The Astros are completely dominating the Red Sox in the ALDS

Boston Red Sox's Chris Sale pitches during the first inning at the All Star Game Tuesday

Boston Red Sox's Chris Sale pitches during the first inning at the All Star Game Tuesday

Altuve, the AL batting champion three of the last four years, including 2017, launched three solo homers in the series opener on Thursday as the Astros posted an 8-2 victory after taking three of four at Boston to end the regular season. Harper's throw was high, and Bryant went to second.

Major League Baseball can allow a replacement for an injured player during the postseason.

Altuve hit.346 this year, his fourth straight 200-hit season.

Despite knowing that, the Sox started Pomeranz in Game 2 and why not?

The only postseason victor they have on their roster is Doug Fister, who will get the ball tomorrow in Game 3. Pitching was supposed to be a strength and the arms have failed, starting with the starters - Chris Sale (five innings, seven runs) and Drew Pomeranz (two innings, four runs). The battered Red Sox left Minute Maid Park on Friday night looking like salmon swimming back upstream, ready to go home and die.

Sale never got into a rhythm and was chased after walking Josh Reddick with no outs in the sixth.

The Astros scored a whopping 501 runs on the road this season. "Some were flat, some had good depth, but the inconsistency to the location pitch to pitch is a difference in this one against a team that makes you pay". Their Red Sox's cleanup man, Betts, gamely presses on with a wrist that recently needed a cortisone shot. Sale allowed seven runs on nine hits in five innings of work during game one.

Looking to keep Judge at bay will be Corey Kluber, who led the majors in ERA during the regular season (2.25 ERA).

Speculation abounded, but really, it was likely as simple as the fan base tempering its excitement until the team proved it could win a playoff series.

They will have to change the tone of this series early and Farrell said that can be done quickly. The Dodgers reportedly thought that they had a deal to bring Greinke back when he hit the free agency market in the 2015/16 off-season, only for the D-Backs' owners to jump in and slap a six-year, $206.5m contract on the table that unsurprisingly diverted Greinke's attention their way. Boston's runs came courtesy of Rafael Devers and Sandy Leon. That's been a blessing for UK-based Astros fans and a curse for Red Sox followers.

What's most deflating for anyone hoping for something - anything - from this Red Sox team is that it appears to be a carbon copy of last year's postseason flameout. Fister has been warming up early to avoid giving up runs in the first inning, which he had done in a six-game streak that snapped in mid-September. "That's the good thing about our lineup, there's no holes in our lineup, and we feel very confident no matter if we went 0 for 4 the day before or if we went 4 for 4".

Red Sox: Pomeranz will make his first career postseason start after going 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two relief appearances in the playoffs. Rafael Devers hit a sac fly to tie the game at 2 before Verlander got out of the inning, however, had already raised his pitch count to 79.

Encarnacion was on crutches and wearing a boot on his sprained right ankle Saturday, but manager Terry Francona said the designated hitter hadn't been ruled out of Sunday's game at Yankee Stadium.

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