Red Sox Concerns Fade as They Roll Into the World Series

Red Sox Concerns Fade as They Roll Into the World Series

Red Sox Concerns Fade as They Roll Into the World Series

Belichick's assessment of the Red Sox was spot on. But tread lightly if you plan to suggest the Red Sox will fall short of their ultimate goal.

Here are the winners and losers from Boston's ALCS victory over the Astros.

Manager Alex Cora, on his 43rd birthday, kept the faith in Kimbrel - something very few fans, myself included, were able to do - and he delivered in the ninth. It was a postseason that included the growing legend of playoff George Springer, one-legged Jose Altuve and the return of Mar-win Gonzales.

Correa got better late in the series and had three hits in Game 4 but admitted before the series that his back hurt so bad sometimes that it was hard to walk. Wearing goggles and championship gear, the team saluted the first manager from Puerto Rico to take a team to the World Series.

Two key moments swung this series entirely and Osuna is responsible for one of them. In the postseason he had posted a career 3.17 ERA in 11 1/3 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts.

Justin Verlander took the loss for the Astros, allowing four earned runs over six innings.

Any fan that catches a home run from an opponent is encouraged by others in attendance to throw it back on the field in a salty act of defiance.

Most everything went right for the Red Sox as they sailed into the World Series.

Can the Astros keep their season alive? It's his teammates' fault for not backing him up - at all - at the plate. Right-hander Ryan Pressly, who hadn't allowed a run since August 10, gave up a critical one in the seventh inning of Game 4. And then they started getting more outs.

Boston's bullpen entered the postseason with lingering skepticism about its ability to hold a lead.

Fans witnessed a complete reversal of fortune in the ALCS. That was very, very special, absolutely.

In assessing some of those failures, the Astros justifiably gave credit to the Red Sox's lineup.

What the ump says: "Here's the whole play", says Joe West.

The Boston Red Sox owe umpire Chris Guccione a thank you for the assist on JD Martinez's home run in Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday. Prominent umpires blowing critical calls on national television is becoming a recurring issue and Major League Baseball must address it this offseason.

The culture he's helped create has Boston in its fourth World Series since 2004.

"I don't listen too much to what's going on outside, but that one got me", said Cora, who worked in the media as an ESPN analyst from 2013-16.

Houston got on the board in the seventh inning on a solo home run by Marwin Gonzalez off Matt Barnes.

Once a long shot to make the roster out of spring training, Brasier is now the most trusted reliever for a team heading to the World Series.

Houston's rotation was expected to carry them in this series, but it proved to be quite the problem.

It was a year where Bregman led Houston's offense by posting career highs in batting average (.286), homers (31), RBIs (103) and doubles (51), while Altuve struggled for most of the second half with right knee injury.

There's just no excuse for this poor performance. In Verlander's starts at home it was even worse as Houston scored 3.84 runs per game.

David Price, at last, looked like a postseason ace.

On just three days of rest, Price was completely dominant for the Sox on the road. When nearly everyone doubted Price had the ability to succeed in the postseason, it was Cora who continued to support and believe in him.

So who wins every playoff game?

One way to avoid having signs stolen is for the catcher and pitcher to have a private meeting - but mound visits were slowing the game so much that baseball put a limit on them. The problem is Boston outfielder Mookie Betts also was trying to catch it. Once he got on base, the Red Sox would retire the hitters behind him. That one K? Bregman. The timely hits just never dropped and it made all the difference.

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