ALDS GAME 1 POST-MORTEM
Astros 8, Red Sox 2
Took in the game in section 128. Lost my voice and had a blast. Jose Altuve is aight.
The only other postseason baseball game I’ve attended was at Enron Field, Game 2 of the 2001 NLDS. Dave Mlicki was the tough-luck loser as the Astros fell to the goddamn Braves 1-0. The stadium that would become Minute Maid Park was still three years away from gaining a reputation for having a raucous atmosphere in October with the roof closed.
Fort Minute Maid sounds fantastic on TV/radio when mic’ed properly, but TV/radio doesn’t do it justice. The stadium really is loud as shit in October. My ears were ringing after Bregman and Altuve went back-to-back, and the lingering crowd noise completely drowned out the PA system announcing Correa afterward. If you have the means to attend a postseason game in Houston you shouldn’t deprive yourself of the experience.
After seeing Eduardo Nunez carried off the field in the 1st inning, it’s no surprise that he is out for the series after aggravating his knee injury. This is a big blow to the Red Sox lineup as Nunez hit .321/.353/.539 with 8 HR in just 36 games with the Red Sox. Outfielder Chris Young (.235/.322/.387, 7 HR, 25 RBI) takes his place on Boston’s ALDS roster.
ALDS GAME 2 – HOU leads 1-0
Friday, October 6, 1:05pm CDT – Minute Maid Park
Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32) vs. Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90)
Pomeranz is making his sophomore postseason appearance after throwing 3.2 innings of relief for Boston in last year’s ALDS, allowing two runs and striking out seven. In his second consecutive season as a full-time starter, he matched his 2016 All-Star season ERA and set career highs in innings and wins, although his WHIP ticked up about two tenths. Pomeranz had an excellent summer, turning in an ERA of 3 or better in each of June, July, and August.
The Astros didn’t fare well against Pomeranz this year, managing just a .179 average and two runs against him in 12.1 innings. Dating back to 2014 when he was with the A’s, Pomeranz owns a 2.81 ERA against the Astros in six starts, as well as five relief innings with no earned runs (mostly in 2015).
Keuchel was nails in both of his 2015 postseason starts, punking the Yanks in their house and then shutting down the Royals for seven innings in Game 3 of the ALDS. We are going to conveniently ignore the short-rest desperation relief appearance in Kansas City in Game 5. As we know, Keuchel was contending for another Cy Young when he was healthy this season: when he went on the DL in June he was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA. After not pitching for two months it took a few weeks to get his mojo back, but by mid-August he was back to eating innings even if he was giving up runs. He closed the season strong with a 2.87 ERA in September. He will be pitching on nine days rest.
Keuchel does not have a huge body of work against the Red Sox. His neck ailment precluded any appearances against the Sox this season, and his one appearance against them last year was very forgettable. You have to go back to August 2014 to find his next start against Boston, where he lasted seven innings and gave up three runs. We can be certain of one thing, though: he pitches very well at MMP (2.40 ERA since 2014).
Select pitcher/batter matchups:
Correa vs. Pomeranz: 5 AB, .600/.600/.600
Altuve vs. Pomeranz: 17 AB, .412/.474/.471
Maybin vs. Pomeranz: 6 AB, .333/.333/1.000
McCann vs. Pomeranz: 11 AB, .182/.182/.455
Beltran vs. Pomeranz: 11 AB, .183/.182/.273
Gattis vs. Pomeranz: 13 AB, .077/.071/.077
Vazquez vs. Keuchel: 5 AB, .400/.500/.400
Young vs. Keuchel: 23 AB, .304/.333/.478
Pedroia vs. Keuchel: 7 AB, .286/.375/.286
Bogaerts vs. Keuchel: 7 AB, .143/.143/.571
Moreland vs. Keuchel: 13 AB, .077/.143/.154
Davis vs. Keuchel: 17 AB, 0-fer