Welcome to the end of October. The big news in baseball is obviously the World Series, but we do have a few other things of note to cover this Monday. Allow me to catch you up on what there is to know while you take this short-but-deserved break from putting the final touches on your naughty Gene Lamont costume for Halloween.
The World Series
If you aren’t already paying attention, allow me to offer you a quick rundown of the weekend World Series action you may have missed. On Friday night, Houston Astros first baseman Yuri Gurriel did something stupid during his team’s 5-3 win, which gave them a 2-1 edge in the series. Yu Darvish handled it with class.
On Saturday Commissioner Rob Manfred handled things in a manner that opened the flood gates on the dam at the ol’ hot take reservoir, and the takes flowed freely. The Los Angeles Dodgers waited most of Saturday’s game before jumping on a Houston relief corps that decided to dress as the Detroit Tigers bullpen for Halloween. That left things knotted at two games apiece.
Sunday’s game was a five hour chaotic affair that resulted in 25 runs. For the Astros, chaos was a ladder, as they walked it off in the 10th to win 13-12 and take a 3-2 lead in the series. Justin Verlander will pitch with the World Series on the line on Tuesday.
Bring Him Home
One little tidbit of news that may have shifted many a Tigers fan rooting interests came out when the Dodgers announced that they would be leaving Curtis Granderson off of their World Series roster. Things are kind of up in the air for dirty Curty; after this season, he will be an aging veteran without a home. I, for one, am all aboard the Bring Curtis Back to Detroit train. Get your tickets at the box office.
Peter Gammons has a nice article at Baseball America that takes a look at Justin Verlander’s case for the Hall of Fame. He spends a nice little chunk of time talking about how instrumental Brad Ausmus was in — wait for it — bringing analytics to the Tigers. There are some comparisons drawn to Roy Oswalt and Curt Schilling, and Gammons seems to hint that the move to Houston is what Verlander may need to put him in the Hall.
It would seem that in a league where we are already dealing with a juiced baseball, we might be dealing with an entirely new baseball controversy in the World Series. In this case, we aren’t necessarily talking juiced, but slick. It seems to be enough of a difference that Lance McCullers can tell the difference between the World Series ball and a standard one blindfolded. Word around the campfire is that if you’re a slider-heavy pitcher, you’re going to have a bad time. Verlander seems to be able to tell the difference as well, and he’s not exactly being quiet about it.
Verlander: "Mr. Manfred says the balls haven't changed. I think there's enough information out there to say that's not true."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 29, 2017