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Indians, Yankees, seek to bounce back in ALDS Game 2

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Just like their counterparts in the National League, the Astros and Red Sox held serve in their playoff home openers, the former winning handily, the latter jumping to an early lead and holding on. Today they’ll try to match the Brewers and the Dodgers in taking commanding 2-0 leads in their best-of-five series.

Your viewing guide:

ALDS Game 1

Indians vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 4:37 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: Carlos Carrasco vs. Gerrit Cole
Breakdown:

The Astros brought out their boomsticks yesterday, hitting four homers en route to an easy victory. It’ll be up to Carlos Carrasco to keep them in the park today. For what it’s worth he’s pretty good at that, having allowed only 21 home runs this season, which is near the bottom of the home runs allowed list among qualified pitchers. Gerrit Cole, though, allowed even fewer than Carrasco while pitching more innings, so it’s not like that makes for a huge advantage in longball prevention for the Tribe. Just throwin’ that out there, OK?

This will be Carrasco’s second postseason start. Last year he pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Yankees. The Indians lost that game, 1-0. Theory: you need offense to win. It’s Cole’s fourth postseason start, but the others came several years ago with Pittsburgh. He’s no mystery, though: he’s going to throw a lot of fastballs 97 miles per hour and strike out a lot of guys. He’s not much of a respite after seeing Justin Verlander yesterday.

 

ALDS Game 1

Yankees vs. Red Sox
Ballpark: Fenway Park
Time: 8:15 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka vs. David Price
Breakdown:

You may have heard, oh, about 500 times that David Price has something to prove in the postseason. It’s something we’d hear far less of if he didn’t play in Boston, but it’s not one of those something-out-of-nothing things that the East Coast media likes to harp on. There’s something notable about him being 0-8 with a 5.84 ERA as a postseason starter. Maybe more so with Price than anyone given that, in the past, he has not exactly shown himself to be immune to criticism and the perception that he has disappointed. If there is any elite pitcher who is self-conscious of his past shortcomings I’d guess it to be Price. Even if, as he said yesterday, he’s thinking of this as “just another game.” Worth noting too that, against the Yankees this season, Price is 0-3 with a 10.34 ERA in four starts. So yeah, I’d say he has something to prove.

Historically Tanaka has pitched well against Boston, but just like the Yankees have handled Price in 2018, the Sox have handled Tanaka: he’s got anERA of 7.58 in four starts against Boston, having allowed six home runs in 19 innings.

The Yankees will almost certainly be without Aaron Hicks, who left Game 1 with hamstring troubles last night.

 

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.