The Yankees-Astros ALCS game last night was one of the better playoff games I’ve watched in my lifetime. In case you missed it, Houston walked it off with a home run by Carlos Correa in the bottom of the 11th to even the series at a game apiece. By the way, you must hear the home run call by Houston radio announcer Robert Ford provided in previous link.
Both teams provided a treatise on bullpen management, particularly the Yankees. Manager Aaron Boone tied an LCS record by using nine pitchers, and the eight relievers who followed starter James Paxton allowed just a single run on two hits with 11 strikeouts in 7.2 innings before Correa homered. Houston’s five relievers combined for 4.1 innings of one-hit shutout ball after taking over for Justin Verlander. The game took nearly five hours to complete.
"There was no losing this game. We were winning this game. Everybody in that clubhouse believes in each other."@ABREG_1 caught up with @Ken_Rosenthal after the @astros Game 2 victory! pic.twitter.com/Sq8pM54tzt
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 14, 2019
The loss was the first of the postseason for the Yankees, though nobody truly believed they would run the table. The ALCS may provide more bumps and thrills than the upcoming World Series, as both Houston and New York have plenty of star power and both are the envy of all of baseball.
The Astros will send Gerrit Cole to the mound in Yankee Stadium tomorrow night. Cole had 25 strikeouts across 15.2 innings against the Rays in the division series. He won both starts and will carry an impressive 0.57 postseason ERA to the bump. The Yankees will counter with Luis Severino, who held the Twins to four hits in his lone start in this year’s playoffs.
Cubs News & Notes
- Carlos Beltrán turned down interview opportunities with the Cubs and Padres, saying he would only consider joining the Mets, which he described as “the right fit for me.”
- Though Theo Epstein often gets dinged pretty badly for failing to develop good pitchers, Brailyn Marquez has all the earmarks of a future ace and could be ready to debut in the bigs as soon as next season.
- Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic take a look at a Cubs dynasty that never truly happened ($).
- R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports offers a medium-depth look at the Cubs top prospects entering the 2020 season.
- Over the next few weeks, Epstein will have to decide if he will exercise the $11.5 million option to retain José Quintana. Even with Cole Hamels moving on, Chicago would be obligated to pay out $65.5 million for four starters if Quintana stays. He may also offer the team some value in trade.
- Catching prospect Miguel Amaya was named the best defensive player in the Fall Stars Game.
- Luke Hagerty will get to resume his comeback with the Cubs. The 38-year-old flame-throwing lefty has a remarkable backstory that was one of the feel-good moments of 2019 until he was injured.
- The Cubs ground crew and a local firehouse helped to make a young couple’s wedding day truly memorable.
- Yesterday was the four-year anniversary of the scoreboard shot by Kyle Schwarber. It came in what is still the only playoff series between the Cardinals and Cubs. Of course we all know who won.
- Cubs fans have been leaving thank you notes for Joe Maddon at hs Wrigleyville restaurant, Maddon’s Post.
- Yu Darvish says eat more chicken.
Jon Heyman tweeted that Diamondbacks vice president of player development Mike Bell and Phillies player information coordinator Sam Fuld are among those under consideration for the managerial opening with the Pirates. Pittsburgh is also reportedly interested in Twins bench coach Derek Shelton and former Rangers skipper Jeff Banister.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post predicts that baseball will see heavy turnover in its teams’ front offices after next season, including Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Sherman allegedly heard from an anonymous team executive who predicts a “GM purge” will occur in 12 months’ time. It’s no surprise that Brodie Van Wagenen of the Mets tops his list.
In 1955 Chicago #Cubs legend Ernie Banks became the first SS (min 120 gm) to post a season of 350+ Total Bases. For good measure “Mr. Cub” repeated the feat in 1958 and 1959 pic.twitter.com/Yl58s9T582
— OldTimeHardball (@OldTimeHardball) October 10, 2019
They Said It
- “If you want to say we were stubborn with this group, I think that’s fair. We had a real belief in this group. That’s an area where I need to do a better job as a leader, letting go of the past and focusing on the future.” – Theo Epstein
- It’s going to be important for the next manager of this particular group at this time to find a way to foster a team identity. I think this group, our routines tended to be more individualized. There wasn’t a lot of work as a team. And I think it’s going to be important for this group, that we find time to work as a team, that we find time to assemble as a team. That we find ways to deliver messages to the team, so there can be a greater sense of team identity and purpose for this group.” – Theo Epstein
Monday Walk Up Song
All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow. Today is my last day of vacation and I’m leaning slightly toward early ’90’s nostalgia. Besides, I like a good beer buzz early in the morning. Who doesn’t?