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Carlos Correa and the Astros take the Red Sox to the woodshed once again


Sometimes, when a team loses, there is room for finger-pointing and criticism. Sometimes, however, they just get whupped. That’s what’s gone down in Minute Maid Park in Houston the past two days anyway. The Astros pounded the Red Sox once again this afternoon, winning 8-2 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best of five Division Series.

Game 1’s hero was Jose Altuve, who smacked three homers. Altuve was solid once again today, going 2-for-3, walking twice, driving in a run and scoring twice. The hero of Game 2, however, was Carlos Correa.

In the first inning, with Altuve on first base after a single, Correa took a 91 m.p.h. Drew Pomeranz fastball way deep to left field to make it 2-0 Houston. Boston put a run on the board with a Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single in the second, but Houston increased its lead in the third with an Altuve RBI single and a homer from George Springer to make it 4-1.

Both teams were kept off the board for the next few innings, with David Price providing the Red Sox’ only bright spot in the form of two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, but Houston put the game away with a four-run sixth inning. The rally was highlighted by Correa’s two-run double and lowlighted — for Boston anyway — with this rather interesting play from Mookie Betts:

That came on a shallow fly ball off the bat of Alex Bregman that likely would not have scored the runner from third but did so anyway thanks to the miscue. How much of that play by Betts was attributable to what is clearly an injured thumb — it was bothering him greatly during an eighth inning at bat — is unknown, but we’ll likely hear more about that tonight and into the weekend. Later that inning Evan Gattis‘ RBI single plated Correa gave Houston its eighth run. Boston added a second run in the top of the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

The clubs are now en route to Boston where they’ll get a day off tomorrow before Sunday’s Game 3. It’s not impossible for the Sox to make a comeback or, at the very least, to make this series competitive, of course, but thus far they’ve been at the Astros mercy.

Not because they’ve done anything wrong, really. They’re just getting beat by what appears to be a clearly superior ballclub.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: