Desperate for a thoroughbred, the Red Sox stable looks empty again

Kristopher Nichols
October 9, 2017

After he'd already put together an MVP-worthy season, on Thursday, Altuve stepped to the plate in just the second postseason of his career and hit not one, not two, but three home runs to lead the Houston Astros over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS.

I bet checking the stats they both saw they were 0-4 in Game 1 and didn't take that in very well, so they took their anger out on the baseball and joined in on the beatdown of the Boston Red Sox in Game 2. Pitching was supposed to be a strength and the arms have failed, starting with the starters - Chris Sale (five innings, seven runs) and Drew Pomeranz (two innings, four runs). Farrell's Red Sox won the AL East the past two seasons, but a year ago lost eight of their final nine games then were swept three games in the ALDS by the Indians, the team giving Girardi so many problems.

After a four-game series at Fenway to finish the regular season, the Red Sox and Astros will meet again in the first round of the playoffs.

After clubbing his first two homers to left-center field, Altuve pushed the Houston lead to six runs with his blast to left in the seventh. He would throw two more shutout innings, giving Boston a chance to reverse their fortunes. Price and Porcello have pitched in relief, Price because elbow trouble limits his workload, and Porcello because his rough season (11-17, 4.65) has knocked him from the rotation's top three. Christian Vazquez went 2 for 3, while Mookie Betts and Chris Young each chipped in a double in the loss. Game 1 saw Houston win in a commanding way, with the final score 8-2. Carlos Correa led the charge by going 2 for 4 with a home run, a double and four RBIs. They did so with a well-balanced attack, with 10 players recording 50 or more RBI - just the fourth team in major league history to reach that mark - and eight players with 15 or more home runs. "We get to go out there and be kids and go play a game". Dallas Keuchel surrendered one earned run and struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings to get the win.

I said it heading into game two, that I thought Boston was done after Houston took Sale to the woodshed, and I'm not changing my tune here. He is 1-1 with an 8.53 ERA - three homers in 12 2/3 innings - at Fenway. Kudos to the Boston hitters, they didn't go down so easy as they made Keuchel work in a few at-bats.

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The Red Sox had to play with a sense of urgency to win the AL East throughout September (after leaving Yankee Stadium on Sept. 3) because the Yankees played so well. Those hinge largely on Doug Fister, the journeyman right-hander who lost to the Astros last Friday.

"I think the most impressive thing for me is that 1-25 on our roster are making contributions when they need to..."

Before the game, Farrell wouldn't rule out the possibility of bringing Sale back on three days' rest to start Game 4.

Justin Verlander is still on the mound for Houston and he gets the Red Sox in order, 3 up and 3 down. "Now we know how it feels to be there", he said on Wednesday.

After Jackie Bradley Jr. had an RBI single in the Boston second, the Astros started to break away.

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