ALDS Game 1 Recap: Sale Gets Rocked
After all the hype Chris Sale was getting, after he said he’s ready to throw his arm off, he goes out and throws a dud. Did he have a case of bad nerves before his first ever postseason start? Perhaps, but that’s no excuse for a pitcher with the talent he has. In all honesty, I was expecting him and Justin Verlander to go head to head and both throw gems. Instead, neither pitcher was at their best, especially Sale. The lefty opened his outing by striking out George Springer. Great, I thought, right? Nope, because Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve proceeded to smack back to back solo shots and give the Astros an early two-run lead. He would settle down a bit after that by tossing two scoreless innings, but the game got away in the fourth. A Marwin Gonzalez 2 RBI double with two outs scored two more runs, which actually untied the game at that point. Next inning, after recording the first two outs via the K, Jose Altuve took Sale deep for the second time, inflating the lead to three runs. That should have been Sale’s last inning, but he was brought back out for the sixth inning for some reason.
A leadoff double followed by a walk, led to John Farrell going into the bullpen earlier than he probably wanted to, but Joe Kelly was called on to try and get out of the sixth. Instead, he did the opposite by loading the bases and allowing two more runs to cross the plate on a Brian McCann single. He retired the side after that, and that made way for rookie Austin Maddox’s postseason debut.
Personally, I thought this spot should have belonged to Brandon Workman, but I’m not the manager. He was greeted by Jose Altuve, who took the newcomer deep for his THIRD long ball of the game, joining the likes of Reggie Jackson, Adrian Beltre, and Babe Ruth to name a few, as the only players to do so in a postseason game. In any other circumstance, I would have loved watching this.
Altuve is definitely one of my favorite players to watch, it’s just too bad he did this against the Red Sox. Almost forgot to mention this, but, Rick Porcello pitched in this game. Yeah, 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello pitched the ninth inning of a 8-2 game his team was losing in. That is quite the fall from grace.
On the other side of things, this game could not have started in a worse fashion. I’m not talking about Chris Sale, I’m talking about Eduardo Nunez. From all the reports this past week, it looked like Eduardo Nunez was going to be healthy enough to play in this series, thus he was put in at DH for Game 1. Well, he could not even run out a ground ball, and he was taken out of the game. See below:
Eduardo Nunez tweaked something immediately after swinging, had to be carried off the field pic.twitter.com/ovtIQEoamk
— Ozzie (@OzzieStern) October 5, 2017
That was ultimately a sign of what was to come for the Red Sox, and it was not good. The lone positive from this game is from when they tied things up at two in the fourth. Sandy Leon drove in the first run in the second on an RBI single, and Rafael Devers drove in the second run on a sac fly to right, scoring Mitch Moreland from third. That was all the scoring they could do, and that’s not going to get it done against a team as good as the Astros.
If the Red Sox can win today and head home with a split, I’ll take it. But, if they drop Game 2, the series is essentially over. I believe in Drew Pomeranz, which is the crazy part. The Red Sox Offense needs to step it up, which could be tough against Dallas Keuchel.
0 down, 11 to go.
For more from Brendan and his take on the Red Sox click here.