The Dodgers claim Adrian Gonzalez on waivers, but don’t get too excited yet

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As is the case with almost every player who makes more than the league minimum, Adrian Gonzalez was placed on waivers by the Red Sox.  Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have been awarded the waiver claim on Gonzalez.

Which, while interesting, doesn’t necessarily mean anything. August waivers are revocable waivers, and the Sox can pull him back. Or they can negotiate a trade with the Dodgers with the idea that, if they don’t like what the Dodgers are offering, they’ll pull him back.  Or, if the Sox simply want rid of Gonzalez, they can let the Dodgers have him for nothing.  Well, not nothing: the Dodgers would have to pay the $131 million+ the Sox owe him through 2018. But like I said: interesting. If for no other reason than it shows that the Dodgers are willing to take on huge money if the opportunity presents itself.  And that they’re aware of just how putrid James Loney is.

Seems doubtful anything will happen though. While the Red Sox season is sunk, they do have to have someone to play first base in the near future, and they don’t have a lot of options at the ready for that.  And the Dodgers don’t seem to have anything of sufficient baseball value to give up to make it worth Boston’s while. Any other team might like out of Gonzalez’s contract, but the Red Sox aren’t exactly hurting for cash.

Worth watching for the next 72 hours or so (which is how long the Sox have to pull him back), but don’t hold your breath.

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.