ALCS 2018 - Houston Astros

Sox Puppet

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Start Eovaldi in Game 3, ERod in Game 4, Porcello in Game 5. Cross our fingers that we can win the next three and don't have to bank on Sale recovering for Game 6.

Put Price in the Hembree/Velazquez role so that he doesn't have to start another postseason game again.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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The bullpen is averaging almost 14 outs per game through six postseason games. Cora has had to go to his Game 4 starter twice as a bridge to Kimbrel. This can’t continue. Relievers will wear down over the course of a seven game series, and they can’t keep going to Porcello in the 8th inning. They need more length from the starters.
 
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Sampo Gida

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Kimbrel giving up runs in his 3 post season games something else to worry about. But not so much after a big W.

Nice to see Betts hitting the ball. Need to get JDM going now

On to Houston. We are undefeated on the road in the post season. Sometimes there can be more pressure at home in front of rabid fans

Bummer about Sales stomach issues, that can wipe you out for days. Maybe best to shut him down for the LCS if we can win the next 2, or at least limit him to the bullpen for game 6 or 7.
 

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The bullpen is avaeraging almost 14 outs per game through six postseason games. Cora has had to go to his Game 4 starter twice as a bridge to Kimbrel. This can’t continue. Relievers will wear down over the course of a seven game series, and they can’t keep going to Porcello in the 8th inning. They need more length from the starters.
It absolutely can work in a seven game series with two days off in the middle. Both Sale and Price could have gone longer, but Cora had a quick hook because the bullpen is pitching so well.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Our starters have thrown a total of 27.2 innings in 6 postseason starts. The only starter to go longer than 5.1 is Eovaldi in the blowout.
We're asking way too much of a bullpen that most people considered to be the team's weak spot before the postseason. We need a couple 6+ inning starts soon or the bullpen will eventually wear out.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Our starters have thrown a total of 27.2 innings in 6 postseason starts. The only starter to go longer than 5.1 is Eovaldi in the blowout.
We're asking way too much of a bullpen that most people considered to be the team's weak spot before the postseason. We need a couple 6+ inning starts soon or the bullpen will eventually wear out.
Much easier said than done, I’m afraid.

They don’t swing out of the zone and they foul off so many tough pitches with seeming ease.

Five game series now. Sox pitchers just have to keep grinding. If it takes 25 pitches to get them out, it’s what it takes and we’ll keep grinding and fight the battle tomorrow. The Astros are designed to wear the shit out of you.

We might just need 2.1 from Workman in a tight game. If it happens then just hope they hit them right at one of our guys.
 

Apisith

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Our leftie starters match up terribly against their predominantly RH hitters.

We’ll match up much better against the Dodgers.

Games 3 and 4 should be better because both our starters are RH.
 

gedman211

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It's Eovaldi, Porcello, Sale in games 3-4-5. It's just a case of the shits. They have Gatorade in Texas.
 

Apisith

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I know Morton’s been better this year but I still don’t know how we didn’t score 5 on him last year in the ALDS. If I remember correctly, the bases were loaded at least once and we left multiple men on base.

Same with Keuchel in Game 2. We should have scored a lot more.

Their starters are hittable. Win one of the next 2 and guarantee that this shit comes back to Fenway.

For all the talk about their offense, they had only Bregman with an OPS above .900. We have 2 dudes above 1.000. We’ll hit them hard.
 

BaseballJones

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The bullpen is getting taxed but the days off during the series and between series, really helps mitigate that. But starting tomorrow, this three game stretch could be extremely difficult. Really need at least one long ("long" nowadays = 6+ innings) out of at least one of these starters.

Man that sounds pathetic, doesn't it? That baseball has gotten to the point where it's considered success to have like one of your starters go 6+ innings in a postseason game?

Oh well, it is what it is.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Likely Porcello could have gone another 2 innings. It wouldn't have skewed the avg. of innings pitched for starters much... but so far, it's been Sale and Price not able to make it into the 5th. Winning ugly is still winning. But would be nice to see more gems like Eovaldi's from Sale and/or Price.
And Devers needs to stay as the starting 3B. I'm expecting to see Holt hit for the 2nd cycle in playoff history Tuesday night.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think too much is being made of the number of outs the bullpen's been asked to get. It's the way of the game now. As someone already said, winning ugly is still winning.

Regarding Kimbrel, I think the TBS guys hit the nail on the head with him. He is better when he works more frequently. He's had a minimum of 3 days off between appearances so far and it impacts his sharpness. As much as some might not like it, he needs to work more, not less.
 

Lowrielicious

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The late win by the patriots last night reminds me of the day of game 2 2013 ALCS.
Watched Brady throw a come-from-behind-game-winning-TD with seconds to go in a bar somewhere close to Fenway. Then walked straight into Fenway to watch a few quiet innings before some Ortiz magic.
Anyone hazard a guess who took the loss in that game?
Porcello. Pitched the ninth in a tie game.
Yeah I didn’t remember until I looked it up either.
Also didn’t realise Iggy made a throwing error in the 9th to get the eventual winning run (Gomes) to second on an infield single.
That’s two huge errors in that series by the “all glove” Iggy. The other being error on an Ellsbury grounder that lead to Victorino salami in game 6.
 

Reggie's Racquet

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I think too much is being made of the number of outs the bullpen's been asked to get. It's the way of the game now. As someone already said, winning ugly is still winning.

Regarding Kimbrel, I think the TBS guys hit the nail on the head with him. He is better when he works more frequently. He's had a minimum of 3 days off between appearances so far and it impacts his sharpness. As much as some might not like it, he needs to work more, not less.
Absolutely...which is why not giving Kimbrel an inning in the 16-1 blowout against the Yankees was unwise and then he almost gave all of us a heart attack.

I thought Cora was a genius. Not playing Devers in game one was another bad blunder. Continuing to play Kinsler...another blunder. If you like his defense bring him in late when we are ahead.
 

joe dokes

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Getting a split in the Verlander-Cole games is a good result.
And since Porcello and Eovaldi seem to be pitching with confidence, I think things are as good as anyone could have realistically hoped for.
 

JimD

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Once they get their starts out of the way, I hope Cora takes the shackles off Eovaldi and Porcello later in the series. With enough recovery time they should be capable of pitching multiple innings in relief and allow Cora to really get creative in the later innings.
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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Once they get their starts out of the way, I hope Cora takes the shackles off Eovaldi and Porcello later in the series. With enough recovery time they should be capable of pitching multiple innings in relief and allow Cora to really get creative in the later innings.
I agree completely regarding Porcello. I'm sure that it's unsustainable, but the pace and determination he works with out of the pen is so refreshing (and kind of stark in contrast to his starts).

However, Eovaldi has pretty terrible numbers when pitching on short rest - maybe that will be less of a concern when pitching out of the pen, though?
 

Blue Monkey

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Question for you guys. Right now game 6 is slated to start at 5 on 10/20. The NLCS game 7 is the night game. If that gets wrapped up in 6 games do they move the Sox to the night slot? I have tickets but won’t be able to land at Logan until 5ish... that said I’m sure the Red Sox will win the next 3 in Houston making it a moot point.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Speaking of ERod. Wasn't it his job to fill in the Porcello role tonight? Where is he? Is he in the hospital next to Sale?
Two righties and one switch who hits best from the right side were due for the Astros in the 8th. White in particular mashes lefties.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Man that sounds pathetic, doesn't it? That baseball has gotten to the point where it's considered success to have like one of your starters go 6+ innings in a postseason game?

Oh well, it is what it is.
I understand why it's become this way, but I find it sort of annoying that baseball is basically played one way every night for six entire months but then a significantly different way in the playoffs.

Now get off my lawn.
 

OCST

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I understand why it's become this way, but I find it sort of annoying that baseball is basically played one way every night for six entire months but then a significantly different way in the playoffs.

Now get off my lawn.
It's the off days for travel and the time between series, of course. I don't like it either. I think the original genesis of the seven-game series was that it was essentially two trips through a team's rotation. Baseball is meant to be a war of attrition against the starters and bullpen. Having good #4 and #5 starters and long guys, LOOGY, etc. really matters - but not so much in the playoffs.

<shakes fist at cloud>
 

DJnVa

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Baseball is meant to be a war of attrition against the starters and bullpen. Having good #4 and #5 starters and long guys, LOOGY, etc. really matters - but not so much in the playoffs.

<shakes fist at cloud>
Actually it’s not. That’s what it turned into when we started watching. Baseball started as guys pitching 9 innings every game and bullpens and 4/5 starters didn’t matter.
 

OCST

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Actually it’s not. That’s what it turned into when we started watching. Baseball started as guys pitching 9 innings every game and bullpens and 4/5 starters didn’t matter.
When I finish soaking my teeth I'm going to give you what-for, young man.

Seriously: picking a year at random, you're right but there was still depth to a staff. the 1910 Sox https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/1910.shtml

did have its top starters pitching ~ 60% CG, but it still was a 4-to-5 man rotation and there were decent amounts of innings pitched by RP - not massive but enough that it mattered. FWIW.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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When I finish soaking my teeth I'm going to give you what-for, young man.

Seriously: picking a year at random, you're right but there was still depth to a staff. the 1910 Sox https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/1910.shtml

did have its top starters pitching ~ 60% CG, but it still was a 4-to-5 man rotation and there were decent amounts of innings pitched by RP - not massive but enough that it mattered. FWIW.
Not exactly weighing in on either side, but the better comparison might be the World Series. In the 9 game 1912 WS that the Sox won 4-3-1 over the Giants, Smoky Joe Wood pitched 22 innings across 3 starts and 1 relief appearance Hugh Bedient pitched 18 innings over 2 starts and 2 relief appearances, Buck O'Brien started 2 games pitching only 9 innings, Ray Collins pitched 14.1 innings over a start and a relief appearance, and Charley Hall threw 10.2 innings in relief.

The Giants had 2 pitchers start 3 games each and throw 28.2 and 23 innings, another guy start and complete 2 games, plus 2 guys each throw a 2 inning relief stint.

So the Giants had a three man rotation throwing complete games (including extra innings) and the Sox had 2 men in a three man rotation plus a couple guys filling in, with the same starters also relieving each other.



https://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1912_WS.shtml
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Not exactly weighing in on either side, but the better comparison might be the World Series. In the 9 game 1912 WS that the Sox won 4-3-1 over the Giants, Smoky Joe Wood pitched 22 innings across 3 starts and 1 relief appearance Hugh Bedient pitched 18 innings over 2 starts and 2 relief appearances, Buck O'Brien started 2 games pitching only 9 innings, Ray Collins pitched 14.1 innings over a start and a relief appearance, and Charley Hall threw 10.2 innings in relief.

The Giants had 2 pitchers start 3 games each and throw 28.2 and 23 innings, another guy start and complete 2 games, plus 2 guys each throw a 2 inning relief stint.

So the Giants had a three man rotation throwing complete games (including extra innings) and the Sox had 2 men in a three man rotation plus a couple guys filling in, with the same starters also relieving each other.



https://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1912_WS.shtml

Or the first WS in 1903, where the Sox beat the Pirates 5-3.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1903_WS.shtml

Bill Dineen started and completed 4 games, throwing 35 innings. Cy Young started and completed 3 games, plus made a relief appearance, totalling 34 innings. Tom Hughes started that other game, throwing 2 innings and allowing 3 runs before Young came in and finished the game for him.

The Pirates' Deacon Phillippe started and completed FIVE games, with 4 other guys handling the other three games.
 

BaseballJones

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I understand why it's become this way, but I find it sort of annoying that baseball is basically played one way every night for six entire months but then a significantly different way in the playoffs.

Now get off my lawn.
Yeah, well the thing is, you can't play the "bullpen game" for 162 games a year. You'll fry their arms. So you live with Price struggling the first few innings, hoping he rights the ship and if not, oh well. Losing one game out of 162 isn't a huge deal (though of course, sometimes teams miss the playoffs by that scant one game). Losing one game in a best-of-five or best-of-seven is a pretty big deal, so they don't want to let the starters work through it. And the days off and such allow the bullpens to handle that kind of taxing duty.

It really is a different game in the postseason though, to your point.

But isn't that always the case? In the NBA deep teams that lack superstars can still play really really well because the depth allows them to handle injuries and handle those tough back-to-backs and such. But come playoff time, you're much better off having like 2 superstars and 7 quality players rather than a deep team of 10-12 players you can use.
 

canderson

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Houston fans are sharing a story/video of Barnes repeatedly touching his non-throwing arm, saying he was using pine tar.

So last night's win was a bit of a shock to their system, which is good.
 

DeadlySplitter

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there are a lot of Astro fans that I've seen that are convinced the series is ending in 5 and they can't be beaten at the "Juice Box".

we are not going to roll over like the Indians.
 

nvalvo

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Houston fans are sharing a story/video of Barnes repeatedly touching his non-throwing arm, saying he was using pine tar.

So last night's win was a bit of a shock to their system, which is good.
(That's almost certainly rosin, as we all know. Likely stuck on with sunscreen. Pine tar is dark in color, I believe.)

 

ricopetro6

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After watching the 1st 2 games, the Astros are not the juggernaut many have made them out to be. Cole was unimpressive and Sox will knock him around again in game 6 IMO. Next game is crucial in regards to how the starters perform as if it goes 7, it will be the same starters...If Eovaldi pitches close to what he did against the Yankees, I really like the Sox in this series.
 

E5 Yaz

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After watching the 1st 2 games, the Astros are not the juggernaut many have made them out to be. Cole was unimpressive and Sox will knock him around again in game 6 IMO. Next game is crucial in regards to how the starters perform as if it goes 7, it will be the same starters...If Eovaldi pitches close to what he did against the Yankees, I really like the Sox in this series.
You decided a defending WS champion that won 100 games this season was not a juggernaut after watching two games ... neither in their home ballpark?
 

geoduck no quahog

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Two questions (if anyone knows):

1. What was Price yelling at Vazquez about? Do pitchers hate the guy?

2. What on earth were the umps doing on that obvious-to-everyone-but-the-umps foul ball on Bradley? First, it seems like they all missed it...but then they pulled a "rule interpretation" thing on NY. What rule? (like they had to find out if a ball hits the batter in the box it's foul???) Was it a con? Were they just trying to get out of an extremely embarrassing moment?
 

phenweigh

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You decided a defending WS champion that won 100 games this season was not a juggernaut after watching two games ... neither in their home ballpark?
Not disagreeing, but using the home ballpark comment as a discussion point.

The Red Sox were 51-31 away from Fenway. The Astors were 46-35 at home. Now I'm not saying that I'd rather the games be played in Houston, but I'll offer that there are about a dozen other factors more important to the outcome of the next three games than home field advantage.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
2. What on earth were the umps doing on that obvious-to-everyone-but-the-umps foul ball on Bradley? First, it seems like they all missed it...but then they pulled a "rule interpretation" thing on NY. What rule? (like they had to find out if a ball hits the batter in the box it's foul???) Was it a con? Were they just trying to get out of an extremely embarrassing moment?
Interesting discussion here:

https://www.closecallsports.com/2018/10/non-review-west-alcs-crews-infield.html

It does look as if West was using the "rules check" as a fig leaf for overturning the call on the merits. (I can picture the phone conversation with NY: "Hey guys, did I miss something or is it still a foul ball if it hits the batter in the box?" "Nope, it's still a foul ball." "OK, thanks for clarifying.")

But as the linked article points out, the usual procedure here is to have the umps discuss the call on the field and let the original ump signal the overturn. Maybe the HP ump wasn't willing to accept being overruled, so West took matters into his own hands?
 

Pitt the Elder

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The narrative that the Astros are a generationally great team and that the Red Sox are underdogs strikes me as a bit...weird. Smart baseball people gave the Astros the edge going into this series, but everything I saw put their odds at slightly above a coin flip. Shortly after Gonzalez put them up 4-2 in the top of the 3rd, Anderson and Darling started waxing philosophically about how you had to consider the Astros one of the best teams of all time. I'm glad the Sox don't buy into the narrative and hope the Astros get complacent in thinking the World Series is a fait accompli.

<start rant> Also, on a related note, the 2-3-2 schedule sucks. The possibility of losing a series having played more games on the road than at home with "home field advantage" is pretty asinine. I know MLB doesn't want to introduce more travel days, but 2-2-1-1-1 would be a lot fairer. If you wanted to get a little creative, you could do 1-2-1-2-1 with travel days after Games 3 and 6. </end rant>
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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All things considered through two games, honestly, I feel pretty good about the series. The lack of respect, or confidence the media has in the Sox having any shot at winning this series is pretty shocking to me. To listen to them, you'd think the Sox were an 88 win team that snuck in to the playoffs. A few thoughts:
  • First off, the Sox could have easily won game 1 vs Verlander (to be fair, they also could have easily lost both games) despite a not very good at all Chris Sale. They hit Cole very well. Splitting against their two aces is what you hope for. To expect to take both is silly.
  • The Sox pen thus far - minus Kimbrel - have actually been very solid.
  • Price did not pitch great, but people love to shit on him it seems. Granted, his line is not a good one, but again a bad play by X led to having runners on, instead of being out of the inning, and Springer hit a good pitch (weakly) in the best possible location to score the 2 runs. Even the HR to Marwin was not a bad pitch. His velocity looked good, and this is a terrific Astros lineup. Not saying he deserves praise by any means, but he really did not pitch that badly.
  • The walks by everyone are infuriating, but apparently that is the actual game plan
  • The Astros are going to throw Kuechel, Morton and presumably Verlander in the next three games. I really do not see why the Sox cannot take at least one of these games. SSS, but there are more than a few hitters on the Sox who hit Kuechel well, and Morton the Sox are at a .953OPS against as a team (again, ~80 at bats, so SSS). Is it crazy to think the Sox can take 2 of 3 there? I don't think so at all.
  • JD Martinez needs to start hitting, and soon.
  • We need robot umps. The home plate umps have been awful in the first two games.
I still think the Sox take this series, in 6 or 7 games.