CROW WORTHY

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The Red Sox Fell as Quickly as they Rose

Boy, I really thought the ALCS was over after Game 3. The Red Sox pummeled the Astros 12-3 to take a 2-1 lead, burning through six Houston pitchers in the process. Houston had an undermanned pitching staff and cold bats. The Red Sox had scored 21 runs in their last two games and had just gotten a quality start from Eduardo Rodriguez, which kept the bullpen fresh.

Then the Astros won three straight games by a combined score of 23-3. Huh?

Complete Implosion

Offense. Defense. Management. All three aspects of the Boston Red Sox came up well short over the last three games of their 2021 season. You can’t give up 23 runs over three games and expect to win a series. You can’t score three over that span and expect to win a series. And you can’t waste key starting pitchers late in a close game and expect to win a series, as Alex Cora did with ace Nathan Eovaldi.

Speaking of Cora’s move, hindsight is 20/20, obviously. But in a non-clinching game, why would you trot out your best starting pitcher when he’s scheduled to pitch a day or two later, thus compromising his next start? I know he had that incredible relief appearance in the 2018 World Series. But the fact is he’s had 24 relief appearances in his 10-year career, playoffs included. I think using your ace out of the bullpen should be reserved for do-or-die or potential clinching games, of which Game 4 was neither.

Four errors combined in Game 4 and 5 led to three unearned runs. Even the mighty Kiké Hernandez went cold at the dish. The list goes on and on. The Red Sox simply lost their edge suddenly and completely. You can try to make sense of that by blaming the manager or perhaps one key event that turned the tides. But sometimes it’s just a perfect storm that sinks the ship.

*deep breath* The Astros deserve some credit too.

Damn Good Ballclub

The Houston Astros are composed of excellent baseball players, from top to bottom. Cheating scandal or not, these guys can hit, field, run, and pitch, no matter the circumstances. Despite multiple key injuries/departures in their pitching staff and the omnipresent cloud of vitriol that follows them from ballpark to ballpark, the Houston Astros are returning to the World Series for the third time in five seasons. It really really sucks to give these guys credit, but it’s simply unavoidable in this circumstance. Fuck. They’re just good, damnit. Far better than the Red Sox were when it mattered most.

I’m sure as shit not rooting for them. Buuuut I wouldn’t mind if Dusty Baker got his first ring. It’d be a nice departure from the offseason shitstorm we’re sure to endure from insufferable Astros fans.