4 keys to Astros-Red Sox ALDS Game 2

Lynette Rowe
October 9, 2017

Jose Altuve looks for another memorable performance as his Houston Astros vie for a 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon against the visiting Boston Red Sox.

Sale made his postseason debut on Thursday and it was one he will surely want to forget.

Astros starter Justin Verlander, meanwhile, kept the Red Sox in the ballpark and largely off-balance for six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Verlander draws the Boston Red Sox and their ace Chris Sale in game one of the best of five American League Division Series. But two of those comebacks - in 1999 and 2003 - have been turned in by the Red Sox, who also came back from 0-3 to win the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees.

Pomeranz won three of his last four decisions during the regular season and gave up fewer than two runs in three of his final four appearances.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel during the Astros batting practice at Minute Maid Park, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Houston, as they prepare to take on the Boston Red Sox in teh ALDS playoffs.

After his third home run left the yard, Altuve took a well deserved curtain call, taking in the praise of the Houston fans.

The upstarts in 2013 saw Jon Lester toss 15 1/3 innings of one-run ball in the World Series, and when his team needed it most, John Lackey came alive.

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Even though he beat Boston on September 28, it was still hard for him to fathom that he will face them in Game 3. Carlos Correa finished 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, two runs and four RBIs. Game 1 saw Houston win in a commanding way, with the final score 8-2. Following his exit, Houston tacked on four runs in the sixth. He became the ninth player in history-after the likes of Albert Pujols, George Brett and Babe Ruth-to hit three home runs in a playoff game, and he did not seem remotely cowed by the stage. "That's the good thing about our lineup, there's no holes in our lineup, and we feel very confident no matter if we went 0 for 4 the day before or if we went 4 for 4". With Verlander facing off against Sale in Game 1.

As for the much-talked-about edge that the Red Sox may have on the Astros in stealing bases, Keuchel said he's confident of his chances in that cat-and-mouse game to work things toward his strengths.

So much has changed in just four years, especially with Boston's offense. Can the Red Sox scratch and claw enough runs?

The pitching matchup is Boston's Doug Fister against Houston's Brad Peacock.

"We have got to do a little bit more consistent job", he said. Kluber went 2-0 during the regular season against NY, but didn't face slugger Aaron Judge, who was slumping both times the teams met. CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees - he spent eight seasons with the Indians, who drafted him in 1998 as a 17-year-old.

That starts with Bogaerts, who has led off the past two games and is 0 for 11.

We knew this going into it, but it was fun to see it borne out so quickly: Altuve is the best (and most fun) player in this series, if not the whole playoff field.

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