The Rundown: Red Sox Advance to ALCS, CC Sabathia Has Strong Words for Angel Hernandez, More Bryce Harper Hype

So the Yankees were eliminated by the Red Sox last night, losing 4-3 in Yankee Stadium. All the favorites have now clinched on opposing team’s home fields and will meet to decide who plays in this year’s World Series. It will be the Brewers and the Dodgers starting Friday night at Miller Park in Milwaukee and the Red Sox and the Astros beginning Saturday evening at Fenway Park in Boston.

Despite injuries and shortcomings near the end of the season and another wretched playoff start by David Price, Boston’s rotation combined to allow just four runs over 19 innings in the series. Meanwhile, in the three games the Yankees lost, their starters pitched eight innings and allowed 14 runs. That is your ALDS in a nutshell. It was an odd series, at times feeling tight and intense and at others, well, it just seemed no matter how close the Yankees could get, they just couldn’t get past their division rivals.

Craig Kimbrel added some drama in the 9th, loading the bases and allowing two runs to score to cut the lead to one, but a groundout by Gleyber Torres ended the game and New York’s season. Kimbrel was nearly hit by a flying beer can at Yankee Stadium as he left the bullpen to head out. Gotta love the Bronx.

Cubs News & Notes

Another day, another speculation piece on Bryce Harper finding his way to the Cubs this winter. Hey, if you want to deflect biting questions at Cubs Convention ’19 about how this season slipped away, there’s no better way than to introduce Harper as your new right fielder. Say it with me…BryBryzzo ’19.

Most of us love Harper and would love to see the Cubs sign him, but perhaps Manny Machado may be a better fit.

Still have your doubts about Harper because of a low batting average? Take a deeper dive with Cubs Insider’s expert analyst Brendan Miller.

No matter how disappointing 2018 ended, we may never see another season like the one Javy Baez had this summer.

Baez, Kyle Hendricks and a few other Cubs can expect big raises this winter thanks to arbitration. Baez is arbitration-eligible for the first time, as are Kyle Schwarber and Mike Montgomery.

Pedro Strop indicated he actually was pitching through “severe pain” and wasn’t going to be able to pitch in the NLDS or possibly even beyond if the Cubs had made it that far.

Playoff News & Notes

MLB News & Notes

The Rays extended the contract of manager Kevin Cash through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025.

The Diamondbacks plan to explore the trade market this winter in hopes of improving a team that led the NL West for 125 days, but fell out of the playoff picture during a brutal September. It’s possible that the team may try to flip veterans for younger assets as well.

Despite getting knocked out of the NLDS by the Dodgers in four games, the future looks very bright for the Atlanta Braves.

The Twins are anticipating wholesale changes ahead of next season.

On Deck

Purely editorial, but with the Indians removing Chief Wahoo from their branding starting next season, I’d like to see Atlanta address that cringe-worthy Tomahawk Chop/War Cry as well. I found it strange and disheartening that the Braves, Indians, and the NFL’s Redskins all played on Columbus Day, or what many call Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Extra Innings

ESPN 1000 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. If you happen to be awake before dawn Friday, you might want to head over to Austin’s, the popular saloon and eatery in Libertyville, Robert Feder writes. That’s the best way to ensure a front-row seat for the free, all-day celebration and remote broadcast on WMVP 1000-AM.

They Said It

  • “I knew I was going to be done after this game. What I said was, ‘Without this game, there’s no longer playoffs, there’s no World Series.’ So I thought it was the most important game of my season. That’s why I took the challenge. And I knew I was able to command my pitches, even with the pain, so I was like, ‘OK, let’s take the pain.'” – Pedro Strop
  • “I’m glad [Strop] had that opportunity this year to close games and get some much-deserved recognition for how good he is and what he means to this team, even if it was only for 6 weeks or so. Lotta fans tipping their cap to him — or moving it to the side for him. He deserves that and we fully expect him to be back next year and playing a huge role.” – Theo Epstein
  • “I do need to say this, though. I don’t think Angel Hernandez should be umping playoff games. He’s absolutely terrible. He was terrible behind the plate today. He was terrible at first base. It’s amazing how he’s getting [the] job to umpire in these playoff games. He’s bad. He’s always bad. – CC Sabathia

Wednesday Walk Up Song

Brighten It Up by Matt Stansberry & The Romance of Norman, OK. Another Jivewired favorite and a great song/video.

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Michael Canter

Favorite Quote: "Look Ma! Top of the World!" Cubs fan since I was five years old (1969): lover of B&W movies, the Oxford Comma, classic rock, and of course, baseball; annual roto-champ; partial insomniac; I detest the liberal use of the word 'albeit' by baseball writers; Nice guy, though somewhat brooding. Comment me, please and thank you.

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