Jose Altuve Flexes His Muscles and the Astros Flatten Chris Sale

Posted October 08, 2017

Altuve had three home runs alone in Game 1. Boston will need more from Dustin Pedroia, who went 0-for-3 with a walk on Thursday and was 3-for-36 to end the regular season while hampered by a lingering knee injury.

The Sox didn't do much in the sense of scoring, only able to score two runs in the entire game. "Thankfully, it's a day game, so I don't have to wait around all day for a night game to get out there". Keuchel will be facing Boston for the first time this year. The Astros and Red Sox start things off in Houston at 4 ET, followed by the Indians and Yankees at 7:30 in Cleveland.

It wasn't all gloom during the Boston Red Sox batting practice Saturday at Fenway Park. Alex Bregman also homered and Justin Verlander allowed two runs over six innings to improve to 7-0 since being acquired by Houston on August 31.

The Astros blasted three homers off Sale, tagged him for seven runs, and the Sox ace never gave his team a chance in an 8-2 loss. The time off between starts, he said, won't be a factor because of his previous playoff experience. They are young and don't have David Ortiz so it's going to be tough to win this best-of-five series.

Here are three takeaways from the Astros' Game 1 victory.

Bauer posted a 4.19 ERA in 2017, but he also went 17-9 thanks to going 8-1 with a 2.57 ERA over the last two months of the season. Sale, like Verlander, would also fall victim of a high pitch count through four innings, ending the fourth at 75 pitches.

What's most deflating for anyone hoping for something - anything - from this Red Sox team is that it appears to be a carbon copy of last year's postseason flameout.

Despite the Red Sox now in an 0-2 hole, there is still a small light at the end of the tunnel.

If the Red Sox do indeed suffer an ALDS sweep once again, then they will have gone four full seasons without winning a single playoff game.

Mookie Betts is the lineup, despite leaving Game 2 early with a sore wrist, and has no restrictions.

The Red Sox have lost five straight postseason games over two seasons and their starting pitchers - Sale, Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, David Price and Clay Buchholz - have worked a combined 18 2/3 innings, allowed nine homers and ran up an 11.09 ERA. Drew Pomeranz got the start, and he couldn't even record an out in the third inning. Backing into the playoffs this year would be trouble because that would mean that the Cleveland Indians would be their opponent for the second year in a row. Joe Musgrove will be the pitcher for the Astros trying to close out this game and he does just that, retiring all three Boston batters in order.

Austin Maddox on the mound for the Red Sox now.

Location: Fenway Park, Boston, Mass. The Yankees who homered with runners on base in that game were Hideki Matsui, who hit two, and Gary Sheffield. The Astros attempted to stage a comeback in the sixth inning after knocking Pomeranz out of the game and getting to reliever Carson Smith to make it a 5-2 game with no one out.