For a matchup of the two best teams in baseball, ALCS Game 1 was an unexpectedly messy affair. If this series goes to a sixth game, the Price will be lined up for one more shot at playoff redemption. "And at least Andrew stayed in the game and he had a few more at-bats and he played left field while I was watching in my office". Here are three thoughts on a rough game. He then allowed a double to George Springer and a single to Jose Altuve, which cut the Astros deficit to two. Betts then tallied an RBI single one frame later.
Sale ran into trouble with two outs in the second, and the Astros capitalized. "But once that happens, then you've got to reset and not relinquish the lead". Sale's third inning was scoreless, and he struck out two in a ideal fourth, seemingly regaining the feel on his slider.
"But you can't argue balls and strikes", he said.
In a rematch of last year's Division Series opener, when the Astros hit back-to-back homers in the first inning and pounded Sale for seven runs in all, Verlander improved to 13-2 in the AL playoffs. He flied out to right field on the next pitch. They needed Rick Porcello, their theoretical Game 3 starter, for an inning of relief Sunday night - he delivered a 1-2-3 eighth and punctuated an inning-ending strikeout with a couple of animated fist-pumps - which likely pushes him back to Game 4 and puts Nathan Eovaldi in line to start Game 3 against Houston's Dallas Keuchel.
Verlander cruised through the first four innings, throwing just 48 pitches and retiring 10 straight at one point while holding a 2-0 lead. Verlander gave up a hit, walked three, and wild-pitched in a run in the fifth and was lucky to get a call the helped him out of the inning.
Cole walked Devers on four pitches to load the bases and struck out Ian Kinsler on three pitches before Bradley lofted one down the left-field line and off the Monster. He slammed his shin guard, bat and helmet and had words with Hoye after the call.
Things got stranger in the top of the sixth.
Alex Bregman scored on Correa's hit after starting the inning by getting hit by Kelly's 100 miles per hour fastball. The Sox aren't keeling over in this series.
Kelly almost got out of the mess, getting Tyler White to pop up to second on a 3-1 pitch, then falling behind Marwin Gonzalez, 3-0, before striking him out swinging.
Alex Bregman scored the eventual winning run after he was smoked on the left elbow by a 100-mph fastball from Kelly. That erratic stretch of baseball ended up being both decisive and a microcosm for the night.
"I saw him smiling today, which is always good", Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said of Betts.
Aside from Houston's hitters, he may be the only one.