There are legitimate questions whether John Farrell should have limited Sale's early season workload to conserve his strength for when the games mattered most. Altuve hit three solo home runs in Thursday's 8-2 victory over the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS, showing to a national audience what he is capable of doing.
The bullpen has been one of the Red Sox' major strengths throughout the season and the team would be wise to ease the load on the Game 3 starter by leaning on relief pitchers. Who could have the big series that pushes Boston over the top? The Astros did it this season, finding a way to do damage at the plate without swinging wildly. Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for Houston against Boston's Drew Pomeranz. In his final 11 starts, Sale allowed 4 or more earned runs five times, including five runs and four home runs in his final start of the regular season.
But Sale had also rarely faced a lineup as deep and risky as Houston's, or a hitter as complete as Altuve. Who will start what game, and who will even make a start. "It's incredible to watch him step up and be every bit the star that we needed today for sure". That has been the idea for Devenski all year long, though it's worth noting that now he might have some help from Lance McCullers Jr., if manager A.J. Hinch opts to use McCullers out of the 'pen.
Pedroia did not perform well yesterday against Justin Verlander.
Back to Fister, why him?
The French Open and U.S. Open champion has won five titles this season and is closing in on the year-end No. 1 ranking. And on those for which it is available, it is generally on one of the premium tiers, which means that lots of people with cable and satellite still don't have access to it. Major League Baseball did decide to make the network free for all as part of a preview for those who wanted to watch the game, but if your system didn't even have the network in the first place, then there was no way you could see the game. Boston may also rely on a fourth starter in Eduardo Rodriguez since Price will likely stay in the bullpen. The two-time Cy Young Award victor threw on flat ground in the outfield for nearly 15 minutes on Wednesday and is expected to have a bullpen session later on Thursday.
Getting the start at Minute Maid Park is meaningful for Keuchel, who is 36-21 with a 2.94 ERA at home in his career. The Astros beat the Red Sox, 8-2. He is off to a better start this time around. We knew the Houston Astros lineup was risky, but when everybody is dialed in and making good contact, it's damn near impossible to stay in games, as crooked numbers go up quickly. Red Sox need to find some offense somewhere.
He has a strong playoffs track record.. Josh Reddick also finished 2-for-3 in the game with two runs scored. It remains to be seen how healthy Washington is - star slugger Bryce Harper returned slowly from a knee injury and there's still no definite word when Max Scherzer will pitch after hurting his hamstring last weekend.
Which is not to say that the Red Sox red flags are limited to hitting.
Want your voice heard? Taijuan Walker will make his playoff debut for the Diamondbacks after ace Zack Greinke started and 15-game victor Robbie Ray relieved in the wild-card win Wednesday over Colorado.
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