10/22 AlCS Game 6– I’m Jose Melendez, and I’m starting this thread.

BigSoxFan

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True, but the way they were trending offensively due to the pitching "adjustments" the Astors made, they still would be tied right now with a game 7 tonight.
Absolutely no lock but after Game 3, I really didn’t think we wouldn’t even see a Game 7.
 

BaseballJones

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Absolutely no lock but after Game 3, I really didn’t think we wouldn’t even see a Game 7.
The astonishing thing to me is this. Their offense was very good Game 1 (actually all three games of the TB series too). Then it exploded into another stratosphere in games 2 and 3.

And then in the first inning of game 4, Bogaerts hit that home run to put them up 2-0.

So...

First three games plus first inning (27 innings): 33-113 (.292), 10 hr, 14 bb, 27 runs
Last two games plus 8 innings of game 3 (26 innings): 9-86 (.105), 1 hr, 8 bb, 1 run

I mean, if this was a faucet, it was on FULL BLAST for 27 innings, and then the water supply was completely shut off. Not just drips or slow pouring. Shut. Off. Completely.

It's one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in baseball. And it was a combination of swinging at bad pitches and bad luck. I mean Kiké hit a moonshot last night that hit 20 feet up their wall like 400 feet away from the plate, and it just barely stayed in the park. Meanwhile, Tucker hits a 357 foot homer to their short porch in left. That's a four-run swing right there. So even when the Sox hit the ball well, there were no results.

Unfathomable, really.
 

54thMA

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So.......what do you think happened? Indulge me.
Outside of doctoring the baseball, explain to me how you get a better grip so that you amp up your fastball 4 MPH higher in between starts or how you magically increase the spin rate/increase the movement on a breaking ball.

Barnes, Cole and countless other pitchers would love to know.

Oh wait; I guess Exxon Valdez and Jose Greco had a surge of adrenaline and that's what got them to raise their talent to another level.

I wish I had discovered that back in college, I've I'd have known all I had to do was amp up my adrenaline level and be able to channel it, I'd have had a nice MLB career as I'm a lefty afterall and they usually last until their mid 40's.
 

E5 Yaz

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I think it just makes folks feel better to believe that the Astros cheated. If it helps them get through the winter, so be it.
 

Deweys New Stance

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It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
  • Or maybe Alex Verdugo is like a wild turkey: Flashy and useful, yet prone to doing things so stupid on the basepaths you think he could drown from staring into the rain.
The last three games were exasperating, and it's frustrating to think how close this team was to a WS appearance right up to the 9th inning Tuesday night. But sitting here the day after elimination, this season was still, for all its ups and downs, quite satisfying. Thanks to everyone on SoSH who participated in the game threads, they were entertaining and informative when things were going well and even when they weren't (some of the funnier stuff came from the latter circumstances).

And thank you very much Jose for bringing the Keys out of retirement for a fantastic comeback edition. Unfortunately your Verdugo description proved to be a bit too on the nose at a crucial moment (yes, I know, Cora sent him).
 

54thMA

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Absolutely no lock but after Game 3, I really didn’t think we wouldn’t even see a Game 7.
Me either.

I'll defer to others here, but show me another example of a team that had that massive of a regression within the span of two games.

ONE run scored in 26 innings?

And to your point, perhaps if the Astors were down 3-1, they would have been pressing and the Red Sox would have been more relaxed.

But we'll never know.

What's most frustrating is as we all know, these chances don't come along every year, when you are two wins away from a trip to the WS, you need to seize the moment and take it home.
 

BaseballJones

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Outside of doctoring the baseball, explain to me how you get a better grip so that you amp up your fastball 4 MPH higher in between starts or how you magically increase the spin rate/increase the movement on a breaking ball.

Barnes, Cole and countless other pitchers would love to know.

Oh wait; I guess Exxon Valdez and Jose Greco had a surge of adrenaline and that's what got them to raise their talent to another level.

I wish I had discovered that back in college, I've I'd have known all I had to do was amp up my adrenaline level and be able to channel it, I'd have had a nice MLB career as I'm a lefty afterall and they usually last until their mid 40's.
Were the pitchers checked for foreign substances during the playoffs?
 

Harry Hooper

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Were the pitchers checked for foreign substances during the playoffs?
That wouldn't help if it was more of a Tour de France thing (e.g., testosterone patch/gel) with the MPH gain, but there's no evidence trail for anything.

Yes, pitchers were checked at end of innings during the playoffs.
 

54thMA

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Were the pitchers checked for foreign substances during the playoffs?
Supposedly.

Depends on where you keep your stash/where the umpires look and how thoroughly they look/bother with.

These are the same bozos that have their hands full accurately calling balls and strikes.

So explain to me how you amp up your fastball and increase spin rate and movement then.

Enlighten me.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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That wouldn't help if it was more of a Tour de France thing (e.g., testosterone patch/gel) with the MPH gain, but there's no evidence trail for anything.

Yes, pitchers were checked at end of innings during the playoffs.
So if they were checked at the end of innings, I wonder just how 54thMA thinks they were applying foreign substances to the ball and getting away with it.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Supposedly.

Depends on where you keep your stash/where the umpires look and how thoroughly they look/bother with.

These are the same bozos that have their hands full accurately calling balls and strikes.

So explain to me how you amp up your fastball and increase spin rate and movement then.

Enlighten me.
I have no idea. What's the actual data?
 

Harry Hooper

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So if they were checked at the end of innings, I wonder just how 54thMA thinks they were applying foreign substances to the ball and getting away with it.
Umps look at the glove and the inside of the hat mostly. If you have goop in your hair on a part of your head that is not in contact with your hat, I don't think umps want to investigate that. Lots of glistening forearms in the playoffs as well.
 

crow216

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The astonishing thing to me is this. Their offense was very good Game 1 (actually all three games of the TB series too). Then it exploded into another stratosphere in games 2 and 3.

And then in the first inning of game 4, Bogaerts hit that home run to put them up 2-0.

So...

First three games plus first inning (27 innings): 33-113 (.292), 10 hr, 14 bb, 27 runs
Last two games plus 8 innings of game 3 (26 innings): 9-86 (.105), 1 hr, 8 bb, 1 run

I mean, if this was a faucet, it was on FULL BLAST for 27 innings, and then the water supply was completely shut off. Not just drips or slow pouring. Shut. Off. Completely.

It's one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in baseball. And it was a combination of swinging at bad pitches and bad luck. I mean Kiké hit a moonshot last night that hit 20 feet up their wall like 400 feet away from the plate, and it just barely stayed in the park. Meanwhile, Tucker hits a 357 foot homer to their short porch in left. That's a four-run swing right there. So even when the Sox hit the ball well, there were no results.

Unfathomable, really.
This has also been a similar feeling/story when the Yankees have encountered Houston in the postseason. They scout the offense really well and make adjustments. Their enormous analytics department is working overtime on figuring out how to get hitters out. That 2017 ALCS, I think we scored 1 run in the final two games after scoring 8, 6, and 5 winning the prior 3. The Yankees lost the first two games of that series 2 to 1 also.
 

54thMA

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So if they were checked at the end of innings, I wonder just how 54thMA thinks they were applying foreign substances to the ball and getting away with it.
Depends on if it was a full body cavity search or an "ole" like the searches you get entering a stadium.

I'll just chalk it up to two pitchers who looked mediocre at best in their prior starts suddenly capturing lightning in a bottle/all nine of our hitters having horrible approaches at the plate for three games strait and that is that.

C'est La Vie, C'est La Guerre.
 

BaseballJones

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Well it wasn't really "lightning in a bottle".

Valdez' 2021 stats: 3.14 era, 137 era+, 8.4 k/9. He had 5 starts this year giving up 2 or fewer runs. On June 2, he beat the Red Sox throwing 7.0 ip, allowing 5 h and 1 r. On June 8, he beat the Red Sox again, throwing 7.1 ip, allowing 5 h and 1 r. He struck out 10 and 8 in those games, respectively.

So it's not like he hadn't had success against Boston.

As for Garcia, his 2021 stat line was: 3.30 era, 130 era+, 9.7 k/9. He had 13 starts this year where he allowed 1 run or less. On June 1, he beat the Red Sox, throwing 7.0 ip, allowing 5 h and 1 r while striking out 6.

I mean, on the whole, those two guys are really good pitchers who had a great deal of success against Boston this year.

So it's not lightning in a bottle. It's really good pitchers finding their form while the Sox' bats slumped, and the luck factor also turned against Boston.
 

LogansDad

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Well it wasn't really "lightning in a bottle".

Valdez' 2021 stats: 3.14 era, 137 era+, 8.4 k/9. He had 5 starts this year giving up 2 or fewer runs. On June 2, he beat the Red Sox throwing 7.0 ip, allowing 5 h and 1 r. On June 8, he beat the Red Sox again, throwing 7.1 ip, allowing 5 h and 1 r. He struck out 10 and 8 in those games, respectively.

So it's not like he hadn't had success against Boston.

As for Garcia, his 2021 stat line was: 3.30 era, 130 era+, 9.7 k/9. He had 13 starts this year where he allowed 1 run or less. On June 1, he beat the Red Sox, throwing 7.0 ip, allowing 5 h and 1 r while striking out 6.

I mean, on the whole, those two guys are really good pitchers who had a great deal of success against Boston this year.

So it's not lightning in a bottle. It's really good pitchers finding their form while the Sox' bats slumped, and the luck factor also turned against Boston.
Oh please. This is 2021. If your team loses, there is no other explanation than the other team cheating. Stop trying to wave it away like the other team did things that helped them deserve to win.
 

BigSoxFan

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The astonishing thing to me is this. Their offense was very good Game 1 (actually all three games of the TB series too). Then it exploded into another stratosphere in games 2 and 3.

And then in the first inning of game 4, Bogaerts hit that home run to put them up 2-0.

So...

First three games plus first inning (27 innings): 33-113 (.292), 10 hr, 14 bb, 27 runs
Last two games plus 8 innings of game 3 (26 innings): 9-86 (.105), 1 hr, 8 bb, 1 run

I mean, if this was a faucet, it was on FULL BLAST for 27 innings, and then the water supply was completely shut off. Not just drips or slow pouring. Shut. Off. Completely.

It's one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in baseball. And it was a combination of swinging at bad pitches and bad luck. I mean Kiké hit a moonshot last night that hit 20 feet up their wall like 400 feet away from the plate, and it just barely stayed in the park. Meanwhile, Tucker hits a 357 foot homer to their short porch in left. That's a four-run swing right there. So even when the Sox hit the ball well, there were no results.

Unfathomable, really.
Yup. Just really surprising. Once Bogaerts made it 2-1 in game 4, I wasn’t expecting an easy coasting to victory but the bats looked like they were facing prime Verlander/Cole from that point on. Astros certainly pitched well but the Sox batters just completely lost their composure at the plate.

I’ll get over this loss pretty quickly because they took out the MFY and Rays along the way and the farm system appears to be in a better place but if Atlanta holds on to beat the Dodgers, I feel like we will have another 2008 what if on our hands.
 

Archer1979

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I think we're looking in the wrong direction. The Sox hitters were other-worldly in the first three games and then the pendulum swung. There was a suggestion that the Astros changed their approach after Game Three. I wonder if there was an issue where the starters were tipping their pitches and the Sox hitters took advantage.

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/are-astros-tipping-pitches-coach-wonders-if-red-sox-are-picking-signs

"This is a very good hitting team, and they’re very adept at picking up little things, much more so than most teams," Strom said of the Red Sox, via The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "We need to be very cognizant of the little things, tipping-type things, things like that, that they’re very astute at. We’ve just gotten behind hitters.
It's still a significant advantage to know what pitch is coming, though, and Strom told Rosenthal his hunch is based on which pitches the Red Sox are laying off more than the ones they're jumping on.
 

54thMA

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The issue for me is I was happy that they even made it to the post season after how they struggled down the stretch.

Once they got there, I was hoping for the best, but not very optimistic.

Then they beat the Yankees, I was thrilled, had it ended there, so be it, it's the Yankees, they had our number down the stretch/1978/Bucky Dent all over again/oh well.

They won and it was on to the Rays, if they lost, so be it, the 100 win Tampa Bay Devil Rays were the odds on favorite to get to the WS from the AL, they won the season series with us, had HFA, oh well.

Then they beat the Rays, I was thrilled, holy crap, the ALCS?? And the Astors ace is out; they have a great offense, but their starting pitching is so so, had they lost, oh well, a nice season, house money.

But man; they were up 2-1 and were MASHING, to see them do a 180 and look so futile the last 26 innings was a nut punch, disappointing end, too bad, what a bummer.

Had they been up 2-1 and lost game 3 5-4 in extra innings, lost game 5 in a slugfest 11-7 as our bullpen imploded and then lost last night 4-3 in extra innings, it would have been a lot worse.

They got blitzkreiged in the last 26 innings, scored a whopping 1 run in the process, so I guess I'd rather that they go out like that truth be told.

But it still sucks no matter what.

I'd say things end badly or they wouldn't end, but the last time I did, things digressed into a shitshow with people giving example after example of things ending swell and not badly, so strike that.
 

InsideTheParker

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I think Chaim surprises us
I feel sure this is true
I'll defer to others here, but show me another example of a team that had that massive of a regression within the span of two games.

ONE run scored in 26 innings?
Yeah, it's strange, although there are of course explanations. I was interested in the NBC Sports article saying that fans @ Fenway in games four and five heard some strange whistles during Astros' ABs. The WEEI guys, who are mostly idiots, thought they saw some unusual substance on Valdez' face, which he kept touching. I am interested, but draw no conclusions. What I read this morning about Garcia having surgery on both knees a year ago makes me believe 1)they weren't lying about his one-inning start in game two and 2) they did come up with a different stance for him that made all the difference. I say this as a person who had a mostly unsuccessful total knee replacement four years ago and know that how I stand and stride makes a big difference in my pain.
 

mr_smith02

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Right. I’m with you on this. There’s only room on the roster for one of them. So what do you do? Part of it depends on what JD does. If there’s a universal DH he has more of an incentive to opt out. Schwarber has a bit more positional versatility (at least until Casas shows up)
I am fairly certain JD needs to let the Red Sox know soon after the World Series ends, which would be long before a universal DH change would be made.

I think it just makes folks feel better to believe that the Astros cheated. If it helps them get through the winter, so be it.
I was proudly wearing my Red Sox hat at the bakery this morning and an older gentleman started talking, rationally, about their season and the ALCS. He did say, "I know folks will always wonder if the Astros are cheating, but when the Red Sox went from lights-out hitters to no hitting you wonder if they were cheating during that hot streak...ya know, Cora was in Houston when the cheating started."

I don't agree at all with him, especially because I watched the Sox play all season long and unfortunately the cold spells came along often, but it is just as easy for folks to think the Sox were cheating as it is for game thread posters to accuse the Astros. Cora and the Astros earned their reputations.
 

S. H. Frog

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What a fantastic, unexpected run this team went on. They looked dead to rights for so much of the second half, and I didn't thing they were going to do anything after the Yankees swept them before the Nationals series. All year, they hung around in a lot of games that should have been over by the seventh, and won a fair share of those games. I'm looking forward to next year.

I look forward to reading game threads next year, too. It's been a pleasure to watch games and read you people. Take care over the winter.

Until February,
best regards,
S. H. Frog
 

BornToRun

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Was suspended from SoSH for a week for posting in a game thread that it’s hard to choose who to root for between the Braves chop and the Dodgers Q pitcher. So what did I miss? Sox still playing??
And I’m pretty sure I got suspended for responding to you.

Now that I’m back:

1.What a season. Rough way to end it but this was an incredible run and I’m proud of this team. As the dust settles and the wounds heal, this team will find itself in the pantheon of beloved Sox teams from years past.

2. Getting eliminated sucks but one bright spot is that it will be a long while before I have to listen to Will Flemming again. I have an in-depth plan of what I want to do if I ever meet this asshole in person:

I wanna get close enough to him that I’m within arm’s reach. If he doesn’t notice me, I’m gonna stare real intently until we make eye contact and he doesn’t have a choice. At that point, when he goes to introduce himself
or say something else, I’m gonna slap him super hard across the face and tell him he only gets to speak when spoken to.

He sucks so hard.

3. I want Houston to win. If we don’t get to be happy then neither does anybody else. You could say Astros fans but they have to live in Texas so how happy could they really get?
 

InsideTheParker

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2. Getting eliminated sucks but one bright spot is that it will be a long while before I have to listen to Will Flemming again. I have an in-depth plan of what I want to do if I ever meet this asshole in person:
I wanna get close enough to him that I’m within arm’s reach. If he doesn’t notice me, I’m gonna stare real intently until we make eye contact and he doesn’t have a choice. At that point, when he goes to introduce himself
or say something else, I’m gonna slap him super hard across the face and tell him he only gets to speak when spoken to.
Announcing your intention to commit assault on a public message board seems unwise.
 

Ted Cox 4 president

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I’m surprised to see people calling this a likeable team. I found them often frustrating and at times insufferable. They lost the way they lost all season - playing simplistic, thoughtless, bad baseball.

All season long they were bad siatuationally, bad on the basepaths, bad in pitch sequencing, etc, and made up for it with some impressive athletic ability. There are so many beautiful swings on this team, great arms in the outfield, but there’s just not a lot of intuitive baseball feel and savvy.

Watching them swing at countless outside-corner sliders that were never strikes last night was brutal. Watching them try to pull those pitches was even worse.

I believe that Cora is great at creating loyalty and team spirit, etc, but they don’t seem to often out-think the other team.
I think this is spot-on. They made a great run at it, but this is the same team that was thoroughly overmatched by not only the MFYs but also the Orioles just a few weeks ago. They provided a very exciting finish but also a whole lot of frustration throughout the second half.
 

jaytftwofive

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How can anyone be mad at this team?
Agree. Not mad. A little frustrated that they weren't as good the second half of the season, and disappointed at the moves at the trade deadline but it was a fun ride. Kind of like 1990. I like that Cora gave them the speech in the locker room after the loss saying he couldn't be prouder of this team. Kind of reminded me what Yawkey said to the 67 Sox after they lost game 7 in 67 WS.
 

section15

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Agree. Not mad. A little frustrated that they weren't as good the second half of the season, and disappointed at the moves at the trade deadline but it was a fun ride. Kind of like 1990. I like that Cora gave them the speech in the locker room after the loss saying he couldn't be prouder of this team. Kind of reminded me what Yawkey said to the 67 Sox after they lost game 7 in 67 WS.

No one expected what we saw this year. I'm happy. And I got through the playoffs without breaking my nose.