Nationals continue to roll
The ALCS between the Yankees and Astros looks to be a potential classic, which is good because the NLCS appears to be a total bust. After both Division Series on the National League side of the bracket went the full five games with upsets occurring in each, the Championship Series is all Nationals. Behind great pitching, Washington took a commanding 2-0 lead before even playing a home game, leaving the Cardinals with their backs against the wall for Game Three. That wouldn’t matter, though, because they ran into Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals righty was utterly dominant yet again, allowing just a single unearned run over seven innings on seven hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts. There was no need for any drama from Washington’s shaky bullpen after Strasburg was lifted, either, as the offense had already built a substantial lead. Behind another a huge game from Howie Kendrick, the Nats had a 7-0 lead by the time the seventh inning even started and ended up cruising to an 8-1 win. They are now a win away from clinching this thing, which they can do on Tuesday with Patrick Corbin going up against Dakota Hudson at 8:05 PM ET.
Sox Spin: There’s a couple of things to mention here, both of which I’ve discussed before so I’ll keep it quick. First, presumably most Red Sox fans are rooting for the National League representative in the World Series regardless of who moves on from the AL side. That number will be basically 100 percent if the Yankees win. Thus, it is good in that sense for the Nationals to get this series done quickly and allow themselves both rest and an opportunity to set their rotation up however they want. Second, Strasburg is just giving himself more money with each of these starts and is now almost certainly going to opt out. This means that there’s a decent chance of the righty in pinstripes. which I hate a whole lot.
Andrew Friedman gets new contract in L.A.
After the latest disappointing end to their season, there was some speculation that it was time for a shake-up in Los Angeles. Red Sox fans are familiar, of course, with the idea that when things begin to stagnate it is time for big changes. Those could still be coming, but it won’t be in the front office nor the dugout. Andrew Friedman, whose contract ended after the 2019 season, is coming back on a new deal. It makes sense as, for all of the team’s issues in October, there is no organization in baseball that has experienced more consistent success nor is there one set up for the same moving forward. He has built an absolute juggernaut, at least for the regular season.
Sox Spin: Obviously, the Red Sox have an opening at the top of their front office and Friedman was gaining momentum as a potential fit. It always seemed like a pie-in-the-sky possibility and like one of those times when Red Sox fans just assume everyone wants to be a part of this organization. It never really made sense to me that Friedman and the Dodgers were going to break up — I did think they might part ways with Roberts, but Friedman never seemed realistic — and sure enough it wasn’t. Now we can move to options with more than a five percent chance of coming to fruition.