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Snake Bytes: 10/20 - LCS Tensions Running High

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Both LCS games were decided late in comeback fashion.

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game Four Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

ALCS

Houston 9, Boston 2
Houston turned to embattled righty, Zack Greinke to start Game 4 in Boston after Boston had mercilessly pounded Houston pitching in Games 2 and 3. The outing for Greinke did not go so well, but the Houston bullpen threw 7 23 inning of shutout baseball. Meanwhile, the Houston bats came alive in the ninth inning to give Boston a taste of their own medicine.

Houston Stuns Fenway
The Boston Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. They chased Greinke from the game with only one out in the bottom of the second, still holding a one-run lead. The Red Sox faithful had to be feeling pretty good about things. After seven full innings, the score remained 2-1. While the game wound up not being the third consecutive blowout some fans were hoping for earlier, they still felt confident going into the eighth as the Astros looked lost. But then the Astros’ Jose Altuve homered off of Garrett Whitlock to tie the game up in the eighth. That sent the game into the ninth all tied at two. Then, Nathan Eovaldi thought he pitched the Red Sox out of the ninth inning with no damage done, only to have what he thought was the final strike of the frame called a ball. Two pitches later, the Astros took the lead. Then they piled on - in spades. By the end of the inning, the Astros plated seven and reclaimed home field advantage in the now tied ALCS.

Nate Eovaldi, Jason Castro, Laz Diaz, and the Strike that Wasn’t
If the Houston Astros end up going to the World Series, Laz Diaz should potentially consider the witness protection program. With two outs and two strikes in the top of the eighth inning, Diaz called a big Nathan Eovaldi curve which dotted the top right corner of the zone a ball. Before Eovaldi could throw another strike, the Astros rattled off seven runs, cruising to victory. Liaz Diaz is poised to become the next Billy Buckner scapegoat for an embarrassing Boston loss that had more to do with the potent Red Sox offense going silent than it did with Diaz’s terrible night behind the plate.

NLCS

Atlanta 5, Los Angeles 6
The Dodgers’ season was in serious jeopardy when they started stepping up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning, down both three runs in the game, trying desperately not to go down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. Hard-throwing Luke Johnson was on the mound for Atlanta. With one out and two on, Johnson decided to go after Cody Bellinger, who had an atrocious regular season plagued by rampant strikeouts. Johnson got Bellinger to chase a 96-mph heater up above the zone, just like it had been drawn up. Except that Bellinger caught up to the heater and deposited it into the right field bleachers to tie the game. Mookie Betts then drove home th go-ahead run a few batters later.

Bellinger Homer Saves LA’s Season
The former NL MVP’s postseason heroics are going to go a long way towards making many forget just how bad his 2021 regular season was. Having provided the clutch ninth inning hit to lift the Dodgers over the Giants in Game 5 of the NLDS, Bellinger was at it again on Tuesday night. With the Dodgers only five outs away from going down 3-0 in the NLCS, Bellinger launched a high fastball into the right field bleachers, tying the game with a three-run Ding Dong Johnson.

Other Baseball News

Yankees Give Boone Three-Year Extension
The Yankees may not be happy with how this season came to an end, but it wasn’t Aaron Boone who assembled the roster that had as many question marks as it did answers. He is, however, the manager who has gone 328-218 in his four years at the helm. While the Yankees recognized some things need to change, they also recognized that, if they moved on from Boone, they would be looking for someone like Boone to take over. Still, despite the extension, the pressure is on Boone moving forward. The Yankees have not won a World Series since 2009 when they went for broke in free agency, signing both Texeira and C.C. Sabathia, along with giving A-Rod a massive contract. This is the third-longest title drought in franchise history. Boone will not last if he cannot get the team over the hump soon.

Qualifying Offer Drops $500,000 for 2022
Given that the qualifying offer is determined by averaging the top 125 salaries in the game and Trevor Bauer just set a new mark for single-season pay with a contract paying over $35 million, this drop in in the qualifying offer is not going to help ease tensions one damn bit going into the highly contentious upcoming CBA talks.