Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): Here’s the Astros’ post-mortem on the day after their elimination: after a big chance to win another title within their contention cycle, things don’t get easier from here. Gerrit Cole likely leaves in free agency, and they still have no long-term solution behind the plate; they are also starting to experience a dearth of talent in the high minors. If this was their last, right-under-their-noses chance for a title, that would really be something.
The Ringer | Michael Baumann: After years of solid managerial decisions, AJ Hinch made a head-scratcher to end the season. First he pulled Zack Greinke early, leading to the Howie Kendrick go-ahead home run. Then with the game still on the line he left Gerrit Cole sitting on the bench, waiting for a potential lead in a clean inning that would never arrive, and it would possibly be the last time they’d even have Cole at their disposal. They don’t necessarily win anyway, but it was a puzzling call in an elimination game.
The Athletic | Rustin Dodd ($): The Nationals were trailing in multiple winner-take-all games this postseason, and took the lead in all three of them. It firmly cemented Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick as DC sports icons, and it also reinforced the legacy of Max Scherzer.