JD Martinez holds no grudge against Astros, who released him

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches play from the dugout during the seventh inning of Game 4 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday Oct. 9 2018 in New York. (AP

Most of the games will be in primetime but there is one exception that could trouble those of us who work the classic Monday-Friday, 9-5 schedule.

"None", Cora said on Friday, when asked about his apprenticeship under Houston skipper A.J. Hinch. "You try to flip the script and be better from it, and try to keep the momentum rolling forward".

"We're not happy now to stop here", Dave Dombrowski, Boston's president of baseball operations, said in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium after the Red Sox won the division series on Tuesday. But you shouldn't look past them, the Astros are really good. "It's a great attribute for these guys to continue to reach for it". But to really make his mark in franchise lore, Cora must do what predecessors such as Terry Francona and John Farrell did in their first seasons as Red Sox managers: win the World Series.

This will be the eighth time Sale and Verlander will faces each other as starters - and Verlander has the clear advantage over the first seven. Verlander has allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once since 2011 - he was roughed up in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series for Detroit against San Francisco.

Through his first two innings, Sale threw 50 pitches. The Yankees ace was lucky to get out of the third inning, down only 3-0, but for some reason, Boone had him remain in the game to pitch in the fourth.

Verlander beat the Indians in his team's Game 1, going 5 1/3 inning and allowing two runs on two hits, striking out seven and taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

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From Cy Young candidates such as Verlander and Game 2 starter Gerrit Cole, to MVP possibility Bregman (and the guy who won the award previous year, Jose Altuve) to a bullpen anchored by former Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna, the Astros are indeed a juggernaut.

Boston was 57-24 at Fenway Park this year, the best home record in the major leagues, and Sale has a 1.29 ERA and.199 opponents' batting average in his last eight home starts.

All season, Cora has affixed a photograph from each Red Sox victory to a wall in his office at Fenway Park. By the time the Yankees pitchers were finally able to record three outs in the inning, the Red Sox had jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Steve Pearce was always likely to start against left-handed CC Sabathia in Game 4, but Moreland missed out on a likely start against right-handed Luis Severino in Game 3.

In the Astros, Martinez faces the team that infamously released him in March, 2014, after failing to recognize the changes he had made in his swing. Martinez, like David Ortiz a decade before, was released, only to wind up a hero in Boston.

"I always believed he's going to be the player he is right now", said Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, the reigning AL MVP, who came up through the minors with Martinez.

Martinez landed with Detroit that season and by 2015 he was an All-Star, hitting 38 homers with 102 RBIs.



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