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#pounditMonday, July 4, 2022

Articles tagged: MLB Playoffs 2018

Report: Manny Machado is turning off potential suitors

Manny Machado

What should have been a postseason opportunity to show off on a big stage has turned out to be quite the opposite for Manny Machado.

The Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop has been criticized for a lack of effort at times, despite the fact that he’s set to become a free agent after the season. While he’s still very likely to get a massive payday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Saturday that the issues he’s created for himself could definitely have an impact on the number of suitors, and has raised concern among some teams.

Machado pimped what turned out to be a single in Game 3, which may have cost him a base and was at the very least hugely embarrassing. It’s not the first issue with effort he’s had this postseason, and he’s openly admitted that he’s not a hustle guy. Add in the fact that he’s been accused of dirty play and he has some serious concerns heading into free agency that may scare some teams off and limit how expansive his market is.

Sale, Price, Porcello offered to start Game 4 for Red Sox

Rick Porcello

The Boston Red Sox certainly have a selfless group of starting pitchers.

An 18-inning marathon in Game 3 of the World Series left the team in a bind as to who would start Saturday’s Game 4, as scheduled starter Nate Eovaldi ended up throwing six innings of relief. It turns out that all three of Boston’s starting pitchers volunteered to start, including Game 3 starter Rick Porcello.

Porcello threw 61 pitches in Game 3, while Price would be pitching in the third consecutive game and starting his second in three. That was never going to happen, and the Red Sox need Sale for Game 5, so all three were turned down in favor of Eduardo Rodriguez.

The Red Sox have used their starters somewhat unconventionally this postseason. There’s a limit to just how much they’ll risk with their regular starters, though.

Manny Machado responds to sign-stealing allegations

Manny Machado

Manny Machado’s antics have been one of the dominant storylines of this year’s playoffs, and now he’s taking time to respond to the latest controversy.

The Los Angeles Dodgers infielder was the target of the Boston Red Sox’s ire this week when Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie said that he saw Machado relaying signs to hitters from second base during Game 2 of the World Series.

Speaking with the media on Saturday prior to Game 4 of the series, Machado addressed the allegations.

“Always. People always have to say something,” said the four-time All-Star, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. “I’ll play ball and that’s all I can do. Play for my team. That’s it.”

To be clear, Machado’s alleged tactics are not against the rules — sign-stealing is an accepted and time-honored piece of baseball gamesmanship, just as long as it is not aided by video technology or anything similar. However, for a player who continues to rub people the wrong way this postseason, it is inevitable that such behavior by him would attract some extra scrutiny.

Manny Machado owns up to ’embarrassing’ baserunning mistake

Manny Machado
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado made himself look quite silly during Game 3 of the World Series, but at least he owned up to it.

Machado hit a ball off the wall in the 6th inning of Game 3, but only ended up on first after admiring it a little bit too much. Some critics said the play loomed large, as they felt Machado could have been in scoring position with two outs in what was a 1-0 game at that point.

Machado disagreed with the latter assertion, but admitted he was embarrassed by the fact that it happened.

“That was very, very, very, very poor baserunning by me,” Machado said, via Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “I probably wasn’t going to be on second base, but very embarrassing.”

Machado has openly admitted he doesn’t like to hustle, but this wasn’t so much a lack of hustle as it was simply admiring a fly ball that wasn’t hit far enough to be admired. It’s another chapter in a postseason that hasn’t done much for his reputation.

Max Muncy ends longest World Series game in history with walk-off home run

Max Muncy Dodgers

Max Muncy ended Game 3 of the World Series after seven hours and 20 minutes with a walk-off home run to left-center field to win the game 3-2 in the 18th inning.

Muncy nearly missed hitting a walk-off home run in the 15th inning when his ball hooked to the right of the foul pole. He later struck out against Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.

This time around, Muncy knew Eovaldi would threw him a backdoor cutter, and he sent it over the fence in left-center to win the game.

The victory was the first of the series for the Dodgers, who now trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The big story moving forward is what happens to the pitching for either side. Boston used David Price out of the bullpen as well as Eduardo Rodriguez. Eovaldi is also spent for a while. The Dodgers are in better shape as they only used one starter — Walker Buehler — and no other pitcher went longer than two innings. This game could be a series-changer.

Dodgers give Red Sox tie-breaking run on Little League play

Dodgers first base

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a meltdown in the 13th inning of Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night and handed the Boston Red Sox a tie-breaking run on a Little League play.

Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander walked Brock Holt to lead off the inning. He then put a pitch in the dirt that allowed Holt to take second. As if that weren’t bad enough, Eduardo Nunez hit a dribbler that Alexander fielded and tried to toss to first. Alexander’s toss was high, while Enrique Hernandez slipped on the bag. The combination allowed Nunez to reach first safely while Holt scored from second.

Alexander was not on the NLCS roster and had only pitched 1.1 postseason innings prior to Game 3. The team falling apart and allowing the Red Sox to take a 2-1 lead in the extra-innings game was costly. After playing such a good game for 12 innings, allowing things to fall apart so late was a real gut-punch.

Jackie Bradley Jr ties Game 3 with two-out solo home run

Jackie Bradley Jr grand slam

Jackie Bradley Jr continues to deliver in the postseason for the Boston Red Sox, and he continues to do it with two outs.

Bradley hit a solo home run off of Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night. The homer came in the top of the 8th with a 2-0 count and two outs.

Bradley now has 10 RBIs in the postseason this year, all with two outs. He had three big hits in the ALCS against the Astros in Games 3-5, knocking in nine runs on the hits. He has been coming up huge for the Red Sox.

Watch: Joc Pederson hits solo home run in Game 3

Joc Pederson chest

Joc Pederson got the scoring started in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night with a solo home run in the third.

Pederson was batting with two outs in the bottom of the third inning against Boston Red Sox starter Rick Porcello. He took a hanging changeup and blasted it into the right field bullpen.

That was Pederson’s second home run of the postseason after he hit 25 in the regular season. Justin Turner followed things up with a double, though the Dodgers did not score any more runs in the inning.

The Red Sox lead the series 2-0.

Alex Cora brushes off talk of Manny Machado sign-stealing

Alex Cora

The Boston Red Sox aren’t allowing themselves to be distracted by their own allegations that Manny Machado stole signs.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was brisk in dismissing that line of questioning on Friday, directing the questions to Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie, who originally brought up the allegations.

It’s worth noting that LeVangie himself was not too terribly concerned about the sign theft, if it indeed was happening. Cora sounds like he really wants nothing to do with it.

Sign theft has been a major storyline in these playoffs thanks largely to the Houston Astros. This didn’t involve any video or anything like that, so it doesn’t really seem to be a huge deal to anyone involved.

Manny Machado sign stealing during World Series is not illegal

Manny Machado

The Boston Red Sox say they caught Manny Machado stealing their signs when he was on second base during Game 2 of the World Series, but that does not mean the Los Angeles Dodgers star was doing anything wrong.

Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie told Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller that he noticed Machado relaying signs from second base to hitters in the fourth inning on Wednesday night. After David Price struck out Enrique Hernandez on a nine-pitch at-bat, LeVangie chose not to visit the mound to tell Price about it because he didn’t want to break his momentum.

The next batter, Yasiel Puig, swung at the first pitch and singled to center, driving in a run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. LeVangie said he regretted not going to the mound sooner after Machado was clearly seen using hand signals to relay signs to the hitter. Some will accuse Machado of shady antics, but LeVangie was quick to point out that the slugger did nothing illegal.

“Oh, it’s clean,” he said. “It’s baseball. If you’re not hiding your stuff with a runner on second base and you’re giving them a free view, that’s on you, the pitcher and the catcher. It’s up to the pitcher and catcher to manage that and to us to oversee it and make sure we’re going about it the right way.”

In this particular context, “stealing” probably carries the wrong connotation. Machado was basically taking what Price and Boston catcher Christian Vazquez were giving him, and there’s no rule against what he was doing.

Of course, the Milwaukee Brewers were reportedly concerned that the Dodgers were using illegal methods to steal their signs during the NLCS. That would be a different story, but there is no evidence of that having happened during Game 2.

Machado’s reputation has taken a hit during the postseason with the dirty play he committed against Milwaukee, so it’s no surprise he’s being accused of cheating in the World Series. That doesn’t mean he was.