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Houston knocks Trevor Bauer around in seventh to take lead

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Trevor Bauer came into the game in the sixth inning, pitching in his third straight game in relief. The idea with Bauer this postseason, by the way, is to use him like Andrew Miller: a multi-inning relief ace. It’s a great theory, as he has electric stuff and can strike out guys by the boatload, theoretically putting out fires. He did well enough in the sixth inning with that, but it didn’t go so well in the seventh.

The inning led off with a Tony Kemp single. An errant pickoff throw by Bauer allowed Kemp to reach second, after which George Springer reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Kemp came home on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Altuve that saw Springer forced out but which put Altuve on first. The game was tied at two.

The next batter up was Alex Bregman who grounded back to Bauer, who sought to turn a double play. His throw to Francisco Lindor at second was wide of the bag, preventing Lindor from getting the out at second. Lindor’s relay throw to first was late too, so two runners were on with only one out. Then Bauer walked Yuli Gurriel to load the bases. Bauer, by this point, was visibly angry and rattled. As you might be too if you had two throwing errors in the inning.

Marwin Gonzalez came up next. After Bauer fell behind him 3-0, Gonzalez hit a 3-1 pitch down the left field line which fell in for a two-run double to make it 4-2 Houston. The pitch, by the way, was way high and outside. I have no idea how Gonzalez did anything with it, frankly, but rather than a bases-loaded walk, Houston scored two. That knocked Bauer out of the game.

Andrew Miller came into the game with runners on second and third and one out to face Josh Reddick, who flied out to shallow left, failing to advance the runner at third home. Then it was Carlos Correa‘s turn: he walked to load the bases for Houston once again.

That brought up Tyler White, pinch hitting for Brian McCann, which in turn caused Terry Francona to go to the pen to call in Cody Allen. Allen struck out White, leaving the bases loaded.

We enter the seventh inning stretch with Houston up 4-2, nine outs away from moving on to the ALCS.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.