Dodgers will try to pick themselves up off the mat for Game 2

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So much for the Battle of Aces. Both Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw were off last night and didn’t record an out after the fourth inning, leaving the game to be decided by the Red Sox’ superior execution and timely hittingand the Dodgers’ mistakes — to give them Game 1.

For Game 2 we get two lefties once again. They’re not quite as well-regarded as the two who took the mound last night, but they stand a decent chance of lasting longer. At least we can hope.

World Series Game 2

Dodgers vs. Red Sox
Ballpark: Fenway Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: FOX
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. David Price
Breakdown:

As everyone on the planet has noted, David Price experienced no end of playoff frustration before tossing six shutout innings against the Astros in Game 5 of the ALCS. That’s the David Price Boston would love to see tonight, and we’ll know pretty early if he’s there again. Watch his use of the changeup — he went with it more than twice as often as he usually does against the Astros — and look to see if the Dodgers chase it. If they do, L.A. is in for a long night. If the Dodgers lay off, don’t panic and make Price work, they’ll have a much better night.

For the Dodgers its Ryu, who did not distinguish himself at all in Game 6 of the NLCS against the Brewers. Indeed, he was shelled. It looked like Milwaukee knew what was coming and, either because of pitch-tipping or sign-stealing, perhaps they did, but Ryu certainly has more pressure on him than Price here. Not that he sounds particularly freaked. Here’s what he said yesterday:

“When I was in Korea, I only saw Fenway Park through TV. It took me so long to actually get here at the Fenway Park. My initial reaction to the Green Monster is it’s very tall.”

I stood on the field next to the Monster after the end of the 2013 World Series. It seems shorter in person if that helps, Hyun-Jin.

This one is going to be about more than the starting pitchers, though. As we saw last night, they may not last too long. Even if they do, the outcome is not necessarily going to be in their hands. As noted, the Dodgers need to be disciplined and to lay off Price’s change. They also need to execute, execute, execute, in ways they simply did not do last night. The Red Sox are enormously talented, do not make many mistakes and put a ton of pressure on the opposition. To beat them, L.A. has to play as close to flawlessly as possible and catch some breaks. They didn’t do the first part last night and thus had no breaks to catch. They’ll need to play better tonight. It’s that simple.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.