A four-run fifth, sparked by a two-run Jose Altuve home run put this one away for good in a game that was not nearly as close as the score.
In his post-game interview, Rays manager, Kevin Cash was refreshingly honest while also maintaining his sense of humor when asked about facing the Astros’ ace, “We got Verlander’ed.” Justin Verlander threw a game one gem, allowing one soft hit, a single to center off the bat of Brandon Lowe. Verlander finished the game allowing one hit, three walks, and eight strikeouts in seven efficient shutout innings of work.
Somehow, there were only four total home runs between the teams in this opening game of the ALDS.
Minnesota must be getting tired of playing the Yankees by now. Friday night, the Yankees extended their playoff winning streak against the Twins to 11 games. Both teams went with short starts from their starts, neither pitcher making it five innings. New York’s bullpen was solid, securing an easy win for the Bronx Bombers.
Atlanta did all the scoring they would need when they pushed across a lone run in the first inning. They added insurance with a two-run homer off the bat of Adam Duvall in the seventh.
Mike Foltynewicz out-pitched the Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty, allowing only three hits while walking none and striking out seven in a dominant performance that tied the NLDS series at one apiece.
In the Wild Card game, Stephen Strasburg relieved Max Scherzer to help the Nationals advance to the NLDS. Friday night, Max Scherzer, the announced starter for Game 3, came in and pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out all three batters. Daniel Hudson came in for the save in the ninth. The game was another postseason loss for Clayton Kershaw, who actually pitched well through six innings. The lefty only allowed three runs, but received little support from his offense.