Red Sox pull even with Astros in ALCS

Ruben Hill
October 16, 2018

"I was just saving all my postseason wins for the Red Sox", Price said at the time, reportedly punctuated with a grin.

The grim news, he's still saving them.

It's hard to say that Game 1 in a best-of-seven series is a must-win yet it sure feels like the Boston Red Sox are letting the ALCS slip away by losing the opener in their own ballpark.

Price didn't last long enough to claim that elusive victory for himself, but as he has done throughout his career, he said afterwards that the end result was all that mattered. It was NBC's highest-rated "Sunday Night Football" game since Week 1 of the 2017 season.

When Bradley came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the third, the Red Sox trailed 4-2 and, per basic win expectancy, had just a 36.9 percent of winning Game 2. But this is bigger than David Price. For the first three innings, it was a back-and-forth affair between the offenses of the Red Sox and Astros. That he started and lasted just 4 2/3 innings means that Price wasn't eligible for the win. Justin Verlander allowed two runs through six innings, though he needed some pretty sharp glove work in the field to help him get through his appearance.

Despite the loss in game two, the Astros have put themselves in the driver's seat and have the chance to close out the series at home this week.

"All I want to do is win", Price said. But it was the first time his team had won a playoff game he started, snapping a record run of October futility. It goes to show just how bad Price has been in the playoffs. He struck out José Altuve and walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 37,960.

"It was definitely appreciated", Price said. "It wasn't the line I dreamed up to have, but our offence, our defence, everybody rallied together".

Indeed, the last time the Astros failed to go deep in a playoff game was Game 5 of last year's ALCS against the Yankees.

He then moved to third and then home on a pair of passed balls by catcher Martin Maldonado. In the bottom half of the eighth, Betts added yet another insurance run with an RBI double to right-center.

Rick Porcello took over in the eighth, setting down Tony Kemp, González, and Carlos Correa in 1-2-3 fashion, striking out the latter two.

Gerrit Cole - the top pick in the 2011 draft - took the mound for the Astros and was shaky early, as he surrendered five runs in the first three inning. He retired the first two batters he faced, but Springer kept Houston's hopes alive with a two-out double.

The wall exacted a little revenge on Gonzalez in the next inning, however. He flied out to right field on the next pitch.

In addition, the team announced that Game 1 starter Chris Sale, who was also lined up to start a potential Game 5, was hospitalized overnight with a stomach illness. I get that. I deserve those narratives. Even though he's authored a number of playoff starts that range from adequate to downright good, there's no denying the overall numbers - 5.54 postseason ERA after his Game 2 start and a 10.06 postseason ERA as a member of the Red Sox.

"They did an outstanding job and they've done it throughout the postseason", Cora said of the bullpen. Although he couldn't get out of the fifth inning, he put his team in a position to win, which manager Alex Cora made sure to point out following Sunday night's victory.

Cole ran into trouble again in the third, thanks in part to Bradley (more on that below). Not getting the "W" Price unwittingly made some dubious post season history.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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