Ex Packers boss to take over

Cowboys get their man at head coach, hiring Super Bowl winner McCarthy

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The Dallas Cowboys did not act quickly in deciding former head coach Jason Garrett's fate. The decision dragged out for nearly a week after the season.

They did, however, move quickly once the decision to fire Garrett was made.

The Cowboys on Monday named former Packers boss Mike McCarthy to be the new head coach in Dallas.

McCarthy sat out last season after being fired by the Green Bay Packers 12 games into the 2018 season.

Solid track record

In 13 seasons in Green Bay, McCarthy went 125-77-2 in the regular season for a .619 winning percentage. In the playoffs, he was 10-8 and the Packers won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season.

The Packers made the playoffs nine times in his 13 seasons, including three trips to the NFC Championship Game. Interestingly, he had a 7-3 record against the Cowboys.

The negatives

Things did not end well for McCarthy in Green Bay. The Packers went 7-9 in 2017 and were 4-7-1 in 2018 when he was let go with four games remaining in the season. He sparred with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the end of his tenure, and the Packers bounced back to go 13-3 in the year after McCarthy was let go.

An upgrade over Garrett

Still, his numbers tower over Garrett's. The former Cowboys coach was 85-67 over his 10 years in Dallas, making the playoffs just three times and going 2-3 in those appearances, never getting past the divisional round. Garrett had only one losing season, going 4-12 in 2015, but the Cowboys went just 8-8 this season in a year where they were expected to be Super Bowl contenders.

The bottom line

If McCarthy can replicate his successful seasons in Green Bay, Cowboys fans should be thrilled. However, if the Cowboys get the McCarthy who was run out of town after two losing seasons, the hire will be considered a failure. Odds are they will get good McCarthy, as sometimes teams just need a new voice after a long tenure. The Cowboys certainly needed that after 10 years with Garrett.

With McCarthy, they have that new voice. Whether or not it translates to new results remains to be seen, but the Cowboys have their man.

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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