The Red Sox are wondering who squealed to the press

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has a story this morning, the upshot of which is that everyone on the Red Sox is concerned about who leaked the stuff to Jeff Passan for his explosive report the other day:

“It’s a shame that someone would do that and spread wrong information,” Valentine said. “It hurts our team. If you really care about our team, why would you do something like that, no matter what your agenda is?”

Said a prominent Red Sox player, “If I knew it was one of my teammates, we’d have a big problem. A big problem.

“We’re supposed to be together. We’re supposed to be in this together. To spread gossip like that about important players on this team who have been falsely accused is just horrible. That person should be ashamed of himself.”

Others, like David Ortiz, talk about how it can’t possibly be a player who talked and suggest, again sort of obliquely, that the story is baloney.

Thing is, the stuff that was leaked — stuff about player problems with Valentine, comments Valentine made during the game in the dugout and things of that nature — almost certainly did come from a player. No one else was in a position to know and talk about such things.

The Cubs live for another day, but death will come soon

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The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.

After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.

But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.

  • They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
  • They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
  • They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
  • They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.

The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.

Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.