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It Will Be (108 Wins) Boston vs Defending Champion (103 Wins) Houston In The 2018 ALCS

It will be the teams with the two best records in baseball, the (108 wins) Boston Red Sox vs the defending champion, (104 wins) Houston Astros clashing in the ALCS beginning Saturday night in Boston.

Last season, en route to their first title in their 56 season history, the Astros beat the Red Sox in 4 games in the baseball “quarters”/divisional playoff series.

Current Boston manager Alex Cora was the Astros’ bench coach, assisting “Hous” manager A.J. Hinch.

The Red Sox (0-2) in ’99, (2-2) in ’03 and ’04 and (2-0) in ’18 are (4-4) in post-season play at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox lost both the ’99 and ’03 ALCS to the Yankees, but won the ’04 ALCS and the ’18 “div” series.

In 1949 a great pennant race, one without the safety net of the wild card presence, came down to the Yankees needing to win the last two games at Yankee Stadium, which they did.

 

I visited Mr. Ruth’s grave in 2001 and remarked that he won only one less title (3) with Boston, than he did with the Yankees.

Maybe he heard me, but perspective, hopefully, makes that much less important.

“Div” Series Updates And That Terry Francona Note Again

This is the second straight season that both the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, last year’s World Series opponents, advanced to the L.C.S. with same day Monday, road victories.

Last season, Houston wrapped its div series, winning an early start game 4 at Boston vs the Red Sox, while this season again in an early start, completed a 3 game sweep at Cleveland, vs the Cleveland Indians.

Meanwhile the Dodgers, who swept Arizona (Diamondbacks) last season, won in 4, clinching yesterday/Monday at Atlanta vs the Braves.

The Dodgers will face the Milwaukee Brewers in the N.L.C.S. beginning Friday in Milwaukee while Houston will meet the winner of the Boston/Yankees “div” series, in which Boston, exactly 62 years after Don Larsen pitched an unprecedented World Series perfect game for the Yankees, scored 16 runs and took a (2-1) series lead.

The A.L.C.S. will begin Saturday night either in Boston or Houston.

Add two to the post below that cites the incredible fact that now in 14 post-season series managed by current Cleveland skipper, Terry Francona, one team or the other (8 times Francona’s team and 6 times the opposition won 3 straight games en route to the series win. One could also add the ’04 Yankees, who won the first three games but lost that A.L.C.S.) won 3 straight games en route to a series win.

Click below to read the post from October 2017 regarding this fact. Remember add div series losses (to the Yankees last season and this year vs Houston to the note). By the way, as you can see, the notes were posted here one year apart on respective October 9th’s.

 

After losing the first 7 “div” series games this season, the road team has won 5 of the last 6 such tilts.

 

 

 

Dodgers/Braves Notes

This is the third time that the Dodgers and Braves are meeting in the baseball quarterfinals/division series.

The teams split in the previous two such series, a defending World Series champion Braves team sweeping L.A. in 1996 while the Dodgers prevailed 3 games to 1 in the 2013 “quarters.”

Also the franchises met in an unscheduled playoff for the N.L. Pennant in 1959.

L.A,  which won that series in 2 straight games leads this “div” series two games to one, with game 4 today in Atlanta.

 

“Div” Series Update

Only the Yankees, who won (6-2) in game 2 last night in Boston, among the 4 division series road teams, won a game in the first eight played.

Their win last night made them (4-0) in game 2 of a post-season series vs the Red Sox, (5-0) counting the winner take all, last game of a 2 game series, the 1949 season final game, in which the great Vic Raschi and the Yankees prevailed, then proceeded to win a record 5 straight World Series.

The Yankees ended a 5 game losing streak vs Boston in post-season, their last win before last night also on a Saturday, a rout that gave them a (3-0) ALCS lead, Boston would overcome (the only baseball or basketball team to do so).

Elsewhere my 59/’59 series theory is very likely to manifest as the Dodgers and Milwaukee, now housing the Brewers as L.A. is facing the Braves, each lead (2-0).

The defending champion Astros flying under the radar (far from the days of Doug Rader, a good player), playing earlier, won the first two vs Cleveland.

 

A Current Film, “The Wife” Is Superb

A current film, “The Wife” based on the book by Meg Wolitzer, with Jane Anderson’s screenplay, is superb.

Glenn Close leads a fabulous cast that includes Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Elizabeth McGovern and Max Irons.

The film is a fascinating character study that effectively uses time, that inexorable mover, to reflect and comment on past mores and limitations, still so relevant today.

 

Julian Javier, A Fine Player

One of my favorite players from the 1960’s is Julian Javier.

He was an integral part of some excellent St. Louis Cardinals’ teams.

His best moment was getting the big hit to get the Cards going in game 7 of the 1967 World Series, played on the real Columbus Day, October 12th.

I seem to recall watching that game, meaning there was no school, thus feel pretty sure even on a Thursday, the real Columbus Day was celebrated.

 

 

Baseball “Quarters” Are Set To Begin

All four division series match ups have been determined.

Today the National League Series begin with the Colorado Rockies, this year as was the case in “same calendar” 2007, a victor in a one game must win, visiting the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves in L.A, to face the Dodgers.

Tomorrow the above referenced teams will meet in game 2 while the A.L. “div” series commence.

In those tilts, the Cleveland Indians visit Houston (Astros), while the New York Yankees meet the 108 win Red Sox, in Boston.

 

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, pictured above, in one of their many renditions of the classic routine “Who’s On First.”