We had a taste of what was said about the Red Sox’ collapse last night, but there will be more commentary and reaction coming in all day today. Come, let us bask in the failure:
- Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “They failed. They failed in the way this entire month had been a failure. They took an 8 1/2-game lead and threw it all away, and by the time they got done losing Game No. 162 they had made us suffer through all the failures that comprised this failed month.”
- Peter Abraham, Boston Globe: “There have been nights of anguish over the years for the men who have worn the uniform of the Boston Red Sox. But nothing quite like what transpired at Camden Yards last night.”
- Scott Lauber, Boston Herald: “It had been a plodding, month-long march to baseball’s version of death — elimination from the playoff race — for the Red Sox. But the execution took only minutes”
- Grant Brisbee, BaseballNation: It wouldn’t have been right to complete a monumental collapse with a garden-variety loss. There had to be some hope after the hope faded — a dead-cat bounce of hope … The Braves could have made the playoffs if they had won just one game out of their last five. They did not.
- ESPN Boston: “The long, cold winter has begun.”
- Chipper Jones: “When you’re in a slump as a team, you find a bunch of different ways to lose. The bats go silent, you get wild on the mound, you walk in runs – whatever. You find ways to lose. Man, we sure did it in the last couple of weeks.”
- Fredi Gonzalez: “I’m proud of the club. We battled today.”
And that sums up everything you need to know about Fredi Gonzalez. He wasn’t paying attention to last night’s game. He wasn’t paying attention to much of anything, it seems.
The Dodgers and Astros have selected their starters for Game 1 of the World Series. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will open the series for the Astros, while fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the first of two home games at Dodger Stadium.
Keuchel, 29, has been a steady presence for the Astros this postseason. He clinched Game 2 of the ALDS with 5 2/3 innings of one-run, seven-strikeout ball against the Red Sox and returned for his second postseason win with seven scoreless innings against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was outmatched in Game 5 of the Championship Series, however, scattering four runs and eight strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings while the Yankees worked their way up to a 5-0 shutout. Nevertheless, he’s perhaps the Astros’ strongest arm behind ALCS MVP Justin Verlander and has not surrendered a single home run in 17 1/3 consecutive innings this postseason.
Kershaw, on the other hand, has had a less consistent track record in the playoffs. While his postseason yips have been well-documented thus far, his struggles on the mound haven’t always led to disaster — at least not this time around. The Dodgers are 3-0 in all three of Kershaw’s starts this month and enjoyed a quality start from their ace during Game 5 of the NLCS last Thursday. The 29-year-old southpaw recorded his second win of the playoffs with a run, three hits, a walk and five strikeouts over six innings. Unlike Keuchel, he’s given up a home run in each of his outings to date (and four homers in Game 1 of the NLDS).
Game 1 is set for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM ET. The Dodgers have home field advantage through Games 1 and 2 before the series moves to Houston, and will try to capitalize on that advantage in order to extend their postseason winning streak at Dodger Stadium. They’re 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road this October, while the Astros boast a 6-0 advantage in Houston and a significantly less impressive 1-4 record away from home.