The former Monarch makes his 17th MLB postseason start Thursday in the American League Division Series - but his first wearing a Houston Astros uniform. Verlander was able to post a first inning zero and before he threw his next pitch, he and the team were sitting on a 2-0 lead thanks to home runs from Alex Bregman and Altuve.
The Red Sox are down two games in the best of five series and a loss will send them packing while the Astros move on to the American League Championship Series against either the Indians or the Yankees.
That may very well also be the case for Red Sox manager John Farrell, who could again find himself under the microscope if his team is eliminated from the first round of the playoffs after winning back-to-back AL East titles for the first time ever. Nunez, who played in just one game since September 9 while dealing with an injury to the same knee, failed to make it to first base and was carried off the field by a Red Sox trainer and Boston manager John Farrell. 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.
Altuve became the first Astros player to hit three homers in one game since 2007, when Carlos Lee did it in the regular season.
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 clubbing his first two homers to left-center field, Altuve pushed the Houston lead to six runs with his blast to left in the seventh. There he gave up eight runs off ten hits over six innings, the most runs he gave up in any appearance past year. He'll start Game 2 on Friday against CC Sabathia. But the Red Sox have shown absolutely nothing through two games in Houston that shows they can compete with the Astros.
Peacock is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox, allowing four home runs in just 13 innings. "We gotta take a step back on the off day". With Verlander facing off against Sale in Game 1.
"We haven't done anything right", he said. Keuchel followed those up with three straight 3-up-3-down innings, allowing him to save his pitch count and stay in the game to finish with 96 total pitches.
If the Indians win: They move on to the ALCS for the second straight year and sixth time in franchise history.
"I don't think, roster-wise, we probably had the best team going into that postseason", Bogaerts said.
Jose Altuve had just arrived in the Astros dugout after launching his third home run of the game when George Springer grabbed his right biceps and examined it, as if searching for an explanation for his team-mate's extraordinary pop. The Red Sox simply didn't look ready to play.
Before the game, Farrell wouldn't rule out the possibility of bringing Sale back on three days' rest to start Game 4. Brad Peacock (13-2) starts for Houston against Doug Fister (5-9). Note: The Division Series is a best of five. 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.