Gonzalo Urgelles R. | @GnzaUrglls
CARACAS. Against all odds, and not for lack of talent or to detract from them, but rather to acknowledge what Whitelegs and Floridians have done throughout the season, the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros They liquidated their respective Divisional Series in four games, to advance to the next phase of the championship, where they will have to measure forces to define the monarch of the young circuit.
The Chicago White Sox, after giving a show of superiority in their division, by leading the group throughout the season and without much opposition, were absolutely neutralized by the sidereal team. Between the first two games, those led by Tony LaRussa combined to score – barely – five runs; they woke up for game three, in which they scored a dozen streaks, avoiding the sweep.
However, in the fourth confrontation they returned to their lethargy, stepping on the plate only once. In contrast, the white-legged rebellion of the third game seems to have awakened a Texas beast that had produced at half-speed, and that ended the series with ten runs in the last match.
José Altuve began with a slow pace, like locomotives, which always go from less to more. The maracayero only accumulated a pair of hits in 11 at-bats during the first three games, but for the final game he had a colossal performance, with three hits in five opportunities, a double, a home run, four runs scored and three RBIs … also – in case it were little – he stole a base … yes, he did it all.
The other games had different heroes, like Kyle Tucker who took it personal during games two and three, driving in a total of seven runs. Michael Brantley and Yordan Álvarez also applied the same trend as they did during the campaign, while Álex Bregman and Carlos Correa they begin to show signs of the extremely dangerous shovelers that they are.
And what about pitching, led by a Lance McCullers Jr. who handcuffed the Chisox slugger twice.
On the other side of the curb, we have the Red Sox, who put the brakes on the Rays where it really mattered. Tampa Bay could have been unbeatable throughout the regular season, but in the Playoffs – sooner or later – they get cold, they don’t believe the team they are and that ends up taking their toll.
Boston fell – due to a shutout – in the first game and many considered the series decided. The aggressive game of Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena, gave to believe it, but the red-legged had other plans.
With Kiké Hernández in a stellar plan, the Red Sox they deployed their entire offensive arsenal to tie the series in Game 2; With five homers, Álex Cora’s men hit the table and scored fourteen runs, to overwhelm the rival who found no way to react.
From then on, the two games that came – and the series itself – was for either of them, but it ended up being for the one who had the courage to take it. Hernández took the series to himself, being the main spark plug that gave life to the New England engine. Rafael Devers is called to wake up against Houston, and in the last game he showed signs of it.
It is also true that from the mound, Boston had an unexpected hero. In Game 3, when they needed him most, Nick Pivetta came out on relief duty and pitched four crucial innings for Boston’s aspirations.
Finally, Eduardo Rodríguez claimed responsibility for a first outing that took place, in which he also did not have the confidence of his manager, by only working 1.2 innings in which they made him two races. The Valencian came back for his own thing and pitched five innings, prescribed six batters and allowed a couple of runs.
Good baseball is coming, or so it should be, the two teams gave a demonstration of what they can and what they know how to do when they focus on what is happening on the field. The 2017 champion, the 2018 champion, two teams that were harshly questioned, one of them will play the World Series again.