desperately desiring a shot at making the playoffs, something that's a bit of a surprise considering that this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Giants.
“Every game is a must win,” Dickerson said. “This is kind of the last stretch, and a lot of teams are in it. You go out there and give it everything you’ve got and see what happens.
"We know how important every single game is. We know our schedule is not easy to finish up. We’ll go out there and grind it out like we have all season.”
The Giants were eight games under .500 at one point, but have played 19-11 ball since then. Dickerson has been a big reason for the comeback. Since Aug. 29, he's 24-for-55, a whopping .436 average, with seven home runs, six doubles and 15 RBIs.
Other 'Hoosiers in the Pros' on Tuesday
- Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs: Schwarber went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the Cubs' 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, but they clinched a playoff spot anyway and are still hoping to win the National League Central division in the next day or two. “It’s very rewarding for that group in there that has put in the hard work in a unique atmosphere and the challenges that have been involved in this season,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “It makes me very proud of those guys. A lot of people helped me out in overcoming my mistakes and shortcomings in my first year as a manager. It’s an organizational effort all the way through.”
- Caleb Baragar, San Francisco Giants: Baragar did not pitch in the Giants' win. He leads the team in wins (5), and has had 13 consecutive scoreless outings out of the San Francisco bullpen.
- Jonathan Stiever, Chicago White Sox: Stiever did not pitch in Chicago's 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians in extra innings. With the loss, the White Sox dropped to 34-21 and their lead in the American League Central is now down to just a half-game over the Minnesota Twins.
- Aaron Slegers, Tampa Bay Rays: Slegers did not pitch in the Rays' 5-2 loss to the New York Mets. The Rays still have the best record in the American League at 36-20 and have a 3.5-game lead in the American League East with four games to go. Any win or New York Yankees loss will clinch the division for the Rays, something they haven't done since 2010 and only twice in their 23-year history.
Current playoff bracket
The regular season doesn't end today — we have to wait until Sunday for that — but every day is bringing all sorts of playoff drama, with teams swapping spots constantly in the new 16-team bracket. The first round is a best-of-three playoff series, with all the games being played on the home field of the highest seed.
Here's where we stand through Tuesday night's games, keeping in mind that everything is so close that a half-dozen of these seeds could change by Wednesday.
- No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays
- No. 4 Minnesota Twins vs. No. 5 New York Yankees
- No. 3 Oakland A's vs. No. 6 Houston Astros
- No. 2 Chicago White Sox vs. No. 7 Cleveland Indians
- No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 8 Milwaukee Brewers
- No. 4 San Diego Padres vs. No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals
- No. 3 Chicago Cubs vs. No. 6 Miami Marlins
- No. 2 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 7 Cincinnati Reds