Boras gets the win

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Jon Heyman yesterday: “Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras is said to be using Matsuzaka’s $52 million bonus as the baseline. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come off that number.”

At $15.1 million, I’d say they came off that number quite a bit.  After months of having that $50 million number tossed around so casually, it’s kinda surprising that Strasburg ended up signing so far below his reported demands. A lot of other people are noticing that too and are thus calling this a big win for the Nats.

But then you have to remember two things. First, you have to remember that this deal is some 50% larger than the previous record, which was Mark Prior’s.  Second, you have to remember that Boras has long been the type of guy who couldn’t be bothered with perception and P.R. and all of that — he just wants to get the money. Tell me: if someone told you that they were going to get you 50% more dough than anyone in your position ever got, wouldn’t you think you hit the jackpot? If you were told that you had to pay $50 for something and in the end, only had to pay $15, wouldn’t you think you got a bargain? 

The net result of this is that if you followed the blow-by-blow of it all, it looks like Boras got his head handed to him. If you look at just the numbers, however, it was a great victory for team Boras. He created high expectations, by doing so ended up making his client a boatload of money and, like any good con man, made his mark — the Nats — happy to fork over the dough.

I have a good friend who often notes that It’s About the Money. I tend to believe him when he says that, and in light of it, I have to declare Scott Boras the victor here.

Red Sox even ALCS 1-1, defeat Astros 7-5 in Game 2

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Game 2 of the ALCS, held Sunday night in Boston, was a play in three parts. For the first three innings, it was a back-and-forth affair between the offenses of the Red Sox and Astros. The middle three innings involved both team’s pitching staffs calming things down. The final third of the game saw the Red Sox add insurance. Ultimately, the Red Sox went on to win 7-4 to even the ALCS at one game apiece.

The Red Sox opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, with Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers hitting RBI singles off of a shaky Gerrit Cole. The Astros returned the salvo in the top of the second against David Price as George Springer fisted a double that just barely stayed fair down the right field line to plate two runs to tie the game. Marwin González broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the third, turning on an inside cut fastball for a two-run homer over the Green Monster. In the bottom half of the third, the Red Sox put together a rally, loading the bases with one out. After Ian Kinsler struck out, Jackie Bradley, Jr. drilled an opposite-field double off of the Monster with the carom taking left fielder Marwin González back towards the infield, allowing all three runs to score, putting the Red Sox back on top at 5-4.

Price, whose postseason woes are well-publicized, pitched better than his line indicated. He was on the hook for four runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. His counterpart, Cole, went six frames, on the hook for five runs (four earned) on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts.

Once Price was out of the game, Matt Barnes got four outs with nary a scrape. Ryan Brasier worked around a two-out walk in the seventh for a scoreless frame. In the bottom half of the seventh, facing Lance McCullers, Jr., Mookie Betts led off with a walk. As Benintendi struck out, Betts moved to second base on a wild pitch. During J.D. Martinez‘s at-bat, Martín Maldonado allowed a passed ball, which gave Betts the opportunity to move to third base. Martinez struck out, but Maldonado was unable to handle a pitch from reliever Josh James, so Betts ran home to score a crucial insurance run.

Rick Porcello took over in the eighth, setting down Tony Kemp, González, and Carlos Correa in 1-2-3 fashion, striking out the latter two. In the bottom half of the eighth, Betts added yet another insurance run with an RBI double to right-center.

Kimbrel has had a rough postseason thus far, giving up a run in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees followed by two more in Game 4. Those struggles continued on Sunday. He got Evan Gattis to pop up, then struck out Josh Reddick. So far, so good. Unfortunately for Kimbrel, Springer poked a double to left field, then advanced to third base on a wild pitch while José Altuve batted. Altuve then ripped a single off of the Monster to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Alex Bregman. Mercifully, for the Red Sox and their fans, Kimbrel got Bregman to fly out to Benintendi just in front of the Monster in deep left field.

David Price’s team won a postseason game he started for the first time. This was his 10th postseason start and he had been 0-8 with one no-decision.

With the ALCS tied up at one game each, the Red Sox and Astros will take Monday off to travel to Houston. Game 3 is slated for a 5:09 PM ET start on Tuesday. The Red Sox haven’t yet named a starter but the Astros will go with Dallas Keuchel.