#1 Boston projects as a heavy favorite von elaine95 11.02.2019 08:53

HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros couldn’t soar into another World Series.A year after Houston won the first title in the team’s 56 seasons Jim Palmer Jersey , Verlander had a rare off night in an elimination game and the Astros lost the AL Championship Series to the Boston Red Sox in five games.“This year’s team is better than last year’s team,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “Everyone in here will have a little bit of an edge to play with, a chip on their shoulder knowing that we believe we should have been back-to-back champions.”Houston boosted its rotation with Gerrit Cole last winter and its bullpen with Roberto Osuna ahead of the July trade deadline. The Astros won a club-record 103 games, led the majors with a plus-263 run difference and swept Cleveland 3-0 in the Division Series.But after beating Boston in the opener, the banged-up Astros were outscored 27-14 in losing four in a row — one short of their season high. The major leagues remain without a repeat champion since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000.“The World Series is the only thing that was going to make this team feel like we accomplished much,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It’s a pretty hollow feeling when the season abruptly ends the way that it does and the way that it did.”Their season came to a close a day after the Astros were cleared of any wrongdoing by Major League Baseball after a credentialed Houston employee was caught pointing his cellphone toward opposing dugouts during playoff games in Cleveland and Boston.Verlander was last year’s Championship Series MVP with two wins against the New York Yankees, including seven scoreless innings to force a Game 7.The Game 1 winner this year, he entered 4-1 with a 1.21 ERA when starting potential elimination games with Detroit and Houston. He had pitched 26 scoreless innings in such situations before J.D. Martinez’s go-ahead solo home run in the third.“We had a good season. Didn’t end up where we wanted. We lost to a great team,” Verlander said. “I said it last year, playoffs, it’s kind of flip a coin sometimes. It’s whoever is playing the best baseball at the time. We were dealing with a ton of injuries as you could tell.”Verlander wasn’t the only Houston player who didn’t measure up to his 2017 form.Altuve, a six-time All-Star and last year’s AL MVP, went on the disabled list for the first time in July with right knee soreness. He never seemed healthy, banged the knee in the playoffs and was limited to a designated hitter in the last three games. He hit .250 in the series with two RBIs.“It’s not a secret that my knee was hurting pretty bad,” Altuve said. “But it’s something that I don’t have control of. It hurts and I couldn’t control being healthy. I feel really, really bad for not being on the field for my team but one thing you can know is that I gave everything I had http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-mark-trumbo-jersey , healthy, not healthy that was all I have.”Shortstop Carlos Correa dealt with back issues much of the second half of this season. While he had three hits and two RBIs in Game 4 — his only multi-hit game this postseason — he hit a relatively quiet .316 with three RBIs against the 108-win Red Sox.Right-hander Charlie Morton was a first-time All-Star and won 15 games, but he dealt with shoulder issues the second half of the season. Lance McCullers Jr., a 10-game winner, said he was pitching through some stuff like others while focused on trying to win a World Series, and indicated without being specific that his injury might require surgery.“The heart of this team, really kind of unparalleled. We had guys playing through so much,” Verlander said. “These guys could give nothing else to a man.”Morton is among the potential free agents for the Astros. That group also includes former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, catchers Brian McCann and Martin Maldonado, and utility player Marwin Gonzalez. Elsa/Getty ImagesThe New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will meet in the postseason for the first time since 2004 after the Bronx Bombers defeated the Oakland A's, 7-2,in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.Right fielder Aaron Judge went 2-for-3 with a walk, and his two-run home run in the first inning sparked the Yankees as they ripped off their second wild-card win in as many seasons:BYU鈥檚 Cosmo the Cougar Is the Next Superstar MascotJoshua Johnson Is HS Footballs Quadruple ThreatThe Champions x Queer EyeHappy 26th Birthday to OBJ 馃帀Happy Anniversary to the Cubs Curse-BreakingD-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50Will Drake鈥檚 Favorite Teams Reverse the 6 God Curse?Sports Worlds Halloween Costumes Went HardUp Your Halloween Game with Giant Pumpkin RegattaThe Champions: Episode 6 Is ComingDubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a ChallengePurdue Footballs No. 1 Fan Is Inspiring the TeamOne Road to MLB Starts with a Bottle Cap and BroomstickIts Been a Wild Month with Flyers鈥?Mascot Gritty馃専The Champions: Episode 5 馃専CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time ComingMahomes Is Showtime Off the Field TooCFBs Creative Entrances Put WWE to ShameWorld Pole Climbing Championships Are Something ElseNBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded TattoosRight Arrow IconFirst baseman Luke Voit tacked on a two-RBI triple during a four-run sixth inning that saw the Yankees blow things wide open, and Giancarlo Stanton added a towering solo blast in the eighth for good measure.BYU鈥檚 Cosmo the Cougar Is the Next Superstar MascotJoshua Johnson Is HS Footballs Quadruple ThreatThe Champions x Queer EyeHappy 26th Birthday to OBJ 馃帀Happy Anniversary to the Cubs Curse-BreakingD-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50Will Drake鈥檚 Favorite Teams Reverse the 6 God Curse?Sports Worlds Halloween Costumes Went HardUp Your Halloween Game with Giant Pumpkin RegattaThe Champions: Episode 6 Is ComingDubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a ChallengePurdue Footballs No. 1 Fan Is Inspiring the TeamOne Road to MLB Starts with a Bottle Cap and BroomstickIts Been a Wild Month with Flyers鈥?Mascot Gritty馃専The Champions: Episode 5 馃専CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time ComingMahomes Is Showtime Off the Field TooCFBs Creative Entrances Put WWE to ShameWorld Pole Climbing Championships Are Something ElseNBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded TattoosRight Arrow IconConversely, Oakland's bats were stymiedas Luis Severino and the bullpen combination of Dellin Betances, David Robertson Chris Tillman Jersey , Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman allowed a total of fivehits. Luis Severino Atones for 2017 Wild-Card Disaster With Encouraging StartOne year ago, the Yankees trotted out Severino for a wild-card showdown against the Minnesota Twins. The results were disastrous.Severino allowed four hits and three earned runs in one-third of an inning before he was pulled. He departed with a comical 81.00 ERA.This time around, there was no such embarrassment.Although Severino struggled with his command at times and worked deep into counts as 53 of his 87 pitches (60.9 percent) went for strikes, he showed no signs of the jitters that consumed him in 2017.Marcus Stroman MStrooo6Sevy鈥檚 stuff is so powerful man. You have to commit to the fastball so early as a hitter. By doing so, you鈥檙e in swing mode. Makes his slider and change-up extremely hard to hit when you鈥檙e anticipating a 100MPH heater!The Yankees ace mixed in a hefty number of sliders and changeups alongside a blazing fastball that touched 100 mph across his four innings of two-hit ball. He notched four walks and seven strikeouts, including a big K of A's shortstop Marcus Semien that got the Bronx Bombers out of a bases-loaded jam:BYU鈥檚 Cosmo the Cougar Is the Next Superstar MascotJoshua Johnson Is HS Footballs Quadruple ThreatThe Champions x Queer EyeHappy 26th Birthday to OBJ 馃帀Happy Anniversary to the Cubs Curse-BreakingD-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50Will Drake鈥檚 Favorite Teams Reverse the 6 God Curse?Sports Worlds Halloween Costumes Went HardUp Your Halloween Game with Giant Pumpkin RegattaThe Champions: Episode 6 Is ComingDubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a ChallengePurdue Footballs No. 1 Fan Is Inspiring the TeamOne Road to MLB Starts with a Bottle Cap and BroomstickIts Been a Wild Month with Flyers鈥?Mascot Gritty馃専The Champions: Episode 5 馃専CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time ComingMahomes Is Showtime Off the Field TooCFBs Creative Entrances Put WWE to ShameWorld Pole Climbing Championships Are Something ElseNBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded TattoosRight Arrow IconSeverino didn't allow a hit until the top of the fifth inning鈥擩onathan Lucroy and Nick Martini opened the frame with back-to-back singles鈥攁t which point manager Aaron Boone lifted him in favor of Betances.Though it wasn't the most polished outing, the Yankees have to be encouraged with the confidence and composure Severino flashed in such a big spot. He'll be tasked with keeping things rolling against the Red Sox in the American League Division Series. Melvin's Unorthodox Choice to Start Hendriks BackfiresUnlike the Yankees, the A's didn't take a conventional approach with their starting pitching selection. Instead, the A's rolled with reliever Liam Hendriks as their starter, as their rotation was decimated by injuries toKendall Graveman, Jharel Cotton, Paul Blackburn, Sean Manaea and A.J. Puk.However, the result wasn't what manager Bob Melvin had in mind.While Hendriks entered the evening with a 2.02 ERA in 8.2 innings as a starter, Judge pounced on an early opportunity and smashed a two-run home run to right field in the first inning that gave the Yankees a comfortable cushion.Had it not been for the errant pitch to Judge, Melvin's strategy may have proved savvier.Lou Trivino took over for Hendriks and pitched three one-hit innings while striking out four Yankee batters Eddie Murray Jersey , and Shawn Kelley produced a scoreless fifth inning.The bullpen eventually caved in when Fernando Rodney andBlake Treinen combined to allow fourearned runs in the sixth, but Hendriks' early slip-up ultimately set the stage for a deflating night. Yankees Will Pose a Stiff Test for Red SoxOn paper, Boston projects as a heavy favorite over its chief rival.The Red Sox are coming off a franchise-record 108-win regular season, and they led the majors with a cumulative team average of .269鈥攁 mark far superior to the Yankees' .248.On top of that, Boston touts a dynamic starting rotation spearheaded by Chris Sale (2.11 ERA), Eduardo Rodriguez (3.82 ERA), David Price (3.58 ERA) and 17-game winner Rick Porcello.And yet, the Yankees can't be discounted.Not only did they win win four of their final six games against the Red Sox during the regular season, but they're one year removed from a postseason in which they dispatched the 102-win Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.Considering Giancarlo StantontorchedBoston to the tune of a .371 average, 1.123 OPS, five home runs and 17 RBI across 18 regular-season meetings, the Yankees have to like their chances of making the Red Sox squirm.Those developments aren't going to dictate the entire series. But they should provide the Yankees with a shot of confidence as they aim to make back-to-back appearances in the ALCS. What's Next?The Red Sox will host the Yankees for Game 1 of the ALDS at Fenway Park on Friday night.

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