Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, just like Chris Sale yesterday, has made his much anticipated first career playoff start. Like Sale, Pomeranz disappointed fans as the Boston Red Sox dropped the second game of the series to the Houston Astros 8-2.
For the first half of the season, there was no debate that Chris Sale was the best pitcher in the Boston Red Sox rotation. As for the second half however, there was no question to that Sale lost the title and handed it off to Pomeranz. The past two games made these two men look like a pair of Double-A level pitchers.
Fortunately for the 28 year-old, his outing was no-where near as bad as his colleague’s in the “runs” column. But it was still not even close to ideal for Game No. 2 of the ALDS with the team already down a game.
The Houston Astros struck first for the second consecutive game in the first inning. This time they scored two runs on one long-ball. Jose Altuve, the big man last night, set the table for this by reaching base with a hit to left field. He was scored by the next batter, Carlos Correa, who crushed a 92.2 mph fastball to left. The ball was right down the center of the plate, just waiting to be hit.
The second inning signified two things for the Red Sox. The time the scores were closest to each other, and the last complete inning for the Collierville Tennessee native.
Chris Young led-off the inning with a double, and then proceeded to swipe third-base. This put him into perfect position to score when Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded a ball up the middle. That was the first of only two runs on the day.
In the start of the third, Pomeranz allowed three-fourths of the cycle, not including a triple. George Springer with a leadoff homer, Bregman with a double, and Altuve with a run-scoring single.
John Farrell saw enough, so he made a call to the bullpen. Hailed was right-hander Carson Smith.
Smith walked the first two batters who he faced to load up the bases with no outs. He managed to get an out, thanks to an outstanding, heads-up play at third base by Deven Marrero.
Another call to the bullpen was made. This time for “The Secret Weapon” David Price.
He lived up to that nickname today. Getting the team out of that awful loaded-base situation without yielding a single run. Price tossed eight pitches and forced two groundouts.
He pitched a total of 2.2 innings with just one hit against. Lefty, Eduardo Rodriguez was his replacement.
Rodriguez did not last for a single out. He allowed a base hit, and plunked a batter. His day was done after that. Addison Reed was next on the list to get shelled. Reed got the first batter he faced out, but then allowed a run to score on a fly out (throwing error by Mookie Betts), two runs to score on a double, and one to score on a single.
That was the last of the damage to be done by the red-hot Astros.
Christian Vazquez, while down by seven in the ninth, sharply hit a grounder to third and reached on a base hit. He was able to advance on a wild pitch, then score on a single by Bradley Jr.
Dallas Keuchel hurled a brilliant 5.2 gem with three hits, and three walks against him.
The Red Sox need to win Game No.3 on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. to avoid the sweep and to continue this series.