Belief isn’t enough, except to the Astros

The Astros celebrate after putting the Red Sox to bed for the season Monday . . .

The Astros celebrate after putting the Red Sox to bed for the season Monday . . .

For a few moments it looked as though Astros manager A.J. Hinch made a big mistake in the bottom of the fifth in Fenway Park Monday. With one out and one on for the Red Sox, he brought in Justin Verlander, his Game One starter and winner—who’d never thrown an inning of relief in his life until now.

Later, in the bottom of the ninth, it looked like Hinch made a mistake asking closer Ken Giles for a six-out save when Red Sox rookie Rafael Devers stepped up to the plate to lead off.

Deadline lines

The White Sox swear they're not looking to move Sale but in baseball (thanks, Joaquin!) and at trade deadlines there's just one word---you never know.

The White Sox swear they’re not looking to move Sale but in baseball and at trade deadlines there’s just one word—you never know. (Thanks, Joaquin!)

Who’s going? Who’s coming? Who’s buying? Who’s selling? Good questions. A few prospective answers . . .

* SALE OF THE DECADE? Not necessarily having to do with his tailoring misadventures of almost a week and a half ago, Chris Sale continues drawing big enough interest from the Dodgers, the Rangers, and the Red Sox. They have the prospects the White Sox seem most to want in any such deal; it may come to whose prospects entice them most.

Want to beat the Braves? Easy. Just get them P.O.ed.

Gomez and McCann dance . . .

Gomez and McCann dance . . .

Dig a little further into just what transpired between Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and practically the entire Atlanta Braves team Wednesday night. The deeper you dig, the more you begin to get the impression that the Braves’ idea of enforcing proper field decorum is to look even more stupid than the enemy offender does.

And you may also have fallen upon a big key to beating the Braves out of the postseason in the early going, too. Get them rattled enough over actual or alleged infractions against the unwritten rules, actual or alleged, and they’re yours. Just make sure you don’t get any of your players hurt.

Chipper Agonistes

The look says it all, after the double play opening throw that sailed away . . .

The greats don’t always get to choose the manner in which they leave the game. But whatever you believe about instant or at least same-day karma, Chipper Jones surely deserves better than to have his Hall of Fame-in-waiting career end like this.

His own throwing error, opening an unwanted door to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League’s first-ever wild card game; his own Atlanta Braves victimised by a soft fly to the shallow outfield ruled an infield fly when the Braves might have loaded the late-tying runs on base.