It was a bad day all around for the Red Sox. The top overall pick in the 2012 draft and crown jewel of Houston's years-long rebuilding project raised his hands in delight and motioned for the crowd to get louder as he stopped at second base. He's hitting.714 in the series.
Those who kept up with the Cy Young Award race (or who read Mike Axisa's recent piece) know that Sale struggled a bit down the stretch. The Astros can take a 2-0 series lead, looking for a sweep in Game 3.
The real question here is what Boston will do with its pitching.
The game: Faced with the unenviable task of scoring runs against Boston ace Chris Sale, the Astros quickly showed how hard it is for even an elite starter to shut down their league-best offense.
The Red Sox do have several great hitters on the team like Dustin Pedroia and Rafael Devers but the Red Sox have struggled hitting home runs all year which could pose as a serious problem when facing an offensive juggernaut like the Astros. But for the current Red Sox, it certainly feels like it, because another loss would move the Sox to the edge of winter without much of a whimper for the second year in a row, and this time the baseball world from Bangor to Baja won't be able to line up and blame David Price.
Boston manager John Farrell said the lingering effects of the previous issue would likely limit where Nunez could play in the field throughout the American League Division Series. (He actually looked pretty good in two innings Friday). This was also the case previous year with regards to the Red Sox clinching the division. He gets the Astros in order, 1-2-3. Instead, Sale's postseason debut-yes, really-didn't go according to the script: 5IP, 9H, 7R (all earned) and three home runs surrendered.
Altuve crushing the Red Sox is nothing new. Terry Francona made a decision to pitch him in game two and the Yankees will now try to get to a pitcher they have had a lot of trouble with so far this season. Then, with runners on first and third, no outs, and a 2-0 count in the bottom of the fourth, he swung at an eye-high fastball and popped out meekly to catcher Brian McCann. It is evident that his arm has been ailing him this September, as he has not finished the sixth inning in any of his last four starts. The Astros got a gift when Mookie Betts caught a fly ball to right and dropped it while trying to wind up a throw toward the plate. He gave up six extra-base hits for just the second time in his career, and had rarely allowed nine hits and seven runs in the same game; it had happened just three times before.
The Red Sox didn't have answers for any of Friday.
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