ALDS, Game 1: Rays-Red Sox lineups

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Rays and Red Sox lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS, at Fenway Park …

Rays:
CF Desmond Jennings
2B Ben Zobrist
RF Wil Myers
3B Evan Longoria
DH Delmon Young
LF Sean Rodriguez
SS Yunel Escobar
1B James Loney
C Jose Lobaton

SP Matt Moore

Rays manager Joe Maddon has made some changes compared to his Wild Card game lineup because the Red Sox are starting left-hander Jon Lester, moving Desmond Jennings back into the leadoff spot, dropping James Loney down in the order, and using Sean Rodriguez in left field instead of David DeJesus. Jose Lobaton also gets the start behind the plate in place of Jose Molina. Oh, and Delmon “Mr. October” Young gets another start at designated hitter, moving up to the fifth spot behind Evan Longoria.

Red Sox:
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Mike Napoli
LF Jonny Gomes
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
SS Stephen Drew
3B Will Middlebrooks

SP Jon Lester

Red Sox manager John Farrell is going with a pretty typical late-season lineup, with Jonny Gomes starting over Daniel Nava against Rays left-hander Matt Moore.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.