ALCS 2021: Red Sox vs. Astros Discussion Thread

bob burda

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Sawamura got a huge double play on the last Sunday of the regular season. Key spot. However, I dont believe he had pitched in a while before that, and hasnt pitched since. What would you reasonably expect when you put a guy in a big spot in a playoff game and he has been on the mound only once in three weeks. For a guy who struggles with his control as is, that could be a tall ask.

Is it fair to say that Ottavino has thrown his last meaningful pitch for the Sox. If I recall correctly, I dont even recall him even getting up in the Tampa series. The thought of him spinning his inside slider to Correa, Bregman or Altuve is terifying.
The huge double play ball was an at'em ball rocket right at Bogarts, and I wonder if we're having this conversation if it is 6ft to either side of where it was hit - so I think this is Sawamura's last pitch in a Sox uniform. Ottavino has no doubt been shaky, but has a history of being effective. If the Red Sox are going further it is going to be with a scary bullpen at times. It's OK, I survived Kimbrel in '18, so I can survive anything.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The huge double play ball was an at'em ball rocket right at Bogarts, and I wonder if we're having this conversation if it is 6ft to either side of where it was hit - so I think this is Sawamura's last pitch in a Sox uniform. Ottavino has no doubt been shaky, but has a history of being effective. If the Red Sox are going further it is going to be with a scary bullpen at times. It's OK, I survived Kimbrel in '18, so I can survive anything.
I can buy it's the last pitch Sawamura throws this season, but why would it be his last pitch in a Sox uniform? He's under contract for next year with an option for 2023.
 
Just to add a little onto the starting pitching order discussion, here are some season stats. Hopefully the Red Sox have far more sophisticated analytics than this.

Houston vs. LHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .332/115 | Away: .344/119
Houston vs RHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .341/121 | Away: .331/110
Chicago vs. LHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .330/111 | Away: .339/115
Chicago vs RHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .346/121 | Away: .310/95

ERod Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 5.95/3.25/1.44/.346
ERod Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.95/3.37/1.36/.320

Eovaldi Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.47/2.43/1.12/.278
Eovaldi Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 4.21/3.39/1.3/.331

Houck Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.32/1.8/1.18/.286
Houck Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.77/3.52/1.06/.253

Pivetta Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 5.4/5.26/1.45/.357
Pivetta Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.75/3.4/1.18/.277

I didn't look at Sale's numbers as I figured he wouldn't have enough sample size for meaningful splits.

Some bullet points:

  • Both Houston and Chicago are better against LHP away
  • Both Houston and Chicago are better against RHP at home, with a very pronounced split for Chicago here
  • ERod has gotten much better results away than at home, although his peripherals are similar. He's better on TTO at home, but also gives up worse outcomes on balls in play.
  • Eovaldi is clearly a much better pitcher at home than away. He's fine to good on the road but excellent at home, and it shows in every metric.
  • Houck is a bit of the opposite of ERod. He gets better results at home, but his TTO are better on the road at the cost of giving up much worse outcomes on balls in play.
  • Pivetta is like two different pitchers. He's awful at home and very good on the road, and it shows in every metric.
Not having HFA looks to be a really big deal in this series, as things would line up MUCH better if we had it. If we had HFA pitching Eovaldi in game 1 would be a no brainer as it plays into both the opponent's splits and Evo's splits. As it is, it looks like it might actually be better to pitch him in game 3. But then you risk only throwing your best pitcher once in the series.

We'd naturally want to slot Pivetta into game 4 if he's going to start at all, but starting Pivetta at home seems like a terrible idea as his splits are extreme. Maybe against Chicago this would be fine as they are so much worse against RHP on the road?

Starting ERod in game 1 or 2 seems reasonable as it plays into both his splits and the opponent's splits.

Houck is pretty neutral, with a bit of an advantage to home given opponent splits (particularly against Chicago).

If the team thinks that Sale has a good chance of having enough stuff to compete, an interesting idea might be to start him in Game 1 on a quick hook with Pivetta backing him up. If things go well then you probably don't use Pivetta. If they go poorly, Pivetta at least is playing into his vastly superior road splits (albeit also running against opponent splits).

Then you go with E-Rod in game 2 and possibly game 6 (normal rest), allowing him both starts on the road playing into both his splits and opponent splits.

Game 3 you have Eovaldi at home, playing into both his splits and opponents splits and giving the best chance against McCullers. If it goes to game 7 we've got our best pitcher on normal rest.

Game 4 would be Houck, again playing into both his splits and opponent splits.

Game 5 is rough though. If Sale is OK then all is well, but otherwise you are looking at Pivetta starting at home. Barf.


The other approach that I could imagine making sense would be to start Evo, ERod, Houck or Sale, Sale or Houck in that order. The upside of that is that we are more likely to see Evo twice, and we have him at home in game 5. The downside is that Houck and Sale are the two pitchers that are most likely to need to be backed up by Pivetta, and both will be starting at home where we really don't want to see Pivetta pitching.
 

bob burda

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I can buy it's the last pitch Sawamura throws this season, but why would it be his last pitch in a Sox uniform? He's under contract for next year with an option for 2023.
Fair enough….and too bad, unless he can find a way to improve.
 

E5 Yaz

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Just to add a little onto the starting pitching order discussion, here are some season stats. Hopefully the Red Sox have far more sophisticated analytics than this.

Houston vs. LHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .332/115 | Away: .344/119
Houston vs RHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .341/121 | Away: .331/110
Chicago vs. LHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .330/111 | Away: .339/115
Chicago vs RHP (wOBA/wRC+): Home: .346/121 | Away: .310/95

ERod Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 5.95/3.25/1.44/.346
ERod Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.95/3.37/1.36/.320

Eovaldi Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.47/2.43/1.12/.278
Eovaldi Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 4.21/3.39/1.3/.331

Houck Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.32/1.8/1.18/.286
Houck Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.77/3.52/1.06/.253

Pivetta Home (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 5.4/5.26/1.45/.357
Pivetta Away (ERA/FIP/WHIP/wOBA): 3.75/3.4/1.18/.277

I didn't look at Sale's numbers as I figured he wouldn't have enough sample size for meaningful splits.

Some bullet points:

  • Both Houston and Chicago are better against LHP away
  • Both Houston and Chicago are better against RHP at home, with a very pronounced split for Chicago here
  • ERod has gotten much better results away than at home, although his peripherals are similar. He's better on TTO at home, but also gives up worse outcomes on balls in play.
  • Eovaldi is clearly a much better pitcher at home than away. He's fine to good on the road but excellent at home, and it shows in every metric.
  • Houck is a bit of the opposite of ERod. He gets better results at home, but his TTO are better on the road at the cost of giving up much worse outcomes on balls in play.
  • Pivetta is like two different pitchers. He's awful at home and very good on the road, and it shows in every metric.
Not having HFA looks to be a really big deal in this series, as things would line up MUCH better if we had it. If we had HFA pitching Eovaldi in game 1 would be a no brainer as it plays into both the opponent's splits and Evo's splits. As it is, it looks like it might actually be better to pitch him in game 3. But then you risk only throwing your best pitcher once in the series.

We'd naturally want to slot Pivetta into game 4 if he's going to start at all, but starting Pivetta at home seems like a terrible idea as his splits are extreme. Maybe against Chicago this would be fine as they are so much worse against RHP on the road?

Starting ERod in game 1 or 2 seems reasonable as it plays into both his splits and the opponent's splits.

Houck is pretty neutral, with a bit of an advantage to home given opponent splits (particularly against Chicago).

If the team thinks that Sale has a good chance of having enough stuff to compete, an interesting idea might be to start him in Game 1 on a quick hook with Pivetta backing him up. If things go well then you probably don't use Pivetta. If they go poorly, Pivetta at least is playing into his vastly superior road splits (albeit also running against opponent splits).

Then you go with E-Rod in game 2 and possibly game 6 (normal rest), allowing him both starts on the road playing into both his splits and opponent splits.

Game 3 you have Eovaldi at home, playing into both his splits and opponents splits and giving the best chance against McCullers. If it goes to game 7 we've got our best pitcher on normal rest.

Game 4 would be Houck, again playing into both his splits and opponent splits.

Game 5 is rough though. If Sale is OK then all is well, but otherwise you are looking at Pivetta starting at home. Barf.


The other approach that I could imagine making sense would be to start Evo, ERod, Houck or Sale, Sale or Houck in that order. The upside of that is that we are more likely to see Evo twice, and we have him at home in game 5. The downside is that Houck and Sale are the two pitchers that are most likely to need to be backed up by Pivetta, and both will be starting at home where we really don't want to see Pivetta pitching.
Appreciate you running the numbers, but if anyone other that Eovaldi pitches in Game 1 we might have to start a thread questioning what kind of manager we have in Cora
 

OurF'ingCity

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The Astros scare me just because their big names have been around for longer, but their offense isn't materially better than the Rays, and their pitching is about the same as well, or a bit worse depending on what stats you look at. Which is to say that given that the Sox beat the Rays, there is absolutely no reason to think that they can't do the same to the Astros.

Fenway has been a story in itself this postseason - I can't recall another recent postseason where all the little quirks (big wall in left, small wall in right, Pesky Pole) played such critical roles. If Fenway continues being kind to the Sox, they just need to steal one or two in Houston.
 

NYCSox

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The Astros differ in that they have veteran staff anchors and their young pitchers have more experience than the Rays. Also their lineup is deep and battle tested with so-called "professional hitters" even without Springer.

I think this is a bigger challenge than the Rays notwithstanding the fact that Houston won fewer games and had a slightly worse run differential.
 

Dick Drago

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Bernie Smilovitz-there’s a blast fr the past. Had no idea he was still around, he was on in NYC for years.
 

RobertS975

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In our home, just as automatic as we include the usual expletive as Bucky Dent's middle name, the adjective "damn" precedes Altuve in any sentence.

Damn Altuve!
 

dynomite

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Just to update this with the obvious locations:

Game 1 Red Sox @ Astros: Friday, Oct. 15, TBD (Fox)
Game 2 Red Sox @ Astros: Saturday, Oct. 16, TBD (Fox or FS1)
Game 3 Astros @ Red Sox: Monday, Oct. 18, TBD (FS1)
Game 4 Astros @ Red Sox: Tuesday, Oct. 19, TBD (FS1)
Game 5 Astros @ Red Sox: Wednesday, Oct. 20, TBD (FS1)*
Game 6 Red Sox @ Astros: Friday, Oct. 22, TBD (FS1)*
Game 7 Red Sox @ Astros: Saturday, Oct. 23, TBD (Fox or FS1)*
*if necessary
Weather looks good for next week in Boston, for what it's worth, although by the middle innings temps could be down in the low 50s. Folks going to games should bring gloves. Hopefully the Astros bats don't have hats?
 

staz

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The Astros differ in that they have veteran staff anchors and their young pitchers have more experience than the Rays. Also their lineup is deep and battle tested with so-called "professional hitters" even without Springer.

I think this is a bigger challenge than the Rays notwithstanding the fact that Houston won fewer games and had a slightly worse run differential.
Don't forget the Rays got to 100 wins while battling TOR, MFY and the Sox 19 times each.
 

Apisith

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The Astros differ in that they have veteran staff anchors and their young pitchers have more experience than the Rays. Also their lineup is deep and battle tested with so-called "professional hitters" even without Springer.

I think this is a bigger challenge than the Rays notwithstanding the fact that Houston won fewer games and had a slightly worse run differential.
We beat them in 2018 when they had Springer, Verlander and Cole. Man, our 2018 team was incredible. :p

McCullers will need a break of a week or so, at minimum, right? Greinke is also just returning from injury, he can't start.

Let's beat the crap out of them.
 

canderson

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Houston probably can win this series in 6, but who the hell am I to bet against these resilient Sox. Tampa’s offense was a bit better than Houston’s right?
 

cantor44

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I brought this up last night -- despite the magic of Vaz, I gotta believe the Red Sox would get a lot more out of having Wong on the bench than they do out of Santana.

Perez makes sense only in case there's 14-inning game or something, but there probably will be.
I mentioned the same thing about Wong somewhere in one of these threads. I think if they make the WS Wong will definitely be on the team, as you need bench position players more in the NL games. Nevertheless, with Plawecki being pulled along with Eovaldi, they really are flirting with disaster if Vazquez were then to get hurt in those games. Plus Wong has decent speed and can play other positions. However, maybe you go with them both Wong and Santana, and simply have Wong replace Perez.

EDIT: Forgive redundancy!
 
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JOBU

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Just to update this with the obvious locations:



Weather looks good for next week in Boston, for what it's worth, although by the middle innings temps could be down in the low 50s. Folks going to games should bring gloves. Hopefully the Astros bats don't have hats?
They don’t.
 

dhellers

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The Astros differ in that they have veteran staff anchors and their young pitchers have more experience than the Rays. Also their lineup is deep and battle tested with so-called "professional hitters" even without Springer.

I think this is a bigger challenge than the Rays notwithstanding the fact that Houston won fewer games and had a slightly worse run differential.
They seem to have fewer holes in the lineup I worry the Sox pen will get worn down. So probably gonna need a ton of runs. Doable!
 

Hee Sox Choi

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I mentioned the same thing about Wong somewhere in one of these threads. I think if they make the WS Wong will definitely be on the team, as you need bench position players more in the NL games. Nevertheless, with Plawecki being pulled along with Eovaldi, they really are flirting with disaster if Vazquez were then to get hurt in those games. Plus Wong has decent speed and can play other positions. However, maybe you go with them both Wong and Santana, and simply have Wong replace Perez.

EDIT: Forgive redundancy!
Of all my thousands of years of watching baseball, I have never ever never seen a catcher get pulled and then the backup get hurt. I'm sure it has happened a couple of times throughout history, but now with almost ZERO collisions at home plate, I think the idea of having a shitty 3rd C instead of a pen arm or a good PH bat is ludicrous. I've watched so many games and I don't think I've ever seen it. Anyone?
 

effectivelywild

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Of all my thousands of years of watching baseball, I have never ever never seen a catcher get pulled and then the backup get hurt. I'm sure it has happened a couple of times throughout history, but now with almost ZERO collisions at home plate, I think the idea of having a shitty 3rd C instead of a pen arm or a good PH bat is ludicrous. I've watched so many games and I don't think I've ever seen it. Anyone?
There's a reddit thread about this (https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/lxg9ho/has_an_emergency_catcher_ever_had_to_play_in_a/) that also links to an older page that has a list (https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/4huo1o/a_list_of_emergency_catchers_1990present/) But it is certainly rare enough that you're not the first person to wonder about it.
 

Bosoxian

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LesterFan

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Tampa’s offense was a bit better than Houston’s right?
Nope, wasn't close either. Houston led the majors in team wRC+ at 116, Jays were 2nd at 112. Rays were tied for 3rd with the White Sox at 109. One major difference between the two offenses is the Astros don't strike out often. They had the lowest K% in the majors while the Rays had the 5th highest. I worry about the Sox' pitching against them.
 

cantor44

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Of all my thousands of years of watching baseball, I have never ever never seen a catcher get pulled and then the backup get hurt. I'm sure it has happened a couple of times throughout history, but now with almost ZERO collisions at home plate, I think the idea of having a shitty 3rd C instead of a pen arm or a good PH bat is ludicrous. I've watched so many games and I don't think I've ever seen it. Anyone?
So ludicrous that the 2018 Red Sox did just that:

https://www.mlb.com/press-release/red-sox-set-roster-for-2018-world-series-299511728 (Leon, Swihart, Vazquez)

So ....I guess I'm as ludicrous as Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski.

The point is, if you know you're going to subbing/pinch hitting a lot for your catcher, you may want insurance at the position. If you're not going to do that, no need for a third catcher. Yes, odds are slim, but it could happen, and if you didn't have a third catcher, you're basically fucked, almost giving away the game ...

EDIT: a bit more from MLB.com 10/23/18 at the time (bolded mine):
Catchers

As they've done for most of the season, the Red Sox will go with three catchers in the World Series. Sandy Leon will again be paired with Sale despite generating just two hits in his past 52 at-bats. Christian Vazquez is likely to catch the other starters. Blake Swihart is more of a utility player than a catcher, as he can also play first base and the corner outfield spots if need be. The presence of three catchers allows Cora to be aggressive with his pinch-hitters.
 

Manramsclan

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I do think Schwarber is a very legitimate emergency catcher, however. He has caught in 26 MLB games and played catcher at IU. I don't think this a scenario where you would be "giving away the game". He would be serviceable for a game and then if it were an injury you could then replace the catcher with another catcher.
 

canderson

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Nope, wasn't close either. Houston led the majors in team wRC+ at 116, Jays were 2nd at 112. Rays were tied for 3rd with the White Sox at 109. One major difference between the two offenses is the Astros don't strike out often. They had the lowest K% in the majors while the Rays had the 5th highest. I worry about the Sox' pitching against them.
Thanks. Yea, they’re gonna rip apart our pen. Hope the offense stays on fire.
 

cantor44

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I do think Schwarber is a very legitimate emergency catcher, however. He has caught in 26 MLB games and played catcher at IU. I don't think this a scenario where you would be "giving away the game". He would be serviceable for a game and then if it were an injury you could then replace the catcher with another catcher.
That may be, yes ....
 

dhellers

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I do think Schwarber is a very legitimate emergency catcher, however. He has caught in 26 MLB games and played catcher at IU. I don't think this a scenario where you would be "giving away the game". He would be serviceable for a game and then if it were an injury you could then replace the catcher with another catcher.
That may be, yes ....
But what if they pull Schwarber and put Dalbec at first? That's why I got nervous when Vasquez took that foul off his arm (amazing he hit that home run a few minutes later!)
 

joe dokes

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There's a reddit thread about this (https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/lxg9ho/has_an_emergency_catcher_ever_had_to_play_in_a/) that also links to an older page that has a list (https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/4huo1o/a_list_of_emergency_catchers_1990present/) But it is certainly rare enough that you're not the first person to wonder about it.
Anyone remember Greenwells 10th inning turn at catcher? Not pretty.
Schwarbers not likely to be any more of an emergency catcher than Napoli was.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Anyone remember Greenwells 10th inning turn at catcher? Not pretty.
Schwarbers not likely to be any more of an emergency catcher than Napoli was.
Vividly. Pinch running for your last catcher is rarely the right move.

Edit: I haven't done the math on the above. For all I know it has worked out, just not the one time I remember
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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So ludicrous that the 2018 Red Sox did just that:

https://www.mlb.com/press-release/red-sox-set-roster-for-2018-world-series-299511728 (Leon, Swihart, Vazquez)

So ....I guess I'm as ludicrous as Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski.

The point is, if you know you're going to subbing/pinch hitting a lot for your catcher, you may want insurance at the position. If you're not going to do that, no need for a third catcher. Yes, odds are slim, but it could happen, and if you didn't have a third catcher, you're basically fucked, almost giving away the game ...

EDIT: a bit more from MLB.com 10/23/18 at the time (bolded mine):
Catchers

As they've done for most of the season, the Red Sox will go with three catchers in the World Series. Sandy Leon will again be paired with Sale despite generating just two hits in his past 52 at-bats. Christian Vazquez is likely to catch the other starters. Blake Swihart is more of a utility player than a catcher, as he can also play first base and the corner outfield spots if need be. The presence of three catchers allows Cora to be aggressive with his pinch-hitters.
I think the difference between Swihart and Wong is experience. Swihart had 191 games of big league experience by the 2018 World Series. Wong has 6. Additionally, there weren't a ton of other alternatives to Swihart for that roster spot. Maybe an extra pitcher (Velazquez and Workman had the most appearances of those left off), but there weren't a ton more position players to beat him out (Tzu-Wei Lin?). Also, like you point out, Swihart was on the roster quite a bit during the season as a third catcher. That's not been the case for the vast majority of 2021 with Wong.

It's also a bit of a false equivalency to compare an ALCS roster to a World Series roster when the latter involves games in an NL park where pinch hitting is more prevalent due to the pitcher hitting. There will be a lot fewer needs for a pinch hitter playing entirely with AL rules. I think if the Sox get by the Astros, there might be a stronger case for adding Wong. Until then, Santana is probably the better pick given his positional versatility and speed. Third catcher just isn't a luxury they need.
 

ObstructedView

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Yeah, I'm by no means a technical expert but generally when the pitching coach invokes prayer it's not a good sign.

I was actually talking the other day with a friend who coaches high school kids in the Houston area, and he said he's had to talk to a few young pitchers who want to try to emulate McCullers's game - explaining that not just anyone can throw that many curve balls without doing arm damage.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Anyone remember Greenwells 10th inning turn at catcher? Not pretty.
Schwarbers not likely to be any more of an emergency catcher than Napoli was.
I mean Schwarber catching anyone on the current staff can't result in much worse than Tek catching Wake in the '04 ALCS right? That took 5 years off my life.

I assume after the NL matchup is decided we'll get game times for games 3 & 4?
 

tims4wins

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I assume after the NL matchup is decided we'll get game times for games 3 & 4?
Why don't we have a game 3 start time yet? NLCS games 1 and 2 will be on Saturday and Sunday, so Monday is off for them anyway. The ALCS will be the only game that day, unless one of the first two NLCS games get rained out. But they're not going to wait until Sunday to announce it, are they?

As an aside I was just offered tickets to game 3, so really hoping it is a 7:07 or 7:37 start time as opposed to 8:07, but that feels unlikely.
 

BaseballJones

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Why don't we have a game 3 start time yet? NLCS games 1 and 2 will be on Saturday and Sunday, so Monday is off for them anyway. The ALCS will be the only game that day, unless one of the first two NLCS games get rained out. But they're not going to wait until Sunday to announce it, are they?

As an aside I was just offered tickets to game 3, so really hoping it is a 7:07 or 7:37 start time as opposed to 8:07, but that feels unlikely.
That extra hour makes a huge difference if you're going to the game. WAY better if it's a 7:07 start as opposed to 8:07.
 

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Why don't we have a game 3 start time yet? NLCS games 1 and 2 will be on Saturday and Sunday, so Monday is off for them anyway. The ALCS will be the only game that day, unless one of the first two NLCS games get rained out. But they're not going to wait until Sunday to announce it, are they?

As an aside I was just offered tickets to game 3, so really hoping it is a 7:07 or 7:37 start time as opposed to 8:07, but that feels unlikely.
If you want to hold out hope, here are the last two before COVID schedules:

2018:
45239

2019
45240
 

cantor44

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I think the difference between Swihart and Wong is experience. Swihart had 191 games of big league experience by the 2018 World Series. Wong has 6. Additionally, there weren't a ton of other alternatives to Swihart for that roster spot. Maybe an extra pitcher (Velazquez and Workman had the most appearances of those left off), but there weren't a ton more position players to beat him out (Tzu-Wei Lin?). Also, like you point out, Swihart was on the roster quite a bit during the season as a third catcher. That's not been the case for the vast majority of 2021 with Wong.

It's also a bit of a false equivalency to compare an ALCS roster to a World Series roster when the latter involves games in an NL park where pinch hitting is more prevalent due to the pitcher hitting. There will be a lot fewer needs for a pinch hitter playing entirely with AL rules. I think if the Sox get by the Astros, there might be a stronger case for adding Wong. Until then, Santana is probably the better pick given his positional versatility and speed. Third catcher just isn't a luxury they need.
I mentioned the same thing about Wong somewhere in one of these threads. I think if they make the WS Wong will definitely be on the team, as you need bench position players more in the NL games. Nevertheless, with Plawecki being pulled along with Eovaldi, they really are flirting with disaster if Vazquez were then to get hurt in those games. Plus Wong has decent speed and can play other positions. However, maybe you go with them both Wong and Santana, and simply have Wong replace Perez.

EDIT: Forgive redundancy!
I mentioned as much about using Wong in the WS rather than the ALCS upstream in the thread as you see, for just the reason you mention ...so wasn't making that false equivalency. Yes, Swihart had more experience than Wong (though Wong also can play other positions), and the alternatives (Lin, Phillips, Travis) weren't great. Though the rationale is the same - having 3 catchers to allow regular in-game substitution at the position. It's not so LUDICROUS, as even for the 2018 roster that's how the media framed it, and Cora spoke about it in just this way precisely. I remember Cora interviewed about it, but don't have the time to find anything beyond an initial google search ...
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
If you want to hold out hope, here are the last two before COVID schedules:

2018:

2019
Thanks. Feels like there is an outside shot at 7:37, and a very slim chance of 7:07

Edit: screw it I’m going regardless. If my son has to miss school Tuesday so be it. This will be a lasting memory and he will also get to experience it with his closest cousin. Had to pass up the same tickets to game 3 this past Sunday, can’t do that twice now. Playoffs!! Let’s go!
 
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joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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