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How in the heck do the Dodgers and Red Sox follow that?

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The Red Sox and the Dodgers played the longest World Series game in history last night, burning though pitchers and position players like crazy — someone refresh Nathan Eovaldi‘s IV, please — and watched it all end on a walkoff homer from Max Muncy.

Now they get to come back this evening and do it all over again. As you can see, however, who, exactly, will be doing it is unclear:

World Series Game 4

Red Sox vs. Dodgers
Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: FOX
Pitchers: Undecided vs. Undecided
Breakdown:

Alex Cora’s presumed Game 4 starter, Eovaldi, threw 97 pitches last night in his third game of work in a row. He’ll be packed in ice today, unavailable. Cora used every other pitcher he had except for Drew Pomeranz last night too. Question: if I told you that the Red Sox would take a 2-0 World Series lead and then might be forced, a couple of days later, to hand the ball to Drew Pomeranz in a pivotal, potentially series-shifting game, what would you think had happened in the interim? Some you should be ashamed of you for saying “plane crash,” but yeah, I get it.

As of now, Boston’s starter is “undecided.” If I had to guess I’d say Cora will ultimately go with Game 1 starter Chris Sale on three days’ rest followed by Eduardo Rodriguez, who pitched last night but not much. I suspect Pomeranz, who hasn’t pitched since the regular-season finale on September 30, will be in a “break glass in case of emergency” situation while everyone crosses their fingers and hopes things end quickly and/or in a blowout.

The Dodgers had named Rich Hill their Game 4 starter, and there’s no obvious reason why he could not go tonight, but early this morning, before everyone went back to their homes and hotels, Dave Roberts changed it to “undecided” as well. It would make sense for Hill to go, but it’s also possible that they too could bring back their Game 1 starter, Clayton Kerhsaw on short rest.

At this point, whichever team manages to not pass out from exhaustion can claim some form of victory tonight.

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on as precedent. And, it should be noted, in doing so they gave at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?