What do we have here, Yankees fans? A little spice in the ALDS matchup that most people probably ignored in favor of the incredible bounces and heaping BS currently happening at Fenway Park?
A little salt in the midwest between two teams that I’m being told…played in the 2005 World Series? In the days when “Astros cheating” referred only to whatever pig parts Roger Clemens was injecting? We don’t hate it!
When the Houston Astros took the first two games in H-Town last week, the 2021 ALDS appeared to be over. The Chicago White Sox had given it their best shot, but every single well-placed changeup or solidly-executed breaking pitch seemed to be spat on by the Astros batters. Is what it is. They were simply all over Chicago pitching.
Then, a funny thing happened when the series shifted to the South Side on Sunday night: Houston started whiffing.
All season long, Houston’s contact rate has been supreme, outranking the rest of baseball by the same suspicious margin they held back in 2017, a season now marked by confirmed cheating.
And now, we’ve got a playoff small sample size that’s led reliever Ryan Tepera to speak out in the wake of Game 3, which might’ve shifted the tides.
In the first two games of this series, Houston swung and missed a combined 32 times. In Game 3? 22 times, with a remarkable 16 strikeouts. That caught Tepera’s eye.
Yankees fans will love White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera accusing the Astros of cheating again.
As Yankees Twitter rages on about whether or not the Bombers should sign Correa, we vastly prefer this type of discourse.
See, Houston, this is what you’ve earned. Absolutely zero leeway. You don’t get to complain about the unfairness of “unfounded” cheating allegations after you were proven to have cheated in 2017, refused to explain any number of bizarre behaviors in the years that followed, and kept a core of unpunished players through the current season. Alex Bregman was never dinged. Carlos Correa didn’t have a scratch on him. Why wouldn’t they continue to innovate?
Not saying they have. But Ryan Tepera’s saying they might’ve. And the city of Houston, and the franchise that resides within it, simply have to take their lumps.
Like, for instance, Yasmani Grandal running out of the base line on purpose to knock a throw around the infield with his shoulder.
Odds are Tepera’s White Sox will go down relatively quietly in Game 4 — or, at the very least, Game 5 back in the way-too-friendly confines of Minute Maid Park. After all, this was a 5-1 game in the Astros’ favor early before things started to go haywire. We’ll have to adjust to the reality of a Red Sox-Astros ALCS soon enough, where Alex Cora will get a chance to swap secrets with his old friends, potentially neutralizing any advantage yet again.
But, for now, let’s just enjoy the White Sox saying what everybody’s thinking, because this same band of Astros hasn’t earned a bit of our trust.