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.
– via KMBC9
First of all, congratulations to the Kansas City Royals. They still haven’t lost in the playoffs (!) and their bullpen is the pitching equivalent of those old “murderers row” Yankees teams of the 1920s. Secondly, how awesome is Paul Rudd? My answer to the “what celebrity would you hang out with” question changes constantly, but Paul Rudd is always near the top of the list. He just seems like the most down to earth celebrity in the history of the world. Losing his voice at a baseball game cheering on his team, throwing a keg party at his mom’s house afterwards; living the American dream. The cool thing about different teams making to the World Series is you get to see what famous people root for them. Rudd was born and raised in KC, so it’s no surprise that he’s rooting for the Royals, but it’s still cool to see. The kegger he put on last night must have been one for the ages, and I’ll never forgive myself for not being there.