Close calls lean toward Boston on way to 3-1 ALCS lead

Silvia Morton
October 19, 2018

In the eyes of Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros did not violate any rules related to spying on the Red Sox, or any team, during the 2018 postseason.

It will always seem to us like a game of what-ifs: what if Andrew Benintendi hadn't caught Alex Bregman's liner in the bottom of the ninth? David Price will start in Sale's place Thursday night on three days' rest as the Red Sox try to win the pennant.

Major League Baseball acknowledged Tuesday night after Game 3 of the American League Championship Series that it had investigated an incident three nights earlier, in which a Houston Astros employee was spotted in the camera well adjacent to the Boston Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park and reportedly aiming a camera into the dugout. Hopefully, Rodriguez can give Boston at least four solid innings, but look for the bullpen to pick up the slack in Game Five. He also threw two wild pitches in his first outing for the Astros since the regular-season finale on September 30.

"He's been ready. Game one, last year, in the division series wasn't a good one for him, but instead of taking it as a negative, he learned from it", said Red Sox manager Alex Cora during his press conference on Friday.

Boosted by a questionable fan interference call and another home run from Jackie Bradley Jr.in a gripping back-and-forth game, the Red Sox moved within one victory of their first World Series trip since winning the 2013 title. The lefty went only 4.2 innings, allowing 4 earned runs, yielding 5 hits and picking up 4 strikeouts. That said, Rodriguez did pitch a scoreless inning of relief in the Red Sox Game Three win over Houston.

The Astros beat the Indians to advance to the ALCS, where they trail the series 2-1 headed into Wednesday night's Game 4. Two people familiar with the situation said the Astros tried to get a second person next to the dugout after the employee was removed by security.

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"I think the competitive edges nowadays are so narrow", Hinch said.

The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead against Morton in the first inning when Rafael Devers produced a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to center that scored Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.

"The spectator reached out of the stands and hit him over the playing field and closed his glove", West said. "Appreciate he was trying to help me". In the third, Benintendi and Xavier Bogaerts doubled to make it 3-1, then George Springer homered and Reddick drove Altuve home to tie the game.

Meanwhile, though not completely dismissive, Cora had a different take - essentially that deciphering signs has been a part of the game for decades and those who are best at it can benefit. Fans weren't happy, players weren't happy, it was just an all-around, game-altering judgment call that had the Astros chasing those two runs the entire game.

This isn't the first time the Astros have been suspected of cheating.

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