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08 Octubre 2017, 08:51 | Gerardo Tarin
2017 American League Divisional Round Preview: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox
Boston's pitchers get a breather after being battered around by the Astros in the first two games of their ALDS, and almost all the arms need a rest in the Yankees-Indians series following Friday's extra-innings showdown.
Boston suffered a pair of 8-2 defeats down in Texas on Thursday and Friday, while the Yankees suffered heartbreak in Game 2 in Cleveland to fall into a deep hole against the defending American League champion. I'm so glad we took this break. The Astros winning this series would bring relief to the city of Houston as they recover from Hurricane Harvey. He surrendered nine hits and one walk and was charged with seven earned runs while striking out six. Things are different now.
Thursday marked the first day of baseball's Division Series, with two matchups between American League powers.
There were two outs in the fifth inning when Altuve connected again to push the lead to 5-2 and make him the third player in franchise history with a multihomer game in the postseason, joining Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran.
The last person to hit three home runs in one post-season game was Pablo Sandoval, who did it during the 2012 World Series. Squaring off against the risky Astros offense presents a hard challenge for the Red Sox pitchers. He responded with a 14-3 record in his next 24 starts, compiling a 2.85 ERA.
Doug Fister has been named as Boston's Game 3 starter, ending speculation on who would follow Game 2 starter Drew Pomeranz. The Red Soxsaid he had re-aggravated his knee injury and he was replaced by Hanley Ramirez. "We have to get through tomorrow first", he said, though it's presumed to be right-hander Rick Porcello.
Jose Altuve was the star for the Astros in Game 1 and the entire top of the order shone in Game 2 on Friday.
The Astros did score eight runs in Game 1, but a lot of that had to do with Altuve's three home runs. When this happened it was a weird situation because normally a team wants to win a clinching game to win the division title however in this case the Red Sox relied on the a Blue Jays losing to win and they backed into the playoffs.
Manager John Farrell likes Fister's experience and the way he's throwing the ball lately. In the eighth, Betts experienced discomfort in his left wrist after fouling off a pitch. It's only been done five times in total this millennium (Albert Pujols and Adrian Beltre are the others).
A home loss to the Astros on Sunday would mark the second consecutive ALDS sweep for the Red Sox. Fister has a 4.94 ERA in 54 2/3 innings. RHPs Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton outperformed McCullers as starters, thus McCullers could be used out of the bullpen.
The Astros have some numbers against Fister. In the 5th Jose Altuve picked up his 2nd home run on the day extending the already large lead to 5-2. Marwin Gonzalez is 0-for-7.
That starts with Bogaerts, who has led off the past two games and is 0 for 11.
The Stros matchup well with the Red Sox. The 28-year-old went 7-3 with a 3.19 ERA on the road this year and 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts against the Astros.
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But they acknowledged the sixth inning and offensive struggles contributed to them falling behind in the best-of-five series. Asked about his favorite all-time homer, Harper ignored his own and said, "Zim's ranks No. 1 for me". "We're a great team".
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