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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cora breaks character, gets tossed in Game 1

BOSTON—The warm glow of a television screen served as Alex Cora’s window into the final four innings of a 7-2 Red Sox loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night, the rookie manager’s punishment for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire James Hoye.

Cora was ejected after a close Justin Verlander pitch to Andrew Benintendi was a called third strike, ending the fifth inning. Benintendi didn’t agree with the call, firing his shin guard, bat and helmet to the dirt near home plate. Neither did Cora, who barked from the first-base dugout and was promptly ejected by Hoye.

“You can’t argue balls and strikes, and I did,” Cora said. “It’s kind of embarrassing that it happens in the playoffs. That wasn’t cool, watching the game in the clubhouse. I’ve got a job to do and manage the team in the dugout. But sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and defend your players.”

 

QLE Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:10 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex cora, balls and strikes, ejection

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   1. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 14, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5766237)
Looked to me like Kelly hit Bregman on purpose, thereby putting the go-ahead run on in a 2-2 game in the top of the 6th, thus taking the Astros' win expectancy from 50% to 55%. (Bregman eventually scored the go-ahead run for a lead the Astros would not relinquish.) Going from 50% to 55% is not a huge thing in and of itself but if the HBP was intentional as I think it was... it's just a massive failure in coaching on Cora's part.

Second complaint: Starting Nunez against a tough RHP. Nunez can't hit or field, so it's not clear to me why he's playing 3B in a playoff game against Verlander. I'd have gone with Devers to get the platoon advantage, or even Kinsler (putting Holt at 3B). Kinsler has lost quite a bit but actually most of the reason for his bad season was a rock bottom performance against LHP which seems mostly to be a fluke; he hit to a .756 OPS vs RHP this year. You can quibble with Kinsler's current ability level but I'm sure it's greater than Nunez's is or ever was.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: October 14, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5766261)
I’d take Nunez over Kinsler but 100% agree with you about Devers needing to be in there against the RHP. Even if you think the two are even Devers has the ability to suck all night then change a game by hitting a ball 450 feet.

As for Kelly, I don’t think the HBP was intentional. The Sox were working Bregman inside all night (the previous actual pitch had been up and in and the non-pitch went to the same spot) and of course Kelly ain’t exactly Greg Maddux out there.

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