Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Red Sox came into the American League Championship Series with serious questions about their pitching and did nothing in Game 1 to quell concern. The Red Sox will try to bounce back and even the best-of-seven series at one win apiece when they host the Houston Astros in Game 2 on Sunday.
Boston is 3-3 in prior ALCS when they’ve lost Game 1.
Boston ace Chris Sale allowed just one hit but yielded two runs and walked four batters while needing 86 pitches to get through four innings before handing things over to a bullpen that proved to be overmatched. Red Sox pitchers issued 10 walks and hit three batters in the 7-2 setback, tying a franchise record for most free passes in a postseason game. The Astros were content to let Boston pitchers beat themselves before receiving a few key hits from the likes of George Springer, Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel to remain undefeated in the 2018 playoffs. The Red Sox will turn to another star pitcher with a less-than-stellar postseason resume when David Price attempts to record his first playoff win as a starter while going up against Houston All-Star Gerrit Cole on Sunday.
TV: 7:09 p.m. ET, TBS
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Gerrit Cole (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH David Price (0-1, 16.20)
Cole followed a fantastic first season in Houston by dominating in his lone start in the AL Division Series, registering 12 strikeouts over seven innings while allowing one run and three hits to defeat Cleveland. The former No. 1 overall pick by Pittsburgh, who went 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts against Boston during the regular season, is in the LCS for the first time in his career. “It’s exciting,” Cole told reporters. “It’s what you work really hard for and you dream about, you know, to come into situations like this. And when you’re doing it at this type of venue, with this type of history and this type of – I know what the atmosphere – I haven’t done it, but I have a feeling it’s going to be just like buzzing the whole time.”
Price could not make it through the second inning against the New York Yankees in the ALDS, as he was ripped for three runs on three hits – two homers – and a pair of walks en route to a loss. The former AL Cy Young Award winner did not allow a run in two relief appearances spanning 6 2/3 innings against Houston in the 2017 ALDS but is 0-9 with a 6.03 ERA in 10 career postseason starts. “It’s different baseball,” Price told reporters regarding the playoffs. “It is. It’s fun. I enjoy it. Haven’t been successful the way that I know I can be and will be, but I look forward to getting out there tomorrow.”
1. Red Sox MGR Alex Cora was ejected from Game 1 for arguing balls and strikes.
2. Houston 3B Alex Bregman is 5-for-10 with seven walks and seven runs scored this postseason.
3. Boston LH batters Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. combined to go 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts in the series opener.