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In time, the Red Sox will decide if Farrell is still the right man to lead them onto the field
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CHICAGO -- Dusty Baker called it “hero time,” and Washington Nationals Authentic Owa Odighizuwa Womens Jersey ace Max Scherzer was heroic. Still, the Chicago Cubs found a way to win. Prior to Game 3 of the NLDS, with the series tied 1-1 and Scherzer making his first start since he tweaked his hamstring in his final regular-season outing, Baker said it was hero time. Then the Nats skipper watched as his ace allowed just one hit over six-plus innings before leaving with a 1-0 lead. But it wasn’t enough, as Chicago found a way to claw its way back for a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the National League Division Series Ben Zobrist’s seventh-inning double knocked Scherzer out after 98 pitches. Then Albert Almora Jr.’s RBI single off reliever Sammy Solis tied it. Almora’s timely hit brought the Cubs even after they fell behind 1-0 thanks in part to Kyle Schwarber's fielding flub in the sixth inning, when he committed two errors on one play to allow Daniel Murphy to reach third with two outs. Murphy then scored the game’s first run when Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double. After that, it was a battle of the bullpens, with Chicago and skipper Joe Maddon getting the better end of it. Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis combined to pull a complete 180 from Game 2, in which the Cubs’ pen allowed five runs in the eighth inning, by holding the Nats scoreless over the final 3⅓ innings while allowing just one baserunner. The shutdown performance was punctuated by Edwards' striking out Bryce Harper, who hit a game-tying homer off the Cubs righty in Game 2. Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo’s bloop single in the bottom of the eighth off southpaw Oliver Perez -- brought in expressly for the purpose of retiring the Cubs’ lefty slugger -- scored pinch-runner Leonys Martin, who came into the game after Tommy La Stella led off the inning with a pinch-hit walk. That proved to be the winning run. With the victory, Chicago grabbed a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 on Tuesday. For Tanner Roark, the Nats’ scheduled Game 4 starter, now it’s really hero time. It's almost inevitable now. A season that began six months ago amid expectations of a championship ended in the rain Monday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox lost 5-4 to the Houston Astros in a thrilling Game 4 of the American League Division Series and were booted from the playoffs Dre Kirkpatrick Youth Jersey 10 victories shy of winning a World Series. And one of the first decisions that must be made is the fate of manager John Farrell. Farrell has guided the Red Sox to a World Series championship and three AL East titles (and two last-place finishes) in five seasons at the helm, and he is the only manager in franchise history to win back-to-back division crowns. But he's also entering the final year of his contract, and after the Sox were beaten soundly in consecutive AL Division Series, ownership and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski must decide if a new voice is needed in the manager's office. Farrell was ejected in the second inning of Monday's game for defending second baseman Dustin Pedroia during an argument of a called third strike. After the game, Farrell said he's "confident" that he's the right man to continue doing the job. But he also wasn't willing to engage in a discussion about his future. "We just walked off the field 10 minutes ago," Farrell said. "I know that we have got an opportunity to assess where we are as a team. I can't begin to talk about what the offseason plans are and what changes may be realized. But there's still a lot of good things that are going on here." Farrell dealt with several brush fires en route to the Red Sox winning 93 games and holding off the charging New York Yankees in the AL East. There were questions about his hold on the clubhouse, particularly after Pedroia appeared to take sides against his teammates during an April beanball war in Baltimore, and Farrell took heat for not to broadcaster Dennis Eckersley after ace lefty David Price humiliated the Hall of Famer during a tirade on the team plane. But in the aftermath of their season, several players spoke positively about Farrell while stopping short of openly lobbying for him to return. "He's done a great job," right fielder Mookie Betts said. "I know no [Red Sox] manager has won back-to-back [division] titles, so it shows he's done a great job in managing personalities and put us in a position to win. He listens to us and he talks with us. [It's] one of those dynamics that he fits well." Said ace lefty Chris Sale: "There's a lot of room for debate and would'ves and should'ves. He gave me every opportunity to succeed. I can say the same for everybody on this team."
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