HOUSTON -- The planning began early last week.
Nearly a decade has passed since Jack Flaherty, Max Fried and Lucas Giolito teamed up at Harvard-Westlake, an uber-exclusive, highly regarded private school within Los Angeles. But they have grown closer ever since, bonding over the rigors of pitching at their sport's highest level. Now, at the onset of this World Series, a special opportunity awaited.
Fried was scheduled to start Game 2, an early indication that his next outing -- almost certainly Game 6 of this series -- might coincide with the chance to clinch a championship. When the Atlanta Braves dropped Game 5 at home to the Houston Astros on Sunday, sending them back to Houston with a three-games-to-two lead, the wheels were quickly set in motion. Before the night was over, Flaherty, Giolito and Matt LaCour, the coach of that celebrated Harvard-Westlake team from 2012, all had flights to Texas.
They'll all sit together at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, when Fried takes the mound with the hopes of delivering the Braves their first title in more than a quarter century.
"I'm definitely a little jealous," Giolito, now a central member of the Chicago White Sox's starting rotation, told ESPN on Monday. "But at the same time, I'm super pumped."