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ALDS: Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander vs. Boston Red Sox

06 October 2017

Chris Sale's poor performance last week against Toronto may have cost him the AL Cy Young Award, but it may have given him more determination as he starts for Boston today.

"It happens", Sale said. When I see them the next day, I'm like, 'I'm good.' This is still a trial-and-error process, too.

After eight years in the majors, Sale said that finally getting a chance to pitch in the postseason is "pretty fulfilling".

Tap here for the full preview. This ALDS opens up at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas with a start time of 4.08 p.m. ET. Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) remains a top candidate to start the playoff opener for the Nats.

The Red Sox got a double from Hanley Ramirez, but couldn't bring him home.

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Sale started 32 games for Boston this year. Overall, Jose Altuve leads the Astros with 204 hits and 81 RBI while Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel have combined for 316 hits and 146 RBI.

Going into the series, people wondered if Sale would be able to pitch in Game 4, if the Red Sox needed him. Astros took three of four. Red Sox ranked sixth with 785.

Outfielder Chris Young joins the Red Sox roster after designated hitter Eduardo Nunez was carried off the field with a knee injury in Game 1.

It doesn't challenge the franchise record of 102 wins in 1998 but it goes to show that this team is special and I'm positive that they'll go down in history as one of the best Houston Astros teams to take the field, especially if they go out and win the ship for the city of Houston. He would be allowed to play in the World Series if Boston makes it that far. The left-hander became first pitcher in AL to reach 300 strikeouts since Pedro Martinez 1999.

Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (1-0) labored following a quick start, coughing up a 2-0 lead before rallying to a strong finish.

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Coincidence of the night: The past two three-homer games in postseason came in games started by Justin Verlander.

Add it all up, and Price could be the Red Sox's secret weapon this postseason. Late-season acquisition Addison Reed has provided stability in an eighth-inning role that had bedeviled the Sox prior to his arrival, and Carson Smith, throwing at last for the team after losing more than a year and a half to injury, has looked nasty over the past two weeks. Springer and Barnes were college teammates at nearby CT. Red Sox need to find some offense somewhere. A World Series trophy is on their agenda. "That was the first time we were really in, some ways, respected again in the game that we had good players, and good talent, and we won games", Hinch said.

The Red Sox also finished first when winning it all in 2007 under Terry Francona. Taking sort of a myopic, yet calculated, look at Boston's path in the 2017 postseason, it's evident that we should be able to get off to a strong start against the Astros - much stronger than the start that we got off to a year ago.

The Red Sox and Astros will kick off their best-of-five series on Thursday. But the Houston Astros second baseman insists his big game was more about helping his team than proving he deserves to be named AL MVP. Detroit won all five of those games. Front office didn't make any major moves at July 31 trade deadline but came through on eve of August 31 deadline for players to be available for postseason when general manager Jeff Luhnow nabbed Verlander from Tigers. Game three starters have not been named for either team, but it is likely that reigning American League Cy Young victor Rick Porcello will toe the rubber in the return to Boston. Houston leads Boston, 7-2. Houston has dealt with postseason woes in the past. He's batting.290, 57 points above his career average. Instead of waiting for the victor of the wild-card game and watching as either the Twins or Yankees advanced by burning one of their top pitchers, the Astros instead have to duke it out in five games with the Red Sox.

The Verlander trade changed everything for Houston. "It's a little different when you hit a homer in a playoff game, and the regular season, because now you have to win - it's a five-game series".

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ALDS: Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander vs. Boston Red Sox