Red Sox ALDS Game 1 Recap: Everything Is On Fire
If you want to know how the Red Sox fared against the Houston Astros in game 1 of the ALDS yesterday afternoon, here’s the second batter of the game, Eduardo Nunez:
Things somehow got worse from there, as Chris Sale continued his mediocre/bad second half by giving up 7 runs in 5 innings including three home runs. Heading into this series it was clear Sale was going to be the game 1 starter, but he continues to look worn down. Former big league pitcher Jim Kaat was the analyst for yesterday’s game alongside the human asshole Bob Costas, and as much I hate to hear analysts say bad things about teams I love, his analysis was spot on. Sale looked like he had a dead arm, and almost every slider he threw had no snap to it, so he was forced to try and drag it across the plate. Sale can still throw 95-98 mph with his fastball, but he’s not going to beat a lineup as good as Houston’s without an effective slider. If this series goes 5 I have to imagine Sale pitches again, but after all the innings he’s already thrown this year, he’s no longer someone to rely on.
The Red Sox offense, which was eaten up by the Indians pitching staff last year, had another ineffective postseason game. Their base running woes, which have plagued them all season, came back to haunt them in the 2nd inning. With the Sox down 2-0 in the top of the 2nd, Sandy Leon singled to shallow right center field. Mitch Moreland was scoring easily from second, but Dustin Pedroia inexplicably tried to go 1st-3rd and was thrown out by 20 feet. Luckily Moreland was hustling and scored before Pedroia was out at 3rd, but it was a beyond stupid base running play that ended the inning. Verlander, who has always owned the Red Sox, cruised through the rest of the game and helped the Astros take a 1-0 series lead.
That’s the bad news. The good news? Game 2 is only a few hours away, and while Dallas Keuchel is no walk in the park, I’ll take him 7 days a week over Verlander. Plus, Drew Pomeranz is on the hill for the Sox, and he just threw 6 innings of 3 hit, 1 run ball against the Astros last Saturday. The Red Sox need to get going early, and give Pomeranz a lead to work with. As good as the Sox have played at Fenway this year, there’s no way they can head into Sunday down 0-2.