Three arguments break out in Brewers-Nationals game

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One play in the sixth inning of Sunday’s Brewers-Nationals game spawned three arguments with the umpiring crew.

The Brewers were up 3-2 and had the bases loaded with one out when Milwaukee’s Norichika Aoki put down a squeeze that was handed by Washington’s Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez conceded the run and made the throw to first, but it was off target, forcing Steve Lombardozzi to stretch into foul territory to try to handle it.

I’ll let the AP take it from there:

First base umpire Tim Welke ruled Aoki safe, and Lombardozzi immediately began to argue while holding the ball in his glove. Seeing the argument, Cody Ransom then sprinted home. However, home plate umpire Mike Estabrook ruled time had been called and sent Ransom back to third.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke came out and argued with Estabrook that time out had not been called. Washington manager Davey Johnson and Lombardozzi were arguing with Welke at first at the same time while Ransom was complaining to third base umpire Laz Diaz.

Paul Schrieber at second base was the only umpire not in an argument.

None of the arguments proved successful. Ransom ended up scoring when Carlos Gomez hit a sac fly, making it a 5-2 game. The Nationals got out of the inning from there and came back  to tie the game at 7 against the dreadful Milwaukee pen in the eighth.

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.