So we actually have two good series now that the Astros have gone into Arlington and tied up the series with two wins on the road. Also, the Diamondbacks got one in the win column with a win at home and now trail two games to one. If you’re a neutral, that’s what you were cheering for yesterday, although you’d hope to get more thrilling games like Arizona’s walkoff win over Philadelphia and not another blowout like in the Astros did to Texas.
- The biggest, or at least the most memorable, moment in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series was when the Rangers’ Corey Seager lined into a double play in the fifth inning after Astros first baseman José Abreu tagged Marcus Semien on the batting glove in his back pocket. Matt Snyder explains the rule why tagging a player on a batting glove in the pocket counts as an out. He also believes that MLB is going to have to issue a statement clarifying this, one way or the other. Also, runners may no longer be putting their batting gloves in their back pocket.
- Nathan Han writes that outfielder Leody Taveras is the Rangers secret weapon in the ALCS.
- Esteban Rivera breaks down a crucial at-bat in Game 3 by Rangers outfielder Evan Carter. Rivera shows how Carter is able to make important adjustments in the middle of an AB.
- Now back to the National League, since Game 4 of the ALCS ended late and there aren’t a ton of stories on it yet. Jenna Ortiz writes that Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo’s controversial decision to pull starter Brandon Pfaadt after 5 2⁄3 scoreless innings was a risk that paid off.
- Anthony Castrovince writes that Lovullo’s decision to pull Pfaadt made sense.
- Alden Gonzalez has a touching story about the deep friendship between Lovullo and Arizona general manager Mike Hazen and how that friendship was strengthened during the illness and death of Hazen’s wife last year.
- Steve Gilbert explains how Diamondbacks director of medical services Ken Crenshaw plays such a huge role in building the team’s identity.
- The odds are less after Arizona’s win last night, but it’s still possible. Should the Phillies win the NL Pennant at Chase Field, they will be celebrating in the right field pool. If you recall, this was a big scandal when the Dodgers did it ten years ago, but the D-Backs are cool with it now.
- Tickets for Game 3 of the NLCS in Phoenix were going for as low as $15 on the secondary market after the Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead. I hope some Diamondbacks fans are kicking themselves now for missing a terrific game.
- Television ratings for the two Championship Series are steady from last year, after ratings were down for the Division Series.
- Michael Baumann breaks down the highs and lows for Phillies shortstop Trea Turner in the first inning of Game 2 of the NLCS.
- Matt Snyder explains why the Rangers would have home-field advantage in a potential World Series matchup with the Phillies.
- Ben Clemens has playoff report cards for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
- R.J. Anderson has four questions about the market for managers this offseason.
- Buster Olney reports that former Marlins’ GM Kim Ng’s fate was likely decided long before the team made the playoffs. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Jay Jaffe argues that the Marlins done Ng dirty. He also looks at which organizations might be looking to hire her.
- Current and former Jewish MLB players made a “Stand with Israel” video after the deadly terrorist attack.
Ian Kinsler threw out the first pitch tonight in a Team Israel jersey pic.twitter.com/tcxE2kJq50— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 19, 2023
- Justice delos Santos has some free agent targets for the Pirates this winter.
- The Hall of Fame announced the eight-person ballot for the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. This year’s vote is about managers, executives and umpires. Ex-Cubs manager Lou Piniella is on the ballot, as in former Cubs player Davey Johnson. Yes, here I’m just showing off that I remember that Davey Johnson played 24 games for the Cubs. Feel free to use that for Immaculate Grid.
- Eno Sarris gets back into the statistical evidence for such things as “clutch” and the “hot hand.” (The Athletic sub. req.) He takes a very even-handed look at the issues.
- Fresno State Baseball (the “Diamond ‘Dogs”) is retiring the number 29 worn by Yankees’ great Aaron Judge when he played there.
- And finally, Chad Jennings and Stephen J. Nesbitt have a fun article about PitchCom and all the different voices that it can speak with. (The Athletic sub. req.) Many teams personalize the voices and the Padres go so far as to have one button play a recording of catcher Austin Hedges going “F—- Yeah!” to the pitcher.
And tomorrow will be a better day that today, Buster. And may all your playoff series go seven games.