Published: Mon, October 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Astros come alive late to topple Red Sox in ALCS Game 1

Astros come alive late to topple Red Sox in ALCS Game 1

But the Red Sox ugly performance in Game 1 of this year's ALCS against the Astros on Saturday night had nothing to do with the Sox' lack of focus or ability to handle pressure, manager Alex Cora said Sunday.

Cora was ejected following Andrew Benintendi striking out looking with runners on second and third with two outs to end the fifth inning.

So to recap: four walks, a game-tying wild pitch, a manager ejection, a possibly intentional hit by pitch, a bad error on a routine play, lots of disputed strike calls, and three runs scored across two half-innings that took close to an hour to play in full.

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In a series where the Red Sox need to find some semblance of hardball perfection to keep their dream season alive, the opening game of the American League Championship playoff was anything but ideal. In this one, David Price goes for the Red Sox, and he'll be opposed by Gerrit Cole of the Astros.

Running away with this one late in the game will only add to their swagger in the short turnaround before Sunday night's Game 2 and their favoured status has only been enhanced by the result of Game 1. "They got [Ryan] Pressly in the bullpen".

On the other side, when the Red Sox tied it up with two of their own off Verlander in the fifth, it was a similar breakdown in command from the starter.

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He wasn't wrong as the Red Sox had next to no offence (just three hits), were sloppy defensively (sound familiar, Jays fans?) and saw pitchers combined to allow 10 walks and hit three batters. Most likely Verlander comes out of the game. Later in the ninth, first baseman Yuli Gurriel belted a three-run shot and the rout was on. I'd say the same if it was A.J. Hinch.

Many in Boston's vociferous media chattering class called for Price to be pulled from the rotation and wondered why a guy with such a bummer of a playoff history was given the start in the first place. Sale gave up two runs, one hit, four walks and a hit batter, and his average fastball velocity of 92 miles per hour was down 3 miles per hour from the Division Series.

Both starters - and in particular Sale - struggled at times with walks, errors and hit batsmen with what was certainly a freakish four hour, three minute opening to the highly anticipated series. "They pitched their way out of it, but we didn't hit our way into it".

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The Red Sox offense didn't show up either. "So for him to tell me before we even took our jerseys off to put on our postseason shirts that we get when we win, that was special".

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