Watch MLB Playoffs 2017 ALDS Game 1 Online

Watch MLB Playoffs 2017 ALDS Game 1 Online

Watch MLB Playoffs 2017 ALDS Game 1 Online

"I pitched Game 3 in the Division Series in 2015, so (getting the nod for the opener against the Red Sox) was literally the last thing on my mind".

Boston's ace had an fantastic season, but his playoff inexperience was obvious Thursday afternoon in Houston.

Houston started second baseman Jose Altuve, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, designated hitter Carlos Beltran and shortstop Marwin Gonzalez. Between Games 2 and 5 of that ALDS, he went 0-for-17 with a walk.

Bauer (1-0) did not give up a hit until Aaron Hicks doubled with one out in the sixth inning.

The aces have faced off against each other six times, dating to Verlander's Tiger days and Sale's time with the White Sox.

But Boston does have a chance. Manager John Farrell and a team trainer carried Nunez back to the visitor's dugout. "Some of the newness hopefully has worn off".

Alex Bregman opened scoring with a solo homer in the first.

What did he tell himself after the third home run?

It will be interesting to see how Sale performs under the bright lights of the playoffs.

"I know he gets scrutinized at times, but he really stepped up for us here down the stretch", team president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.

Any of these six homegrown players can get hot. Mitch Moreland with 23 homers and Hanley Ramirez with 22 dingers supplied the rest of Boston's power. He was second to George Springer with 24 homers, and he scored 112 runs while knocking in 81. Joe Musgrove will be the pitcher for the Astros trying to close out this game and he does just that, retiring all three Boston batters in order. Houston's Verlander was the prize late-season acquisition, with the Astros completing the trade for Verlander right before the trade deadline at the end of August.

CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees - he spent eight seasons with the Indians, who drafted him in 1998 as a 17-year-old. During that span, Barnes produced a 5.59 ERA in 11 games. Since he began throwing a slider, he's 10-1 with 2.60 ERA in 14 games. After that, Houston could be in trouble. It was fine. Not Verlander's best - not even with the Astros, with whom he's been brilliant - but good enough to get the win and put the Astros in prime position to take over the series.

The Red Sox have a major weapon in Sale on the mound, but he is prone to the occasional erratic start and the Astros are possibly the best left-handed hitting team in baseball.

Boston's catching tandem of Vazquez and Sandy Leon was second in the majors (39 percent) at throwing out runners.

Then in the 4th inning, Boston kicked off the inning with runners on the corners and nobody out. He was 29 of 36 this year, counting his time with Oakland. Boston has always been a strong post-season team. He's batting.290, 57 points above his career average.

Nunez, 30, initially suffered his knee injury on September 9, forcing him to miss more than two weeks of action. He went 5-1 in the against the Astros, with 65 strikeouts and five walks in 48 innings. That would be welcome news.

Nunez batted.321 with an. He could DH or sub in for Devers against Keuchel.

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