Obstructed Takes on the Astros Cheating Scandal

Obviously the biggest scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball since really the Black Sox Scandal 100 years ago happened this off-season (yes, I am putting this scandal over the PED usage that plagued baseball from 2000-2014) as the Houston Astros were shown they have to used electronic devices to steal signs from pitchers starting from 2017 and at least first parts of 2018 (my take is they also did it last year too). Manager AJ Hinch lost his job from it. Red Sox manager (then-Astros coach) Alex Cora was fired from his job over it. And Carlos Beltran, who was pretty much singled out in the report, was fired from his managerial job with the Mets before he even began. But one massive controversy was the Astros players were all spared from suspension. The apologies from Astros players who were on the team were underwhelming at best, the responses of other players to those apologies have really made things more vicious, and Carlos Correa’s response just spiked things up while Rob Manfred has threatened pitchers all across baseball not to plunk the Astros hitters with major suspensions. So, plenty to divulge in it and just some “Obstructed Takes” to happen here.

MANFRED’S IMMUNITY FOR THE ASTROS PLAYERS: The ONLY way to get the Astros players to talk about the scheme was to say “we will not fine or suspend you; just come clean.” I know it isn’t what people want to hear but would anyone talk if they know if they would get in trouble for telling them what happens? Manfred could have suspended players if they told, but then how many players would have come forward willingly and spoke? Secondly, if Manfred suspended players based on a hunch (if he hadn’t gotten the information), the Players Association would have had a massive field day against Manfred and rightfully so. The only way this probably could have been changed is if somebody else investigated and then suspensions could have happened. But…you already have two players (Beltran, Brian McCann) that have already retired.

THE PLAYERS APOLOGIES: Oiy. It really comes with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. Bregman looked like Fred McGriff from a Tom Emansky commercial (if you remember those commercials) where he was reading a statement, not necessarily apologizing. Altuve albeit sounding more “personable” than Bregman with his apology, it isn’t going to heal wounds. Time may heal wounds but look: had this wasn’t called out, is there ANY reason to not believe Houston would have continued doing it? Look, I’m not going to call any Astros players on those teams liars BUT I am having a hard time believing their apologies and right now the only thing I believe is that they are sorry they got caught.

JIM CRANE: While I think Manfred is in a no-win situation with whatever he does, he messed up in a lot of ways. First one is not holding owner Jim Crane accountable. Crane “apologized” for breaking the rules but defiantly said nothing more. He had to have known especially if his GM Jeff Lunhow knew as well. Manfred who has been labeled by a puppet from the fans for a long time now could have took some sort of consequence on Crane whether he could suspend him from making any business decisions or so forth.

CARLOS CORREA: The guy who decided to wear the black hat after this happened was Correa. His retaliation towards Cody Bellinger was reminiscent of 1980’s heel wrestlers and heel managers such as Bobby the Brain Heenan. “We won it fair and square!” and the accusations of Altuve wearing a buzzer on his jersey knowing what was coming (which I will get to in a moment) against Aroldis Chapman and him running around the bases holding his jersey “because he was getting a tattoo there and his wife didn’t want him to get his jersey pulled off” is the stuff of heel talk. The LAST THING Houston needed to have was Correa spout off, whether it was justified or not (not justified). But the comments he made was silly and it really added more speculation that Altuve was wearing something with an electronic device to give him an advantage. Some advice for Carlos Correa: “shut up from here on out.”

Did he or didn’t he?

JOSE ALTUVE AND THE “DEVICE.” Until Correa spouted off about Altuve’s excuse of not having his jersey pulled, I was skeptical of the whole device argument. People showed perhaps a small bump on his shoulder when he was playing, but I can’t really notice much of a difference. I’m not saying he did wear one and I’m not saying he didn’t. I’m just saying it does make me wonder. Thanks Correa.

Bryant’s response is parallel to what the rest of MLB players have said

PLAYERS REACTIONS: Obviously all across baseball it is negative. Duh. I don’t fault any player commenting about it. Look, sign-stealing has been commonplace in baseball for years, but always towards if there is a runner on second giving out signs. I’m not condoning that either, but it is more sensible. And instead we have this “elaborate” scheme by the Astros using electronics to see (and of course I use elaborate in quotations because they had to bang on a garbage can) what was coming. But pitchers jobs were lost or forever changed by this. I guess with the PED scandal that rocked baseball, at least the issue was that pitchers who were getting shelled were probably also taking PED’s as much as the hitters.

MANFRED’S “THREAT” OF PITCHERS PLUNKING THE ASTROS HITTERS: Again, it is probably not what people want to hear. From one case, yes, I do not wish any physical ill to any Astros player. But now, Manfred has put himself in a BAD position that if let’s say Michael Fulmer of the Tigers plunks Correa on the hand during a close game (hypothetical because how often do the Tigers play close games lately?), Fulmer is suspended on the spot? Pitchers already have issues of trying to work in on the hitters without having to worry of getting thrown out if a pitch hits a guy, but now the pitchers will have to second guess every time they throw in on a Houston hitter and if it hits them or misses the spot over the plate where somebody goes yard. Well now it is “if you hit Correa, Altuve, Bregman, etc, you are getting suspended” so yeah, Manfred has pretty much gave a free ticket for the Astros hitters though it was not his idea. But much like Correa, Manfred should have just shut up.

PLAYERS AND TEAMS WILL FIND A WAY FOR RETRIBUTION ON THE ASTROS: Let’s face it: teams will hit those guys. They may have a way of doing it without someone big, let’s say Corey Kluber, getting suspended. A game could be a blowout and the team’s worst reliever come in and plunk one of those guys and he ends up getting suspended. Also of note: remember where Correa, Altuve, and Bregman play on the field, especially Correa and Altuve when they have to turn a double play. Again, I don’t wish physical ill on the players, but it was something I was thinking about. Somebody will be coming in hard on Correa and/or Altuve in breaking up a double play.

THE LEGACIES OF THE ASTROS PLAYERS: Forever tainted for this. It is that simple. While Houston fans will cherish their championship especially after the hurricane leveled the town late in the 2017 season and have gone on the defensive, the rest of the baseball world will forever go the Houston Asterisks for it. And the level of cheating whether or not it “harmed” the Astros more than it “helped” still gave them that unfair advantage as they won a few games that way. Does Carlos Beltran ever get a MLB job again? Jose Altuve who was known as a guy everybody loved is now considered a major cheater. Alex Bregman was on the cusp of superstardom and now people will look at him as a cheater. Correa for his comments have made him look like a naive joke. And the rest of the players will have that cloud over them for a long time.

ROB MANFRED: While the situation Manfred is in is unprecedented, he has not done well after the start of this. I understand the logic behind his “immunity” to Astros players so I’m not coming down on him for that. However, what is overlooked to me was the fact that the Oakland Athletics reported it to Manfred and Major League Baseball and Manfred did not do ANYTHING then. It was only when Mike Fiers came out in the Athletic saying “hey, this is what the Astros are doing.” It goes to show how much of a “reactive” guy he is. And the logic that is presented that “the only players that will be suspended will be the ones who target the Astros” To add on top of it, the report was not thorough as he just cracked the ice on it. But it sets a feel that Houston still got an unfair edge. Coupled in the facts of the other issues happening with him in baseball (decline of attendance around baseball, computerized strike zones, the three pitcher minimum nonsense, the Tampa/Montreal Rays nonsense, the proposed contraction/folding of 42 Minor League teams, and oh yeah, a very possible work stoppage), he has really been a vilified commissioner, worse than what Gary Bettman is for the NHL, worse than Roger Goodell in the NFL, etc. Fans believe he hates the game of baseball and is “out to get” baseball. Now, I’ve been torn on the idea whether or not MLB should go in the way of the NCAA where they vacate trophies for national championship teams (04 USC in football, 2013 Louisville basketball), but I can see both arguments to it. But to me the Court of Public Opinion has already vacated the Astros 2017 title. So really for me, maybe immunity for the players wasn’t the best of ideas after all of this because what it has done is spiral outward into a giant mess where every decision Manfred has made has been the wrong one to this point, which really sums up his tenure as the commissioner. But what really got fans and players incensed was Manfred’s “piece of metal” comment regarding the World Series trophy. That piece of metal drives players to win games and it is also the reason the Astros cheated. I don’t know if he meant for it to come out that way, but Manfred made one of the dumbest statements he could ever say (and that says something given all his dumb statements in the past). He has looked worse and worse in all of this.

FANS ARE THE ULTIMATE LOSERS: I’ll start with the Astros fans. They are on the defensive with this (albeit a Houston fan started a website to show how the Astros used their scheme), and fans all around are saying that Houston fans are terrible to support this mess. If you’re a Giants fan attacking Houston, well, remember who you had in the lineup from 1993-2007 and how you got defensive with him. If you’re a Boston fan and cheer for the Patriots, enough said. Fans of home teams don’t like it when other fans yell out “You didn’t deserve that championship or your player didn’t deserve that record!” So for people to call out Houston fans out for getting defensive is pretty silly. But they are also feeling the sting a bit, whether they want to admit it or not. The rest of the fans however, you may not cheer for the team itself but fans were really starting to pull with the likes of Bregman and Altuve and those fans who are kids wanting to be one of those guys are now a bit hurt. If you’re a Cleveland fan, a Dodgers fan, or a Yankees fan, it feels like you were cheated out of something. Fans who enjoyed seeing the Astros get that trophy whether they may or may not have cheered them on, probably feel upset because of it. And given how baseball’s state is under Manfred, it is just another bruise to the bruised body of MLB.

In the end, there have been no winners in this. Houston Astros players can say “yeah, we worked hard to get this” all they want but they know darn well the minute they leave Southern Texas and play games in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and even up the road in Dallas, it will be constant barrage of you cheated and your title means nothing. Players may say they “shrug it off” but let’s say the minute they go to Detroit where Justin Verlander ruled Comerica Park, do you think Verlander will go shrug it off when Tigers fans who cheered for him for years say his ring wasn’t “legit?” I wonder how Brian McCann feels with all the talk in Atlanta about the Astros scandal and if McCann has already heard his world championship ring is a fraud.

However you cut it up, the ultimate take is: baseball lost.

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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Why the Tigers NEED to Sign Yasiel Puig

With the MLB off-season rapidly ending and Spring Training on the horizon, the Hot Stove is starting to wind down. Most of the available players have signed or have been traded. And the season is starting to look set in stone.

The only major question is now, where will Yasiel Puig end up?

The market for Puig has gone pretty much blank at this point with corner outfielders at a low demand. The two major corner outfielders on the market have been signed (Marcel Ozuna-Braves, Nick Castellanos-Reds) and that has really been it. Which has left Yasiel Puig looking around with nothing of interest from teams.

Hard to imagine that 6 years ago people were placing Puig on the same level with the likes of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, etc. as being a centerpiece of a franchise. The raw talent he had then was amazing and was an exciting player. However, due to issues with behavior early on, and what I believe was somewhat of a way of not handling it well by the Dodgers organization, was that Puig’s stardom start to wane as he has been labeled as a headcase. A headcase to teammates, Don Mattingly, etc. His days in Los Angeles were numbered.

The Reds took Puig in what really felt like a money dump move by the Dodgers and Puig’s numbers were so-so. Puig hit 22 HR but had a .250 average and an OPS of .777. However his behavior was from all accounts fine in Cincinnati (until his final game there when he took part in that big brawl with rival Pittsburgh). The trade to Cleveland was that of a mixed bag as well in the sense of his hitting (.297 Avg, .800 OPS and a 109 OPS+, but only 2 HR in his time with the Tribe). So it hasn’t been like Puig has fallen off or his hitting skills have dropped but more of he has not busted out like everybody imagined he would 6 years ago at this time. Is Puig still capable of having a big year? Well, yeah.

Enter the Detroit Tigers.

The last three seasons in the Motor City for baseball has been incredibly miserable. The Tigers are in a massive rebuild, after the mega contracts in the Dave Dombrowski era really handcuffed the franchise from moving forward. After the 2020 season, Jordan Zimmermann’s contract is off the books which will give the Tigers some help with their payroll to spend (hopefully). The rebuild has been slow, even for teams are in a rebuilding phase. People blame GM Al Avila for the slow pace and the trade blunders (i.e. JD Martinez, Justin Wilson, etc.) and then the “stopgap solutions” of Gordon Beckham, Josh Harrison, Tyson Ross, etc. and so far in this off-season has been more of the same (though the signings of CJ Cron and Jonathan Schoop are nice given how they averaged 24 HR last year whereas the team leader in home runs was Brandon Dixon with an impressive 15 round-trippers). And the last two years Avila has made it clear about where the state of the Tigers are: rebuild.

But it is time to move forward.

The 2017-2019 Tigers are very comparable to the 2001-2003 Tigers where it was just godawful in every sense of the word including a season where they couldn’t eclipse 50 wins (last year and in 2003). Then-owner, the late Mike Ilitch said enough and opened up the checkbook to get out of the nightmarish doldrums and got star catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Yes, it didn’t turn the Tigers fortunes around right away, but it signaled things were on the up for Detroit. Three years later the Tigers were in the World Series.

I am not saying Puig is going to be Pudge 2.0 for Detroit. But signing him will also help out in a lot of ways. First off let’s say he signs.

He is in a ballpark that in summers the ball really flies out of the park, normally to the left field side. Puig has that power he could do that and be on pace for his career best by the break (I’m going to chalk up he pressed too much in Cleveland which hurt his HR tallies).

It also may rejuvenate Miguel Cabrera. When Miggy was having fun, he was the best hitter in baseball. Now Cabrera’s best days are long gone (I’m using my Ernie Harwell impression) but he could have a small renaissance at the plate but it is probably hard for him to know in April the Tigers are really out of it. Who knows, maybe Puig gives him a small jolt with his numbers, which he is standing on the cusp of 500 HR (477) and 3,000 hits (2,815).

He plays well yet the Tigers are probably eliminated from contention by the deadline. He could be moved, just as well as Cron and Schoop could be and at least land a prospect.

Lastly, the city of Detroit NEEDS something. We know the city stories of Detroit and being down for so many years, whether it is economic issues, crime, etc. But even through those times one of their four sports teams would rally the city to have the fans get behind. In the 80’s the Bless You Boys Tigers fans rallied behind with a World Championship in 84 and an amazing battle for the AL East title in 87 with Toronto while at the end of the 80’s saw the Bad Boys Pistons reign atop the NBA while the city had to endure the Lions and the Dead Wings. The 90’s saw the birth of Hockeytown and a start of nearly 2 decades of dominance by the Red Wings while the Lions were competitive with Barry Sanders while the Tigers were awful and the Pistons sputtered, re-started and sputtered again. 2000’s showed the Pistons were serious contenders as were the Wings while the Tigers recuperated in the last half and then the Lions…..eep. Now we fast-forward to today: the Lions are a joke…again or still, pending on how you look at it. The Red Wings returned to the Dead Wings as they are near the pace of having the worst season in recent memory. The Pistons are a hot mess. And the Tigers are taking their sweet old time for this rebuild to happen which at current point, they still look like a 100-loss team on paper in 2020.

Getting Puig won’t cure all ills for the Tigers and probably end up being a team still hovering around 95 losses with him. That is very evident, but I’m also tired of hearing Al Avila pretty much say “we are not going to compete this year” during Spring Training and then see Detroit get slaughtered 11-1 nightly. I know better times are ahead with the stockpiled arms of top prospects like Casey Mize, Matt Manning, an out-of-nowhere monster in Tarik Skubal, and Joey Wentz (acquired in the Shane Greene trade-and a guy I was really excited to see the Tigers get), but they are still September away from being with Detroit at the earliest.

But at least if they sign Puig the Tigers can show they have a pulse once again before the the young guns arrive. Albeit a small one.

-Fan in the Obstructed Seat

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Nationals Win World Series Against Astros for First Time in Franchise History

It appeared as if the Washington Nationals were going to get mowed down by the Houston Astros in Game 7 on the road at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.

Once again, Washington showed reselience. Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer off of Zack Greinke in the seventh-inning. Greinke walked Juan Soto the next at bat and Houston’s Manager A.J. Hinch yanked Zack Greinke after 80 pitches.

On the next at-bat, Howie Kendrick hit a two-run homer off of Will Harris to give the Nationals the lead for good and they defeated Houston by a score of 6-2.

Stephen Strasburg was named World Series MVP for Washington. This is the first time in World Series history that the road team has won all seven games in a series. This is also the first time in franchise history that the Washington Nationals have won the World Series.

In the second-inning, Yuli Gurriel hit a solo homer off of Max Scherzer for the Astros.

Carlos Correa had an RBI single in the fifth-inning for Houston.

The other runs that were scored in this game was on a Juan Soto RBI single in the eighth-inning.

I don’t understand why Houston did not intentionally walk him in the first place.

Adam Eaton also had a two-run single in the ninth-inning for Washington.

Patrick Corbin (1-1) was the winning pitcher in this game for the Nationals. He pitched three innings and gave up two hits. Corbin didn’t walk anybody and he struck out three batters.

Will Harris (0-1) was the losing pitcher in this game for the Houston Astros. He did not record an out. Harris gave up two hits and one run.

Zack Greinke was the starting pitcher in this game for Houston. He pitched 6.1 innings and gave up two hits and two runs. Greinke walked two batters and struck out three.

Max Scherzer was the starting pitcher in this game for Washington. He pitched five innings and gave up seven hits and two runs. Scherzer also walked four batters and struck out three.

He pitched a couple of days after he had issues with neck. The Washington Nationals did not lose a game this postseason when Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer started in a game.

This has to be one of the greatest World Series title stories of all time. This team was 19-31 back in May and it appeared as if  manager Dave Martinez was going to lose his job. He also had some heart issues that caused him to miss time at one point during the regular season.

This team has a couple of key free agents that they will look to keep in the offseason in third baseman Anthony Rendon and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

One of the biggest questions for the Houston Astros will be why didn’t Gerrit Cole come into pitch for an inning or two in this game?

He will also be a free agent and it will be interesting to see if Cole returns or not. Other than that and Justin Verlander being a free agent, everybody else will be back.

Manager A.J. Hinch said before the game that everyone but Justin Verlander would be available to pitch.

The championship parade for the Washington Nationals will be on Saturday afternoon starting at 2 p.m. Both of these teams will be early favorites to win the 2020 World Series.

Nationals Win Game 6; Force Game 7

With the Washington Nationals leading 3-2 in the seventh-inning on the road in Game 6 over the Houston Astros, there was a ton of controversy.

Trea Turner hit a shallow ground ball to third base and there was a supposed throwing error. Turner would have been at second base and Yan Gomes would have been at third base with no body out, but Trea Turner was called out because he was supposedly out of the baseline and it was a terrible call.

They reviewed it for 10 minutes and the play was upheld. Everyone went nuts in Washington’s dugout and everyone was also in an uproar until Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer off of  Will Harris and the Nationals won Game 6 over Houston by a score of 7-2.

Washington Manager Dave Martinez was ejected after the top of the seventh-inning. This was the first time since 1996 that a manager was ejected in the World Series. That manager happened to be Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves.

Rendon also hit a two-run double in the ninth-inning to give them some insurance.

They also scored in the first-inning on an Anthony Rendon RBI single. He beat the defensive shift on that hit.

Jose Altuve hit a sacrifice fly for the Astros in the first-inning. Alex Bregman also hit a solo homer off of Stephen Strasburg in the first-inning.

Adam Eaton hit a solo homer off of Justin Verlander in the fifth-inning for the Washington Nationals and so did Juan Soto.

Stephen Strasburg admitted to tipping pitches in the fist-inning and he settled down after that.

Strasburg (2-0) was the winning pitcher in this game for Washington. He pitched 8.1 innings and gave up five hits and two runs. Stephen Strasburg walked two batters and struck out seven.

Justin Verlander (0-2) was the losing pitcher in this game for Houston. He pitched five innings and gave up five hits and three runs. Verlander walked three batters and struck out three.

He has never won a World Series game in his career before.

After the game, Joe Torre spoke about the incident. Trea Turner was called out because Torre claimed it had nothing to do with the baseline. He was called out because Turner knocked off Yuli Gurriel’s glove.

It kind of made sense at the end, but there are a lot of people that are upset still at that call. People better hope that Game 7 is not like that at all.

This will be the third time in four years that there will be a Game 7 in the World Series. In this decade, Game 7’s have happened the past five-out-of-10 years. This will be the second Game 7 that the Houston Astros will appear in in the World Series.

This will be the first Game 7 that the Washington Nationals will appear in in the World Series. I am very interested to see how this game plays out. Anything can happen in these kinds of games. It is usually unpredictable and fun.

The first six games of this series has been won by the road team. That is the first time ever something like that has happened in either the MLB, the NHL, the NBA, or the NFL.

Speaking of the first six games in this series, the first six games have been average at best and people are hoping Game 7 could potentially be epic.

Another thing that occurred in this game was that Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto both carried their bats down to first base after hitting homers.

The projected pitchers for Game 7 on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas will be Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) for Washington and Zack Greinke (18-5, 2.93 ERA) for Houston.

 

 

Astros One Win Away from World Series Title

The Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals series was tied at two entering Game 5.

Max Scherzer was supposed to pitch in Game 5 for Washington, but he couldn’t pitch due to neck spasms.

Manager Dave Martinez hopes he could pitch in a Game 7, if necessary and Joe Ross started in his place. He gave up two homers in the game and Houston won Game 5 by a score of 3-2.

Yordan Alavarez hit a two-run homer in the second-inning for the Astros off of Joe Ross.

Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer in the fourth-inning for Houston off of Joe Ross.

Juan Soto hit a solo homer for the Nationals off of Gerrit Cole in the seventh-inning.

Yuli Gurriel had an RBI single in the eighth-inning for the Houston Astros.

George Springer hit a two-run homer for Houston in the ninth-inning off of Dakota Hudson.

Gerrit Cole (1-1) was the winning pitcher in this game for the Astros. He pitched seven innings and gave up three hits. Cole walked two batters and struck out nine.

Joe Ross (0-1) was the losing pitcher in this game for Washington. He pitched five innings and gave up five hits and four runs. Ross walked two batters and struck out one.

This is the first time since 1996 that the road team in the World Series has won the first five games of the series.

Houston will look to win its second World Series title in franchise history on Tuesday night. Washington will hope to force a Game 7. The series is also heading back to Houston, Texas at Minute Maid Park.

The Game 6 projected starting pitchers will be Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) for the Washington Nationals and Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA) for the Houston Astros.

Astros Even World Series Against Nationals

The Houston Astros had a 4-1 lead on the road in Game 4 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals in the seventh-inning.

Alex Bregman came up with the bases-loaded and he hit a grand slam off of Fernando Rodney and he delivered the blow in Game 4 and Houston won by a score of 8-3 over Washington.

Bregman went 3-for-5 in the game and he finished with five RBI’s in the game.

His other RBI came in the first-inning. Yuli Gurriel also had an RBI single in that inning as well.

Robinson Chirnios hit a two-run homer for the Astros in the fourth-inning off of Patrick Corbin.

Juan Soto had an RBI groundout in the sixth-inning and Gerardo Parra scored from third base.

Jose Urqudiy (1-0) was the winning pitcher for Houston. He pitched five innings and gave up two hits. Urqudiy struck out four batters.

He pitched a lot further than Manager A.J. Hinch probably expected.

Patrick Corbin (0-1) was the losing pitcher for Washington. He pitched six innings and gave up seven hits and four runs. Corbin also walked two batters and also struck out five.

The series is now tied at two games a piece. The road team has won the first games of the World Series.

Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday night at Nationals Park in Washington D.C., but it will be interesting to see if it is played because of the rain that is expected in the forecast.

The projected pitching match up will be Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA) for the Houston Astros and Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) for the Washington Nationals.

 

Nationals Bust Game Open in Game 2 Win over Astros

Game 2 between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros was very competitive until the seventh-inning.

With the game tied at two, Kurt Suzuki hit the go-ahead solo home run in the seventh-inning off of Justin Verlander.

Washington scored a combined nine runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth-innings in a 12-3 win over Houston.

Howie Kendrick had an RBI single in the seventh-inning, Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run single in the seventh-inning, and Ryan Zimmerman had a two-run single in the seventh-inning.

Adam Eaton hit a two-run homer for the Nationals in the eighth-inning off of Josh James. Asdrubal Cabrera also had an RBI single in that inning.

Michael Taylor hit a solo homer off of Chris Devenski in the ninth-inning for Washington.

Martin Maldonado hit a solo homer off of Jay Guerra in the ninth-inning for the Astros.

The other runs that were scored in this game was on a two-run double by Anthony Rendon in the first-inning for the Washington Nationals.

Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer in the first-inning off of Stephen Strasburg for the Houston Astros.

Strasburg (1-0) was the winning pitcher in this game for Washington. He pitched six innings and gave up seven hits and two runs. Stephen Strasburg also walked one batter and struck out seven.

Justin Verlander (0-1) was the losing pitcher in this game for Houston. He pitched six innings and gave up four hits and three runs. Verlander also walked three batters and struck out six.

Washington leads this series 2-0 and this is a major shock to the baseball world. There has only been three teams in MLB history that have came back from an 0-2 deficit after losing the first two games of the World Series at home.

The projected starting pitchers for Game 3 on Friday night at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. will be Zack Greinke (18-5, 2.93 ERA) for the Houston Astros and Anibal Sanchez (11-8, 3.85 ERA) for the Washington Nationals.

 

 

 

Nationals Take Down Astros in Game 1 of the World Series

The Washington Nationals have not played in a week after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. They would be on the road for Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.

Washington’s bullpen bended late in the game, but they did not break as they survived in Game 1 over Houston by a score of 5-4. They have  won their last seven games.

Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run double for the Astros in the first-inning.

Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo home run for the Nationals in the second-inning off of Gerrit Cole.

Juan Soto also hit a solo homer for Washington in the fourth-inning off of Gerrit Cole.

The Washington Nationals scored three runs in the fifth-inning on a Adam Eaton RBI single and a Juan Soto two-run double.

George Springer hit a solo homer in the seventh-inning for Houston off of Tanner Rainey. He also hit an RBI double in the eighth-inning. If Springer had ran out the ball, he could have had a triple and Jose Altuve could of had a sacrifice fly on the next at bat.

Sean Doolittle recorded his first save of the World Series for Washington. He pitched 1.1 innings and struck out one batter.

Max Scherzer (1-0) was the winning pitcher in this game for the Nationals. He pitched five innings and gave up five hits and two runs. Scherzer walked three batters and struck out seven.

Gerrit Cole (0-1) was the losing pitcher in this game for the Houston Astros. He pitched seven innings and gave up eight hits and five runs. Cole walked one batter and struck out six.

This was his worst start since August 28 against the Tampa Bay Rays at home. In that game, he pitched 6.2 innings and gave up six hits and four runs. Gerrit Cole walked one batter and struck out 14.

The projected pitching match up for Game 2 on Wednesday night will be Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) for Washington and Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA) for Houston.

Toronto Raptors Prevail in Overtime against the New Orleans Pelicans

It was opening night in the NBA. The Toronto Raptors would receive their championship rings before the game and the 2019 NBA Championship Banner was also raised.

There would be no more Kawhi Leonard for Toronto because he left for the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency in the offseason.

Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors with 34 points on 42.3 percent shooting along with 18 rebounds, five assists, and one block in a 130-122 win in overtime over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Fred VanVleet also scored 34 points on 66.7 percent shooting for Toronto. He also grabbed five rebounds, recorded seven assists, and recorded two steals.

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, but he only shot 26.7 percent from the field. He was 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Lowry tied the game at 117 with two made free throws with 29.2 seconds remaining in regulation. He also grabbed five rebounds, recorded six assists, and recorded two steals.

O.G. Anunoby scored 11 points on 41.7 percent shooting from the field. He also grabbed seven rebounds for the Raptors. Toronto had 23 bench points and Ibaka scored 10 of them,

New Orleans had a much different look to this team entering the game. They don’t have Anthony Davis anymore.

Brandon Ingram led the way for the Pelicans with 22 points on 42.1 percent shooting. He grabbed five rebounds, recorded five assists, blocked two shots, and recorded one steal.

J.J. Redick scored 16 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field. He also grabbed two rebounds and recorded one assist.

Jrue Holday scored 13 pints on 40 percent shooting from the field. He also grabbed four rebounds, recorded six assists, and blocked two shots.

Lonzo Ball struggled with eight points on 28.6 percent shooting from the field. He also grabbed five rebounds and recorded five assists.

This team scored 65 bench points. Nicolo Melli and Josh Hart each had 15 points off the bench.

The biggest lead in this game for the New Orleans Pelicans was 11 points. The biggest lead in this game for the Toronto Raptors was eight points.

Zion Williamson did not play in this game for New Orleans because of a knee injury and he will be sidelined for the next several weeks.

NBA fans and Pelicans fans are going to have to wait to see him make his NBA debut.

These two teams will play each other one more time this season.

New Orleans will host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night in their next game.

Toronto will be on the road against the Boston Celtics on Friday night in their next game.

 

The Houston Astros are heading to the World Series for the second time in three Seasons

With the New York Yankees tying the game at four in the top of the ninth-inning on a two-run homer by D.J. LeMahieu off of Roberto Osuna, the Houston Astros needed to find some heroics themselves.

New York’s closer Aroldis Chapman retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth-inning and he walked George Springer with two outs.

Jose Altuve was the next batter up and he saw a curveball and crushed it to left-center and it was a walk-off two-run homer that sends Houston to the World Series for the second time in three seasons, in a 6-4 Game 6 win over the Yankees.

Altuve was the ALCS MVP in this series and it would not be surprising to see him win the World Series MVP if the Astros were able to find a way to beat the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

Houston struck first in Game 6 in the first-inning on a three-run homer by Yuli Gurriel off of Chad Greene.

Gary Sanchez had an RBI single for New York in the second-inning.

Gio Urshela hit a solo homer for the New York Yankees in the fourth-inning off of Jose Urquidy.

Alex Bregman had an RBI groundout in the sixth-inning for the Houston Astros and it allowed Jose Altuve to score from first base.

Roberto Ozuna (1-1) was the winning pitcher in this game for Houston and he also blew a save in this game. Ozuna pitched one inning and gave up two hits and two runs. He also struck out two batters.

Aroldis Chapman (0-1) was the losing pitcher in this gamr for New York. He pitched 0.2 innings and Chapman gave up one hit and two runs. He walked one batter and struck out one.

Chad Green was the starting pitcher in this game for the Yankees. He pitched one inning and gave up two hits and three runs. Green walked one batter and struck out one.

Brad Peacock was the starting pitcher in this game for the Astros. He pitched 1.2 innings and gave up two hits and one run. Peacock walked one batter and struck out two.

The New York Yankees season ends in disappointment. This team won 104 games during the regular season and their expectations of winning the World Series fell short.

General Manager Brian Cashman needs to find a way to acquire or sign some starting pitching in the offseason.

The Houston Astros are in the World Series for the third time in franchise history. They will look for their second World Series title in franchise history. Houston won it all in 2017 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

The Astros beat them in a Game 7 on the road by a score of 5-1.

Game 1 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros will be on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The projected starting pitchers for this game is unknown.