Rangers, Astros Head to Game 7 of Tension-Filled ALCS

In the American League Championship Series, all eyes are on Game 7 between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros on Monday night. This match showcases the battle of two future Hall of Fame managers, Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker. On the pitching side, it’s the Rangers’ Max Scherzer against the Astros’ Cristian Javier.

After an intense Game 5 on Friday, which included a benches-clearing fight and the ejections of Baker and Houston pitcher Bryan Abreu, the Texas Rangers managed to extend the series by overpowering the Astros 9-2 in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park.

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“I think you should embrace all of it. That’s why you play the game,” expressed Bochy, the 68-year-old manager of the Rangers. Bochy, who has reached the World Series four times before, including three titles with the San Francisco Giants, is excited about the talent and potential of his current team.

The Astros, under the leadership of Baker, are aiming to make it to the World Series for the third consecutive year. Baker, now 74, won his first title as a manager last year when the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies.

Texas slugger Adolis García, who was involved in the on-field fight in Game 5, made a significant impact in Game 6 by hitting a ninth-inning grand slam. Garcia’s performance has been crucial for the Rangers throughout the series.

The Astros are facing a potential setback as pitcher Bryan Abreu has been suspended for two games by Major League Baseball. However, Abreu has appealed the suspension, and a final decision is expected before Game 7.

The Astros have struggled to win at home during this series, losing all their games at Minute Maid Park. However, they have excelled on the road, maintaining an impressive record away from home throughout the regular season and postseason.

The National League Championship Series, featuring the Philadelphia Phillies and the Arizona Diamondbacks, is also reaching its climax. The Phillies currently lead the series 3-2, and Game 6 is set to take place in Philadelphia, with Merrill Kelly pitching for the Diamondbacks and Aaron Nola for the Phillies.

If the Phillies advance to the World Series and face the Astros again, it will mark the first time in 46 years that the same two teams meet in back-to-back World Series. The last occurrence was between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 and 1978. Notably, Baker was the left fielder for the Dodgers in both those series.

Despite the potential matchup, the Phillies remain focused on their current opponent, the Diamondbacks, as they aim to close out the series in Game 6.

The World Series schedule will be determined in the coming days, depending on which teams advance. There are multiple scenarios, and no easy solution, according to Baker.

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