By: Alan Cavagnaro
(BOSTON - MA) With the Red Sox having home field advantage for Game 1 and Game 2 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, the Red Sox lacked offense for the entire night of Game 1 en route to a 7-2 loss. The Red Sox however were facing the team with the best away record in baseball this year and it was a steep hill to climb after winning the American League Division Series (ALDS) against the New York Yankees 3-1 earlier last week. From Game 1 of this series against the Astros, it's very clear that the Red Sox have to step up their game. MVP candidate Mookie Betts still not having the best postseason stats in his career, as it was not a surprise to few as last night he had a chance to send in a few runs for the Sox but inevitably grounded out to end the inning. Mookies overall postseason stats don’t add up well as he bats .239 and only 2 RBI’s which doesn’t look good considering he’s an MVP candidate this year.
"I was looking for a good pitch to hit and I got it. I just didn't to anything with it," Betts said. "It's just one of those situations where I didn't get the job done. Fastball middle, you can't miss that pitch, especially against Verlander in a situation like that."
Also to note was Alex Cora getting ejected mid game for a questionable strikeout on Andrew Benintendi. Some could say that Cora went over the top with the call and with the game on the line at the time that it wasn’t worth it, however what many Red Sox fans realized is that the umping hasn’t been perfect all night either, even going so far calling for an Angel Hernandez return if the ALCS was going to continue with that home plate umpire. Cora was quoted saying after the game that, “If you feel I overreacted, so be it... but from my end, I don’t think I did.” And finally a big surprise which was Chris Sale not even lasting half of the game walked 4 batters in the innings he started. Sale was one of few players who did not wear any sleeves to warm up during the game, as the Fenway faithful were in for a big treat with temperatures ranging in the mid 40s. Nonetheless, Cora doesn’t believe Sale struggled because of the temperatures, but rather of the fact that there was no offense behind him. Despite a home loss to the Astros, for the Red Sox it's far from over as that was Game 1 of the ALCS as it's out of 7 games. The Red Sox have Price starting Game 2 and will fly over to Houston for Games 3, 4, and 5 for the only time in this series.