By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It’s always great for everybody involved when an athlete decides to step out of the boring cliches and decides to actually say something. It gives fans and media something to talk about, and it adds some different stakes to the competition on the field.
But the thing is, when you go out and show off equal parts arrogance and confidence in the middle of a major playoff series, you kind of have to back it up.
Alex Bregman didn’t really do that.
In case you forgot, the Astros’ third baseman posted a series of videos to his Instagram page between Games 2 and 3 of the ACLS. The videos showed the Astros hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs off Nathan Eovaldi, who would be starting Game 3 for Boston.
“Lil pregame video work,” Bregman wrote in an accompanying caption.
It was fun, some harmless trash talk. While some speculated that it might add extra motivation for the Red Sox, that seems hard to believe. The Boston Red Sox wanted to win the ALCS and reach the World Series, regardless of what Alex Bregman was posting on social media.
But for Bregman? Well, he had to live up to the image of pure swagger that he had just established by posting a Conor McGregor type of message on social media.
Eovaldi turned in a quality start and earned a win in Game 3, though Bregman went 2-for-2 with an RBI double and a walk off Eovaldi. Bregman lived up to his end of the bargain in Game 3.
But in Game 4, Houston manager A.J. Hinch moved Bregman up to the leadoff spot. Bregman responded by going 0-for-5, including a soft line-out with the bases loaded and the tying run on second base in the ninth inning to end the game. A hit there, and it’s almost certainly a different outcome in Game 4, and thus a different series. But there was no hit.
Then came Game 5. The Astros were facing elimination, having already lost twice on their home field. Bregman decided to stare down Andrew Benintendi before the game, apparently offering some “payback” for Benintendi’s diving catch to prevent the potential game-changing hit from the night before.
Fun? Weird? Serious? Joking? Who knows — but it happened. Then the game started.
Bregman flew out on David Price’s first pitch of the night.
Bregman then made a throwing error in the top of the second.
In the third, Bregman struck out against Price.
Leading off the sixth, trailing 4-0, Bregman flew out.
And then came the bottom of the eighth. With the Astros trailing 4-1, who did Bregman face but the one and only Nathan Eovaldi.
Eovaldi got ahead in the count 0-2, with two called strikes. Bregman fouled off a pitch before taking two balls to even the count at 2-2. Eovaldi then dialed up a 101 mph heater on the outer half.
David Price instructed Bregman, politely, to “post that.”
That concluded an 0-for-4 night for Bregman, who ended the series on an 0-for-10 stretch.
Considering he played an outstanding third base, and considering he reached base nine times in the five-game series, he likely wouldn’t be getting many fingers pointed at him after his Astros lost four straight games to end their season.
But when you put yourself out there as the braggadocious one, you have to deliver. If you don’t, you have to know what the consequences will be if you lose. And those consequences, in this case, are looking like a fool.
They also include tweets like this: