RECAP: Drew Pomeranz allows two home runs as #RedSox fall to Astros 8-2 again.

On a day they needed to bounce back in a big way, the Red Sox did just the opposite. Drew Pomeranz made his first career postseason start, and he was worse than Chris Sale on Thursday. Like Sale, he gave up a home run in the first inning, this one off the bat of Carlos Correa, and that gave the Astros an early 2-0 lead. Later in the third, the lefty allowed another two runs, the first coming from a George Springer solo shot, and the second run coming on a Jose Altuve RBI single. That would be all for Pomeranz, and the bullpen did not do anything to help in relief. Carson Smith introduced himself by walking the first two batters he faced, and the Astros easily could have scored off of Smith if it were not for Deven Marrero’s great catch at third. The best part of this game was David Price. The lefty came in after Smith and looked great in the 2.2 innings he pitched, only allowing one hit while walking Jose Altuve intentionally. When Price left the game though, that’s when things got away. Eduardo Rodriguez and Addison Reed combined to allow four runs on three hits and a walk in the sixth, and that put the final nail in the coffin for this game.

On the other side of things, the offense could only muster two runs for the second day in a row. Another Cy Young Award winner, Dallas Keuchel, held the Red Sox bats in check in the five and two-thirds innings he pitched. The only run they could score off of him looked meaningful at the time when Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Chris Young on an RBI single. That cut the lead in half, but the Red Sox could not capitalize on the early scoring opportunities that were presented to them. The only other scoring play came in the ninth on another Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single. So, at the very least, JBJ may be coming out of that slump he was in to end the regular season.

Doug Fister gets the ball tomorrow for Game 3 against Brad Peacock. Last time out against the Red Sox, Peacock only allowed two runs in five innings. With their backs against the wall, I expect to see some desperation out of this team with the best players in the lineup. Not Chris Young, not Deven Marrero, nope. Rafael Devers and Hanley Ramirez have to be in there. It sounds like Mookie Betts is okay after being removed from the game yesterday. They’re going to need the Doug Fister we saw in Cleveland back in August if they want to win this game. Should be interesting to say the least.

0 down, 11 to go.


RECAP: Chris Sale gets shelled as #RedSox drop Game 1 to Astros 8-2.

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 stinker. 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 mash 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 team, inflating the lead to three runs. That should have been Sale’s last inning, but he was brought back out for the sixth, 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 just 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 downfall from grace.

On the other side of things, this game could not have started in a worst 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:

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.

Drew Pomeranz gets the start tomorrow, and it really is do or die this early. If the Red Sox can win and head home with a split, I’ll take it. But, if they drop Game 2, the series is essentially over. I believe in Pomeranz too, which is the crazy part. Offense needs to sep it up too, which could be tough against Dallas Keuchel.

0 down, 11 to go. 

What I expect from the #RedSox in the ALDS.

With the regular season in the books, the Red Sox will head to Houston to kick off a five game series against the Astros on Thursday. With that in mind, I thought I’d give a preview of the series and what I expect from the Red Sox in the postseason.

Game 1: Thursday, 4:08 PM ET, Chris Sale vs. Justin Verlander

For the first time in his career, Chris Sale will be making a postseason start. And despite not having any experience, I have total trust in him. It’s hard not to when you record 308 strikeouts in a single season. He will be matched up against another horse, and one with playoff experience in Justin Verlander. Since being acquired by the Astros on September 1st, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner has been outstanding. Posting a 1.05 ERA in 34 innings with the Astros, it’s looking like a Game 1 pitching duel.

Game 2: Friday, 2:05 PM ET, Drew Pomeranz vs. Dallas Keuchel.

Back in April, I never could have seen this coming. The 2015 Cy Young Award Winner going up against DREW POMERANZ in a playoff game? No way. Give me Price or Porcello is what I would have said, but not anymore. Pomeranz just completed the best regular season of his career. The numbers may not agree, but if you do what he did in the American League East, that’s a great year. This will be his first career start in the playoffs, coming off of a 2016 postseason where he allowed two earned runs in less than four innings pitched in two appearances. The way I view Pomeranz has totally changed as this season has progressed, from chump to second best starter in this rotation. He’ll be matched up against Dallas Keuchel, who last pitched in the postseason in 2015 and owns a 2.57 ERA in playoff action. Not as shiny as the Sale-Verlander matchup, but still, there is potential here.

Only the first two games’ starters have been announced, but I have a pretty good idea of who we will see from both sides. It depends on the situation, but I expect Eduardo Rodriguez to pitch Game 3, Doug Fister to pitch Game 4, and Chris Sale Game 5, if it is necessary. The key to all this is David Price. He could start, but I like him much more as a weapon out of the bullpen. What he’s done since returning from the DL has been extraordinary, and he has experience doing this in the postseason. I don’t expect him to be Andrew Miller or anything, but I think he could silence a lot of critics in this series.

Offensively, the Astros have the advantage. Correa, Springer, and Altuve is something the Red Sox cannot compete with. Guys like Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, and Dustin Pedroia need to step up. Rafael Devers will be stepping into a unique situation. I’m not positive, but he has to be the youngest player on any team’s postseason roster. I’m also excited to see what a healthy Eduardo Nunez can do for this team and where he’ll be plugged in the lineup and on the field.

It’s never easy, and advancing to the ALCS will certainly be a challenge for this Red Sox team. As expected, the Astros are favorites in this best of five series, but never tell me the odds. Chris Sale is here to play, David Price is here to play, and Mookie Betts is here to play. The Astros may very well win this series, but let’s see if the Red Sox can challenge them.

Well, that’s all I got for now. The series doesn’t start for another few days so this could be updated. Until then, enjoy the Wild Card games.