Another big Boston sports doubleheader, another pair of wins.
The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead over the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night behind another stellar Game 3 start by Nathan Eovaldi. But it was the towering 8th-inning grand slam by Jackie Bradley Jr. — who also came through with the bases loaded in Game 2 — that broke the game open.
— MLB (@MLB) October 17, 2018
As the Sox closed out their 8-2 victory, the Celtics opened the NBA season with a commanding 105-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. While the game was marked by the returns of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving (who both struggled from the field), it was Jayson Tatum who led the team with 23 points.
Here’s the latest from the victorious night.
What exactly were the Astros up to?
The MLB says it’s launched an internal investigation following a report Tuesday night by Metro Boston that an Astros employee who had a small camera and was “texting frequently” had to be removed from the media-credentialed photo pit near the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park during Game 1 of the ALCS.
It turns out that, according to the Associated Press, the Cleveland Indians also complained to the MLB about about a man attempting to film their dugout during their American League Division Series against the Astros. While nothing has been proven, the reports have raised questions about potential cheating or sign-stealing. And as Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, who identified the Astros employee as Kyle McLaughlin, reported late Tuesday night it’s not the first time teams have suspected Houston of such improprieties. A source told Passan that the Indians even warned the Red Sox prior to the ALCS.
However, it appears Houston also had their suspicions.
An “industry source” told The Boston Globe‘s Alex Speier that the MLB’s investigation found that McLaughlin was trying to see if the Red Sox, who were fined last season for sign-stealing, were using dugout video monitors to steal signs from the Astros. The “spy vs spy” mission, as Speier characterized it, ended in the third inning after McLaughlin was removed from the photo pit. The source also told Speier that the behavior hadn’t provided a competitive advantage for the Astros.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora downplayed the incident Tuesday night, but both the MLB and the team have been taking extra precautions. According to Passan, the league beefed up its security presence before Game 3 and Red Sox players told Speier that they’ve been using multiple signs throughout the playoffs, making them harder for opponents to steal.
“Every club thinks the other club is cheating,” Passan’s source told him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday night that he hadn’t been briefed on the situation: “I’m worried about the game.”
Speaking of which, here’s the latest news out of Game 3 from Boston.com:
- What Alex Cora said about the MLB investigation into an Astros employee near the Red Sox dugout in Game 1
- Jackie Bradley Jr. turned the pitch he was looking for into a grand slam
- Watch David Ortiz react to Jackie Bradley Jr.’s grand slam
- What the Astros are saying about their Game 3 loss
- Houston Rockets stars are supporting the Astros against the Red Sox
- Alex Cora still unsure when Chris Sale will be available to pitch again
MLB Network’s Lauren Shehadi learns what Guerin Austin knows all too well: Always watch out for incoming Gatorade
What the… pic.twitter.com/kaifFEtqOl
— Lauren Shehadi (@LaurenShehadi) October 17, 2018
Joel Embiid says 76ers-Celtics is “not a rivalry”
Sixers center Joel Embiid may have a budding rivalry with Jayson Tatum, but the 24-year-old All-Star says 76ers-Celtics is anything but. And his reasoning is fair enough. “I don’t know our record against them, but it’s pretty bad,” he told reporters after Tuesday’s loss to Boston. “They always kick our ass. So this is not a rivalry.” [ESPN]
Danny Ainge knows there are high expectations for his team
With a healthy roster and the league’s top coaching, the Celtics should be a favorite to reach the Finals. But Danny Ainge, the team’s president of basketball operations, isn’t writing them in yet. “There’s some uncertainty whether we can reach our potential and reach the expectations,’’ he said. “I think that we all — our fans, our players, our coaches — have high expectations for us, and, with expectations, comes a much more difficult mental battle to overcome.” [Boston.com]
Was it actually a catch?
The filming incident wasn’t the only Red Sox-Astros controversy Tuesday. Astros left fielder Tony Kemp made what appeared to be an incredible leaping catch against the wall, robbing first basemen Steve Pearce of an extra-base hit. However, close-up replays showed that Kemp may have trapped the ball after it slightly glanced off the wall. The Red Sox challenged the play during the game, but the catch was upheld. For what it’s worth, Pearce only had nice things to say about Kemp’s grab after the game. [MassLive]
Tuukka Rask says he is still warming up
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask may be just 31 years old, but he’s sounding a bit like an old man after a somewhat slow start to the season. “Once you get older, the diesel doesn’t warm up that quick,” he told the Boston Herald. Rask’s save percentage through three starts is just .881, though that number is slightly skewed by the team’s 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitols in the season opener. [Boston Herald]
Highlight of the night: A very scary Terry block.
Rozier STUFF. pic.twitter.com/PBN0zods2f
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 17, 2018