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Howie Kendrick gives the Washington Nationals the Word Series winning home run, scoring the World Series winning run.

World Series - Washington Nationals v Houston Astros - Game Seven Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

PLAYOFFS

For the first time ever, two Cy Young Award winners facing off in a Game 7............. Not that the local baseball fans in Houston cared very much about the historic opportunity............. Not that they are watching on TV, either............

We had a game where one of those CYA winners pitched like the shut-down ace we had been waiting to see all through the playoffs. Zack Greinke pitched masterfully, and fielded masterfully, going 6 solid innings of shut out ball, 1 hit and 1 walk. On the other side, Max Scherzer was walking the tightrope. He looked more like a Matt Shoemaker dancing through raindrops, with base hits and walks and more base hits and more walks, a solo home run and dodging bullets for his full 5 innings of work. 7 hits and 4 walks and 2 runs. Nationals manager Dave Martinez finally had to surrender against the chaos and suffer the necessity of a relief pitcher. He had to settle for Patrick Corbin.

HAnd that’s when the tides turned. When the bullpens came and took over. Martinez had a “bullpen” that consisted of the top Free Agent pitcher of the 2018-2019 class. Money well spent. manager AJ Hinch had a bullpen that started with Will Harris.

In the 7th inning Greinke lost his death grip on the Nationals. After getting Adam Eaton to ground out, Anthony Rendon broke through with a solo home run. Juan Soto came to bat and was pitched around, taking the walk. Hinch then handed the game to Harris??? Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you Howie Kendrick.

The game had flipped from 2-0 Houston to 3-2 Nationals, and Washington never looked back. As Hinch burned through Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Joe Smith and Jose Urquidy, the Nats just kept rolling. By the time we got to the bottom of the 9th, the score was 6-2 and Houston citizens were busy repainting themselves as Texans fans all along, throwing on their J.J. Watt jerseys (doh!).

And it isn’t it grand!? Martinez calls upon a guy who was cast off by the Angels brain trust in Tempe this spring, Daniel Hudson, to take over for the guy who the Angels traded away in 2010 for Dan Haren, in order to protect a victory that was first made possible by a guy the Angels allowed to walk after 2014, Howie Kendrick.

Hudson got George Springer to pop out, then KO’s Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley, and the Washington Nationals took the high road, both figuratively and literally, to become The Champions of Baseball. And they did it against a team that was an odds on favorite to sweep them. Congratulations, Washington.

Stephen Strasburg is your 2019 World Series MVP.

Mattress Mack has a real tough night of sleep tonight. But if anybody knows sleep, it would be Mattress Mack.

Here is the sweetness of misery, lovingly defined to ignore the first 5 innings of Abusetros fan happiness.


ANGELS - THE HAPPY STUFF (mostly)

No other franchise has a many all-league AFL guys (including runners-ups) as the LA Angels. That’s gotta count for something, right? Brandon Marsh was 1st team..............

($$) - “Data versus art,” Maddon said. “That’s what it comes down to for me.” Just what does Maddon’s history tell us about what the hell that is supposed to mean?............


MANAGERIAL MUSICAL CHAIRS

The Yankees are doing something revolutionary. They are not merely shuffling the deck chairs around the promenade of the S.S. SameOleShit. They are diving into the college ranks in search of a new pitching coach. Since college coaches are notorious for being shortsighted and burning up pitcher arms in order to exploit the short amount of time they have access to a top-level talent, this makes total sense..............


BASEBALL

Josh Hamilton, the ex Texas Ranger, was put under arrest again.....Early reports are that he went into a rage and physically assaulted one of his young daughters. He was bonded out on the extremely broad condition of not having anything to do with anyone under the age of 17. Hambone has a lawyer, who looks forward to his day in court where he shall demonstrate his complete innocence. Keith Olbermann will be right there at Hambone defense table in court, right? It’s only fair. That way both Hambone and Olberbone get to face the adolescent accuser...........

We had some tributes to a plate umpire calling balls and strikes in the most critical game of the entire season, who is known to be the best in the biz. In fact, Jim Wolf is so good he refuses to be punked by catcher pitch framing. Right now somebody - a few HH’ers and every single Abusetros fan - are reading this and going bonkers. Because, yeah, absolutely, plate umpire Jim Wolf had one of the most hilariously consistent bad zones I have looked into across the entire 2019 season, except he did his in a World Series Game 7. Abusetros fans will bark the most because they lost and need something to blame. In reality, however, any pitcher from either side who chose to come inside deep or pitch just below the knees was going to pick up some free strikes. It’s all there in the PITCHF/x data.............

The World Series can create false goats, while at the same time create true heroes. Timely heroes. Oh, by the way I am due for a raise kind of timely heroes. Taking full advantage of this timing was Stephen Strasburg. He was brilliant....And he may have made a legend of himself in the process.............But consider that Strasburg is the kind of tale that reinforces the power of proper scouting and proper coaching and proper training...........

The playoffs have had huge moments of umpiring controversy before, This year’s Trea Turner interference call merely being the latest. This one particular episode within that article rings forward to today: “1998 ALCS Game 2: Knoblauch argues a call mid-play”. Back then, the Nationals SS Trea Turner guy was Indians 3B Travis Fryman, the Houston 1B Yuli Gurriel role was played by Yankees 1B Chuck Knoblach, and Houston reliever Brad Peacock was played by Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson. But the important part is that today’s MLB mastermind Joe Torre arguing in favor of the accepting the umpire’s judgement call was played back then by Yankees mastermind Joe Torre arguing against accepting the umpire’s judgement call............Pretty sad when even the manager who gained from the call is calling bullshit on the call............

The BIG takeaway of Game 6 is that regardless of all the hundred of pages in the MLB rule book and all the decades of practical experience on hand to judge the game, an absolute shit show of event mismanagement could not be avoided..............

And for future consideration, know that bat carrying by Alex Bregman will not be tolerated going forward.....And know that bat carrying by Juan Soto will not be tolerated going forward..............

($$) - Doug Glanville actually played Major League Baseball. He once got called out by runners interference. He has had many years to ponder this rule. Over all those years he was predicting the very kind of farce we saw in Game 6. And after all those years of all that pondering he has come to the conclusion that the whole rule is bad. Bad policy, bad rule, bad default thinking by umpires. “The big problem with this rule is that it grants no right of way to the runner. None. That is why it is so incongruent with the game. The runner effectively has no right to be anywhere except in a running lane that is in foul territory. And even then, you have to avoid any fielder that needs to catch a ball, such as a pop-up. You are basically the ball boy.”............

Long ago, in December of 2010, Zack Greinke was a Kansas City Royal, and on the trade block. Greinke would move to Milwaukee for a year and a half before being moved to Anaheim in 2012. We know the rest: Jerry Dipoto, LA Dodgers, Josh Hamilton, blah blah blah. All that could have been averted back at the start, in 2010, had Greinke simply accepted a trade offer made to the Royals by...yep...the Washington Nationals...........

Greinke also has this on his resume: he pitched the first official full day of MLB games this decade, and he pitched the last.............

If it is true that MLB owners would rather send off their top players rather than risk having to pay them market rates - and this would be the Red Sox with Mookie Betts and the Cubs with Kris Bryant and the Indians with Francisco Lindor, and pretty much everything about the Pirates and the Marlins, to name but a few - then we have a strike coming. It’s one way for the Players Union to reset for their leadership mistakes over the past decade or so, and it’s a way to see if they can reset the entire salary market itself by denying labor until ownership concedes that they cannot sustain their desired revenue without that labor. Maybe that’s my offseason series this winter, to crowd-source among HH a new framework for equitable payroll?..........

It just will not stop happening to me. Ron Fairly has died. I watched Ron Fairly when he was a player. Rest In Peace, Ron..............I’d say that all these old guys dying around me is getting old, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?...........

Because streaming OOT business strategies are far from a sure thing, Sony pulls out................Pat Forde has a long and solid reputation for sports writing. Most recently he has been with Yahoo! Sports. Forde has decided to ignore the the chaos surrounding SportsIllustrated and join it..................

Deadspin fractures further as a sports content resource. A lot of their writers quit in support of Barry Petchesky. I would guess that if they are truly committed and capable, they will go find a safe haven at one of the many progressive political websites where their voices can withstand the challenge of informed debate and succeed, rather than “speaking truth to power” in between soccer scores and pro wrestling previews. (Full disclosure: those people have had an explicit ax to grind with people like me, who have the gall to do what I do simply because I enjoy it.).............