In the moment where it seems the Houston Astros were ready to be delivered their last rites, they found a way to keep hope alive.
Dusty Baker’s cool resolve was tested by Boston’s offense but he once again made sure his team’s confidence remained intact. The top of Dusty’s lineup — which had begun hibernating for the winter in the first three games of the series — woke up with a vengeance in Game 4 returning as the catalyst to their 9-2 win at Fenway Park.
MLBbro Michael Brantley broke the game open in the ninth inning with a bases-clearing hit.
Brantley swatted two more hits and the Astros offense kept pounding on the Red Sox pitching again in Game 5, leaving them staggered and heading back to Houston after a 9-1 victory.
Another Pennant For Dusty, Stros ?
The Astros are now in position to clinch their second pennant in three years on Friday at Minute Maid Park.
“That [game four] was a huge win,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “To tie that up, to guarantee us to go back home and have some more games at home.”
The Fabulous Baker Boys have erupted for 16 runs and 23 hits off a Boston staff that couldn’t get the final out of an inning for the last 10 in the bean. Houston’s 36 two-out runs were the most by a team through eight games in a single postseason. Fenway Park had been a house of horrors for the Astros until Tuesday night’s historic rally, but like their manager, they keep fighting back.
“I’m just glad that we didn’t quit,” Baker said. “Just a great job overall by the whole team.”
Dusty Baker is proving to be the Master Technician in this ALCS. The veteran manager and baseball lifer has given the middle finger to the metrics (letting his pitchers rock out) and relied on his decades of knowledge in leading the Houston Astros to a commanding 3-2 series lead over the Boston Red Sox.
Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros have fallen behind 8-0 and 9-0 in ALCS Games 2 and 3, since winning Game 1.
Astros pitchers carried a 3.63 ERA during the regular season. It’s ballooned to 17.18 this series.
What will Dusty do to wake up the bats and get some stronger pitching outings? Houston trails the series 2-1.
It looks like Tim Anderson will have to settle for personal achievements this season.
After overcoming a 4-run deficit Sunday night to force a Game 4, the Chicago White Sox gave their fans an ending more disappointing than the Sopranos Series Finale, getting wacked 10-1 by the Houston Astros.
The blowout loss was a harsh finish to a season which saw the Sox claim a division crown alongside Anderson’s emergence as a true superstar and franchise cornerstone.
Tim Anderson Remains The Spark
But like the White Sox have said all season; as Tim goes, they go.
Unfortunately, Anderson went 0-for-4 on Tuesday, and the White Sox were unable to recapture the same comeback magic they found Sunday night.
The White Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but the Astros once again battled back to take a 5-1 lead and would never trail again.
Houston overpowered the White Sox in every facet of the game, including at manager. Dusty Baker sonned his former rival Tony LaRussa all series, countering every move LaRussa had with a better of his own.
Both men have said the rivalry is behind them, but a beating like this seems personal.
As for Anderson, there is still plenty to be proud of this season. The White Sox won their first division championship in 13 years and appeared in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in team history.
TA7 Stepped It Up
Now TA7 will always be known as a hitter, but another aspect of his game that has drastically improved is his defense.
In 2019, the last full MLB season, Anderson had 26 errors and a .951 fielding percentage.
This season TA cut his errors down to 10, while raising his fielding percentage to .971.
Next Season Can’t Come Soon Enough
The White Sox came into this season with World Series aspirations and are leaving it with a rude awakening.
This team is young, exciting and full of talent. But when it comes to dethroning the heavyweights, there is still more to be done.
Dusty Baker now leads the head to head rivalry with Tony LaRussa 107-105 following Houston’s ALDS series win on Tuesday.