The 115th Edition of the Fall Classic

The 115th edition of the Fall Classic is finally set to go. For the National League, the Washington Nationals will be in their first fall classic, while the American League Champions the Houston Astros will be looking for their second championship in three years. The first game is set to take place on Tuesday night in Houston.

This series will be one nobody should miss. From dominate pitchers to the offensivefall classic abilities of both teams, this will be one to remember. While the Nationals have had about a week off before starting the fall classic, Jose Altuve walked it off against the Yankees on Saturday night. Let’s take a look at both teams before the first pitch is thrown, shall we?

Looking At The Fall Classic

The first game of the 2019 World Series is set for Tuesday night at 8:08pm at Minute Maid Park. The Nationals will have Max Scherzer going in the first game, followed by Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. For Houston, It’ll be Gerrit Cole for game one, followed by Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke.

For the Astros, this will be their third trip to the World Series. As a member of the National League, they lost in 2005 to the Chicago White Sox. They went back in 2017 as a member of the American League, and beat the LA Dodgers in seven games. Now, here they are once again looking for the teams next title. As for the Nationals, this is the team’s first run at the World Series since moving from Montreal. The last Washington team to win the World Series was the Washington Senators in 1924. The team was relocated to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Minnesota Twins.

The Washington Nationals Look For First Title

After sweeping the Cardinals at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals sent DC into a playoff frenzy. Not too long ago, both the Washington Capitals and the Washington Mystics celebrated Championships. Now, the Nationals are four wins away from having another parade in the Nation’s Capitol.

Between their offense, and their talented rotation of Scherzer, Strasberg and Corbin, they will be the team to beat. They’ve overcome a lot in the postseason so far, and look to continue DC’s success at bringing home championships. The team’s first home game is on Friday, and Nationals Park will surely be packed with Nationals fans ready to sing the ever popular song, Baby Shark.

Houston’s Looking For Their Second Championship

It took all of six games to defeat the Yankees, and the Astros are four wins away from winning their second Championship in team history. After winning in 2017, they came close last year, but were defeated by the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Now, they look to reclaim the trophy. First, they need to beat the Nationals, who have a lot to prove.

In the offseason, they acquired Gerrit Cole, and then acquired Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. With these two acquisitions in their rotation, they have been a dominate force in the American League. After winning the World Series in 2017, they kept most of their team, and they have been producing ever since.

World Series Prediction

I have the Nationals winning in seven games. Yes, the Astros have a great core group that was there when they won in 2017. However, the stats seem to side more with DC. The Nationals weren’t supposed to make it this far. Now, after beating the Dodgers and Cardinals, here they are. It’ll be a fun and historic series, there’s no doubt about it. Still, I see a parade in DC. Sorry Houston, you may have a problem in this series.

West Coast Problems: Sox Stuck With Struggling

The Red Sox could not hold their lead after scoring the first 3 runs in yesterday’s game. Making his second start of the season was Eduardo Rodriguez, and for the second consecutive start, Rodriguez looked awful. In his first outing in Seattle last Saturday, E-Rod could not make it out of the 4th inning, as he allowed 8 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), a home run, and 3 walks on 105 pitches. Yesterday, the left-hander could not make it out of the 3rd. He again allowed 8 hits, 6 runs (all earned), a home run, and 3 walks. He threw just 84 pitches and, with the loss, his record now stands at 0-2. The Sox west coast problems have been a combination of mental mistakes, poor pitching, and poor teamplay.

West Coast Problems: Cora at the forefront

“I pay attention to details,” manager Alex Cora told nbcsportsboston.com. “I love payingWest Coast Problems attention to details and that’s something I took pride [in] last year. And right now, we’re not paying attention to details. So that’s on me. That’s on the staff.”

There were several examples of unacceptable decision making from the entire series, but especially from yesterday’s loss. In the 4th inning, Rodriguez allowed a RBI double to Robbie Grossman that gave Oakland a 4-3 lead. Marcus Semien then flied out to center for the inning’s second out. Stephen Piscotty then came to the plate. After hitting a 3-run bomb in his previous at-bat, Piscotty sent a flyball towards the right-center warning track. A miscommunication occurred between two Gold Glove outfielders, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. The ball landed between them and hopped over the wall for a two-run, ground rule double. 6-3, Oakland.

West Coast Problems: Laureano for sure

Later in the game, in the 9th inning, the Sox found themselves down 7-3. Betts had reached first base on a walk. Andrew Benintendi subsequently sent a blooper to short-center field that dropped between Ramon Laureano and Semien. Betts aggressively rounded second and headed towards third, only to be thrown out by Laureano for his third outfield assist of the series. The Red Sox could of had runners on first and second with no outs. Instead, Benintendi was stuck at first with one out. The game ended two batters later.

Red Sox starting pitching this season looks like this: 0-5, 8.44 ERA, 13 home runs allowed, and a .301 BAA. Opponents have compiled a 1.052 OPS. Just to compare apples to apples, here is what the current division leader, Tampa Bay Rays, starting pitching looks like: 4-1, 2.19 ERA, 5 home runs allowed, a .190 BAA and a .570 OPS.

The Sox will attempt to ease the pain of their west coast problems as they play Arizona next starting tonight. Things do not get easier for Boston’s starters, as the team heads into the final series before returning to Fenway for the home opener on Tuesday. The Diamondbacks rank second in runs, home runs, and RBI in the National League through 7 games. They rank first in hits, doubles, and total bases.

Something that is not seen in the box score is how a team cooperates together from a visual perspective. One note I wanted to hit on is what Red Sox Nation knows as the ‘jump hug’ between Brock Holt and J.D. Martinez. Every time Martinez homers, Holt greets him in the dugout with a childlike, inseparable hug and the two jump together to celebrate. The tradition has lasted for about a full year now. I understand that baseball is full of quirky rituals and superstitions, but my question is, why are two grown men celebrating over one sequence when, overall, the team is in flux and in last place? It’s something that has been bugging me.

Boston’s record stands at 2-6 through their first two series. It is their worst start to a begin a season since 2011 when the team started 1-7 under former manager Terry Francona.

Red Sox Play Purest Form of Baseball vs. Padres

purest form of baseball

These sandlot kids play pure ball, the National League way. Courtesy news.moviefone.com

Some consider the National League (NL) to be the purest form of baseball. Tonight, the Red Sox play the San Diego Padres, a National League team. The pitchers are part of the lineup in the National League. Since the Padres are in American League (AL) territory, they play the American League way; our way. No pitchers will bat.

I find it important that the Red Sox play teams in the National League. The National League formula is, in a word, innocent. It makes us all nostalgic for the game we played, years ago, in sandlots and Little League. Everyone hits and everyone bats. There is no need to manipulate the lineup with a Designated Hitter, or pitching changes that slow the game down. In the NL, the game is played as it was meant to be played.

That said, I do like American League ball. I think the DH adds something special to the lineup; that player, whether David Ortiz, or others, can make or break games. We saw that to be true in both the 2004 and 2007 World Series wins.

Interleague play shakes things up and gets the players out of their comfort zones. I am sure coaches and players have to study more tape and stats before these interleague games. They simply do not know their opponents that well. Ultimately, it prepares the teams for World Series play. And, as we all know it is never too early to prepare for October baseball.

How I Choose My All-Star Game Rosters

all-star game rosters

How do you pick your All-Star game rosters? On the American League side, do you choose only Red Sox players and just click on any player’s name when no more Sox players remain? Or do you choose the best players across the board, on the American League and National League sides? The way I vote evolved over the years.

In the past, as a youth, I would choose the best players for the American and National Leagues. During the last few years, I have voted for mostly Red Sox players in the American League.  I do not know why I have become so loyal to the home team. I guess I am blinded by the love I have for Boston baseball. It may be due to the World Series wins of 2004 and 2007, or just simply because it is easier.

Thanks to technology, voting for your all-star game picks is so much easier. I remember as a child, when they would pass the punch cards around Fenway Park. A stack of cards went around the park from fan to fan. It was like being at one big Italian, family-style dinner. Please pass the olive oil and keep the focaccia bread coming.

I remember poking out holes for those, who I felt, were the best players in the league. I had a better sense of the other players throughout major league baseball because I collected baseball cards.  Players like Bo Jackson (Remember those ‘Bo knows Reading’ posters they used to have in the library. It was pretty much Bo knows everything. Ick. Enough, we get it.), Frank Thomas, Don Mattingly, among others were in my collection. Picks were made solely on name recognition, discussions with my brother, and whether or not I held their card in my collection. Then I started collecting basketball cards. Yeah, don’t ask. I don’t know.

Today it is different. I recognize some, but not all, of the players’ names in both leagues. For the names I do know, it is due to reputation. For others, I must read more about them on the Internet. There I can learn stats and the latest news about the nominated players. The decisions I make are more informed and less superficial. That is, except for this whole infatuation with my beloved Red Sox. We all have weaknesses. This is mine.

Hi, my name is Kara, and I am addicted to the Red Sox. Last week, I overindulged. ::Tears streaming down my face:: I did “write-in” on my ballot. It was Daniel Nava. Whew, that was good to get out. Thanks!

All comedy aside, how do make your choices for the All-Star Team?