By Ted Gay – @TedG63
In the end it was fitting that those who were maligned the most, David Price, the middle relievers, Craig Kimbrel and Dave Dombrowski, the man criticized at the deadline for only getting Nathan Eovaldi to bolster the staff, stood triumphant, because during their career, from JD Martinez as a rookie to Chris Sale this week, every member of this team, at one point, took the heavy brunt of criticism.. Now, collectively, they are four wins away from being the best team in baseball.
The Astros, for two years, have been your friend’s pipsqueak brother who gets a growth spurt one summer and begins bullying the neighborhood. The Sox bloodied their nose in Game Three, brought them to their knees in Game Four and knocked them out in Game Five. The Astros and their fans are left to stew over two facts until Opening Day: (1). They had their opportunities and failed (2) they live in frickin’ Houston.
Alex Cora has been perfect throughout the playoffs. Price and Kimbrel have been awful this postseason, but they knew when their time came they would get the ball and that no matter how poorly they pitched the manager believed in them just as he believed in Jackie Bradley Jr in June when he couldn’t reach the Mendoza line with a ladder. Who thought JBJ could be holding the ALCS MVP trophy for his hitting? Alex Cora.
Perhaps, this postseason, Cora has delivered baseball from one of it’s worse evils, the bullpen full of situational relievers. All year this band of Inglorious Bastards, unfairly labeled gutless bums, left people questioning what the relievers’ traditional rolls would be in October. Cora has moved away from every pitcher having a role to using the entire staff in the pen and going with starters as relievers. Who needs a LOOGY when you have Chris Sale? Who needs a flamethrower when you have Eovaldi? Who needs a ground ball specialist when you have Rick Porcello? In a sport that has been towards bullpen games, Cora shows that #STARTINGPITCHERSMATTER.
Remember how the Sox couldn’t win unless Chris Sale was dominant? They did. Remember how they couldn’t win without the top of the order producing? They did. Remember how they couldn’t win without taking the first two games? They did. Remember how David Price couldn’t win in the postseason? He did. Remember how Kimbrel couldn’t get anyone out? He did. Remember how they weren’t going anywhere with this bullpen? They did, and that place \is the World Series.
We can sit, as some have done since opening day, compiling reasons why the Sox will fail, but, all they do is win. In the end, winning is the only stat that matters.
Your NFL team hosted the AFC championship game; your basketball team hosted the Eastern conference final, your MLB team is hosting Game One of the World Series. You’re a goddamn Boston sports fan. Is there anything better?
BENNY & THE BETTS PODCAST (EP 94)
RED SOX BLOW OUT THE ASTROS! DAVID PRICE FINALLY WINS IN OCT! REFLECTING ON ALEX CORA’S LEADERSHIP!
Also avail on #itunes #spotify #spreaker #stitcher