Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Chris Sale, Justin Verlander Will Face Off In ALCS Game 1

Al Leiter says Yankees’ demise wasn’t Aaron Boone’s fault Modal Trigger Aaron Boone in the Yankees dugout during Game 4 of the ALDS against the Red Sox Anthony J. Causi
Cary Erickson | 14 October, 2018, 10:27

Justin Verlander and the World Series champion Houston Astros face Red Sox lefty Chris Sale in a marquee matchup to start the AL Championship Series at Fenway Park.

Verlander's teams are 10-5 in his last 15 playoff appearances, including 14 starts. He was at 69 pitches after three innings before finishing at 86.

The Cubs were held to one run in three of final four games, culminating with a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central Division tiebreaker game, and then a loss to the Colorado Rockies in the NL wild-card game. "For me, I've always wanted to be in it".

Sale is 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in seven career regular season starts against the Astros.

"Alex told me before we even got off the field that night" that he would get another start, Price said before the game.

Count Verlander among those flummoxed by Price's well-documented October difficulties.

"It's a big difference to be able start at home against a good team", Holt said.

Sale, who has fully recovered from a late-season shoulder injury, says he's excited for the challenge that awaits. "Really enjoyed my time with David".

"There's too much talk about A.J. and me having an advantage".

"And yeah, I do find that odd.

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There's no limitations", Sale said Friday afternoon following Boston's postseason workout at Fenway Park. The Astros won the game, part of their 4-3 season series win over the Red Sox. "And that's kind of where I continued to grow until where I am today, really", Martinez said.

"I don't know if it's motivation. Letting it get better day by day".

Alex Cora has heard enough about how his time as the Astros bench coach last season might help him as the Red Sox manager in this year's ALCS. Houston has 12 pitchers and 13 position players active. "He's feeling better", Cora said.

Houston made two roster changes after its ALDS sweep of Cleveland, dropping outfielder Myles Straw and relief pitcher Will Harris in favor of relievers Hector Rondon and Joe Smith.

The Red Sox get it, but also believe they showed some prowess of their own by winning two in a row at Yankee Stadium to wrap up their ALDS in four.

NY hitters went just 2-for-30 against Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Heath Hembree and Joe Kelly in the ALDS. He also pitched a flawless eighth inning in the Game 4 finale.

"He's encouraged me. I've encouraged him", Hinch said.

"Our guys know we can win and we can beat you in a lot of different ways".

Boston and Houston carried identical 57-24 records home and road, respectively, this season.

Saturday night's opener will be a rematch of Game 1 of the ALDS past year, when the Astros jumped on Sale for seven runs in five innings, including back-to-back homers by Alex Bregman and Altuve in the first.