MLB Playoffs Recap (Week 3)
I was really chuffed (please forgive the Britishism) to wake up this morning to a dramatic Game 4 ALCS victory by the Red Sox. Andrew Benintendi dove for a ball propelled by an Astro bat, made the catch, and saved the game. Work has prevented me from following baseball as closely as I might like, and I am no John McCain, who can stay up late watching games and go to my job the next day and snooze, counting on the media to call me an all-American maverick.
But that’s enough disrespect to the dead. Game 4 was quite something, and I must offer my praise again to Mookie Betts, who denied Houston’s Jose Altuve a home run by going the extra mile, reaching into the stands to make a catch, which two fans also really wanted to make (As a Cubs fan who has some smattering of team lore, I recognize this as a Bartmanesque play; the pennant series level of play seems to call forth these sensational clashes of fan and player like no other).
The Red Sox can seal their golden ticket to being devoured by the Dodgers or the Brewers with just one more victory. That, of course, will sound harsh to most real Red Sox fans, but I put it that way because the weaknesses of Boston are finally coming into the limelight. Pitcher Chris Sale, a major asset in the team’s bullpen, is still apparently in the hospital due to a stomach illness. This strikes a chord of memory for me -- perhaps it is the very same mysterious Boston gastrointestinal curse that gave me about 48 hours of steadily deepening agony in the summer of 2012. I hope his medical team will at least try the liquid barium solution that cured me...
Around here (Wisconsin), Brewers fans are suddenly wearing their gear a lot more. The buses I ride every day are showing GO BREWERS electronic exhortations. I think it’s hard for most people to credit the possibility of Milwaukee, World Series Champions. If it remains 20 degrees colder than Los Angeles here, though, I foresee more surprising mistakes by the Dodgers (Milwaukee’s Miller Park has closed its roof for the season, but the heating system is inadequate to make the whole space cozy, as these L.A. Times reporters noted).