BOSTON -- Despite the loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday night in the home schedule finale, Red Sox pitchers tied their season high with 14 strikeouts. The final 11 outs of the game came on strikeouts.It was the longest such streak by any team since the Marlins also struck out 11 in a row on Sept. 30, 2009 at Atlanta. The only other time the Sox accomplished that kind of a feat since 1961 was July 19, 2004 at Seattle, when they also struck out 11.The stretch started with Jon Lesters fourth strikeout, B.J. Upton for the second out of the sixth. Lester finished the game with five strikeouts in his six innings.He was followed to the mound by Clayton Mortensen, Rich Hill, Mark Melancon, and Craig Breslow. While the Rays were able to mix in five hits, a walk, and a run in that span, all the remaining outs were by strikeouts.Mortensen pitched to one batter, giving up a hit. Hill, two-thirds of an inning, Melancon 1 13, and Breslow, one inning, recording each of their outs on strikeouts.That information caught even catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia by surprise.I didnt really even pay attention, to be honest with you, he said.Just shows you want kind of stuff out pitchers got. They got any pitch they can throw at any time to strike guys out. Thats a credit to them and a credit to hard work.There have been very few silver linings to this season. But, that is one of them.
HOUSTON - Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.
Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.
Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.
Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.
Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.
Combined, they throttled the Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.
CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.
Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.
The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.
UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.
Alex Cora’s deal to manage #RedSox will be for three years, sources tell The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 21, 2017
BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.
A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal...
...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...
red sox offer offer manager job to alex cora; assuming contract is finalized, will be announced after houston's done https://t.co/xJauQjHvJi— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 21, 2017
have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said.
Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.
Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday.