Awestruck

It is now 7 PM on Hallow’s Eve and I am still in awe in how amazing game 5 was. I thought game 3 was the best game I’ve ever laid my eyes on but game 5 certainly trumps it. The heart that these two teams are playing with showed through the whole game. This young Astros core is incredible to watch and the Dodgers have some young, exciting players, too, but as I said in a previous post, from top to bottom, the Astros lineup is stronger.

It appears that the Dodgers stronger bullpen on paper is less of a factor now that their arms are dead. It is going to come down to Verlander and Hill tomorrow night in LA and I could not be more excited for this game. I have faith in Verlander and I think Hill will pitch a nice game, but in the end I think the Astros will come out on top. The Astros are well aware that Verlander is their best starter and they must capitalize on that.

I’m ready for game 6. Are you?

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Game 2

Oh my God. I woke up this morning wondering if last night was a dream. Last night’s game may have been arguably the best non-Red Sox game I have ever seen. I thought the Astros were down and out but holy crap do they have heart. This is now my favorite non-Red Sox team.

Personally, I think the Astros should have won this game in 9 innings. The Dodgers got very lucky with the Astros stranding guys on base. And my God were they lucky when the bill of Chris Taylor’s hat saved them from one, maybe two more runs and not to mention the momentum that would arise.

I’m so glad the Astros won this game, they deserved it. Justin Verlander was filthy, aside from a few bad pitches that the Dodgers hit, but hey, they have some good hitters and Verlander can’t just blow everyone away anymore.

I think Dave Roberts did a poor job of managing his bullpen. I’m not saying I would’ve done any better given the situation but he used his WHOLE bullpen in 11 innings. He’s lucky this didn’t happen in Houston because they’d have back-to-back-to-back games, with more likely than not a fatigued bullpen.

This young core that the Astros have is near perfect. Springer finally hit tonight, Altuve was clutch and so was Correa. Oh yeah, and the forgotten man, maybe not as flashy but always seems to come up big and play great defense – Alex Bregman. I don’t see him being a great fantasy asset given the power that one usually looks for at 3B but he is a solid franchise 3B that I’d be thrilled to have if I were the Astros.

The one thing about the Astros that scares me is the bullpen. I get that they were ok last night but I still don’t trust them. Chris Devenski looked better last night despite giving up a homer to Culberson (who ran around the bases like a headless horseman, likely thinking he tied up the game when in fact he put the Dodgers down by 1).

The rest of this series will be entertaining. We are in for some amazing baseball and I’m looking forward to this McCullers-Darvish matchup. Keep in mind that the Astros have seen Darvish before, when he was with the Rangers. I expect the Astros to come out on top in game 3, riding their momentum from game 2.

I love baseball.

Game 1

Well Game 1 went exactly as expected. Kershaw dominated despite his poor playoff record. I think this confirms that stud pitchers are stud pitchers regardless of past performances. The Dodgers won this game because of Kershaw and their prolific bullpen. Keuchel pitched great but it wasn’t enough. Kershaw was just better.

I think tonight will be a different story. Verlander vs Rich Hill. Yes, Rich Hill has great stats but Houston has great bats. Rich Hill is not Kershaw. The Astros know that winning tonight would be HUGE, as they would head back to Houston for three games. I forsee Houston winning this game if Verlander can give them 6+ innings and can score some early runs against Hill.

I still have faith in the Astros and I think they’ll make the rest of the series must-see TV after they win tonight.

Thoughts on Cor(e)a

Finally. John Farrell is gone. I can’t put my finger on why it took so long for this guy to get the boot. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the Sox have talent and the talent was keeping “Manager John” at the helm. Who knows, but now we can finally move on.

It has now been officially announced that Alex Cora will be taking over as manager as soon as his current team wins the World Series. Yes, I am rather confident that the Astros will win – they have the talent, heart and frankly, the deeper of the two teams facing off starting tomorrow.

The Sox still have a young core and I think having a younger coach will enable these young guys with talent to reach their potential. I think that (assuming none of these guys are traded) Bogaerts will rebound next year, Devers will continue to improve and Betts will return to his 2016 form. These three guys are very important to the success of the team and they need to perform to the best of their abilities in order for the Sox to both reach the playoffs and make it past the ALDS.

Now, hiring Cora will not solve the issue of a lack of home run threats in the lineup. We know that we cannot rely on Hanley to be that guy and we just can’t bank on Betts returning to 2016 form. We need a proven power bat. 

Given Dombrowskis affinity for making blockbluster trades I would not be surprised if they push for Giancarlo Stanton. I know it would certainly be a haul to get this guy but I think in the end it would be worth it. Even if he doesn’t hit a homer, just having him in the lineup as a true threat would bolster this lineup to where they need to be. The Sox are still in win now mode and need to make a move for a guy like Stanton in order to compete with the Yankees, Astros, Indians and any other team that will pose a challenge next year.

Go Sox and go ‘Stros!

The Red Sox Need Help

I think the title says it all. The Red Sox finally hit today. But, for some godforsaken reason Doug Fister was on the mound so the Sox chances of winning were pretty slim to begin with. Pedroia came through with a big dong to bring us within striking distance but that wasn’t enough. Osuna is a beast for the Jays and he shut the door in the ninth.

The Sox split with the Blue Jays. On the surface, that looks fine but it’s really not a good look. The Sox now go out West to face the Angels, a scrappy team, and now Trout is back, so a little less scrappy. Thankfully, Sale is pitching tomorrow but weird enough, that doesn’t guarantee a win because the Sox offense is so volatile. 

It’s been said countless times that the Sox need a bat, particularly at 3B. I say either trade for Machado or bring up Devers in the near future. The Sox would not beat the Astros in a potential ALCS matchup, nor am I confident that they’d even make it to the ALCS.

I think the Indians are still a team to look out for. They’ve had injury issues all year with their whole team, but with a full squad and an Edwin of old, I think they could be very tough to beat.  I just do not trust this Sox team, and I don’t think I can until their whole team is firing on all cylinders. That can’t be done until the pitching (including the bullpen) and hitting shape up, and not just for one game here and one game there. 

Mock Drafts

Mock drafts – How useful are they? There is no way that the people in the mock draft will pick players the same way that your friends in your real draft will. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt are the first three players off the board in almost all drafts. But in which order will they go in the one draft that matters?

I have the third pick in a 10-team league, with extra positions such as, CI, MI and a minimum innings per week in the high 20’s. All of these intricacies cannot be reflected in mock drafts. There are rumors that Mike Trout will drop to THIRD in my draft.

The sole reason why I do mock drafts is for the fun of it. And that is the approach you should take too.

Right Around the Corner

Baseball season – I can smell it. The fresh cut grass, the cracker jax, the hot dogs and the ice cold beer. Everything associated with baseball brings a smile to my face. Living in New England is tough, especially in the winter. Especially this winter. The Patriots’ disappointing loss in the AFC Championship has made me hope that baseball season could come quicker.

Just today, I read that Hanley Ramirez reported early to Red Sox training camp. Wait, did I just say Hanley Ramirez reported early to camp? Yes. Apparently HanRam can’t wait for baseball to start either. Us Red Sox fans hope to God that Hanley can be the guy we hoped he would be. The guy who completely raked for the first month of the season sure did get our hopes up. Boy did that change quickly. Ok, enough talk about last year. Onto this year.

I want to make it clear that I am not just a Red Sox fan. My buddy and I decided to start this blog because we are avid baseball fans, or in other words, baseball nerds. Throughout the course of the season we will be blogging about all things baseball. Even fantasy baseball. We hope to share with you the love we have for this beautiful game.

How about that Corey Dickerson deal? Or Aroldis Chapman now in the ‘pen for the Yankees? Or Todd Frazier to the White Sox? All of these offseason moves has gotten me so very excited for the 2016 baseball season. After all, it is right around the corner.