But this time, the series victor advances and the loser goes home. If the Red Sox can win both his starts, they only need to pick one more off.
They will send Drew Pomeranz for Game 2 tomorrow against former Cy Young Award victor, Dallas Kuchuel.
Boston's Chris Sale was the prize pitching acquisition of the offseason with the Sox nabbing him from the Chicago White Sox. Sale will start Game 1 and, presumably, a Game 5 if it goes that far. The Astros won four of seven games during the regular season, while the total went under four times.
"To start the sixth inning, we're in a spot where we would like to ideally stay left-handed in that part of the lineup, and after the double and then a walk, felt like we had to make a move at that point", Farrell said. He's one of the few players remaining who languished through a rebuilding process that led to three straight 100-loss seasons from 2011-13, and is perhaps the main reason this team ran away with the AL West title this year. He responded with a 14-3 record in his next 24 starts, compiling a 2.85 ERA. The Astros looked strong throughout the season, and arguably for periods were standing out as clearly the best team in the Major League Baseball, winning a massive 101 games this regular season. The 5-foot-6 star tries to boost the Astros in the best-of-five matchup when Dallas Keuchel faces Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros led the major leagues in just about every single offensive category. Taking sort of a myopic, yet calculated, look at Boston's path in the 2017 postseason, it's evident that we should be able to get off to a strong start against the Astros - much stronger than the start that we got off to past year.
The Sox found out last season exactly what a dominant bullpen can do in the postseason as Cleveland's Andrew Miller and Cody Allen completely owned the Boston lineup.
Altuve would grab another solo shot off of Sale in the fifth inning, and he'd tag Austin Maddox for his third and final solo home run in the seventh inning.
"He's not the kind of hitter that's gonna hit three homers in a game, but he did it today", Gonzalez said. He'd probably be limited to pinch-hitting duty since Ramirez will probably be locked into the DH slot from here on out and the outfield is set, but his bat would be a useful option off the bench for Farrell for the rest of the season.
Which team has the better chance of winning?On the flipside, Verlander has pitched a number of postseason games and is in peak mode right now as his September was just about as good as it gets. Rafael Devers and Sandy Leon each contributed an RBI, while Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts each had a pair of base hits with a double.
Our prediction: The Astros win this series.
Game one takes place Thursday, October 5th at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Altuve finished the 2017 regular season with a.346 average, a.410 on-base percentage and an OPS of.957. That's unlikely. But the offense should hit the ball an bad lot, and it should definitely be a fun series for Astros fans to watch.