Yankees overpower Houston on both sides of the ball

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: Astros drop ALCS Game 1 with a disappointing performance

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images


After being taken to a winner-take-all Game 5 with the Rays which they would win to advance, the Astros had a quick turnaround to start the ALCS with the Yankees in Game 1. New York had a chance to watch Houston's ALDS unfold after sweeping the Twins in three games.

In ALCS Game 1, it would be all Yankees as their potent offense would overpower Houston's pitching, and also overwhelm the Astros' batters with a terrific start from Masahiro Tanaka before their bullpen finished a 7-0 shutout win to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Yankees 7, Astros 0.

Series: Yankees lead 1-0.

Winning Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka.

Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke.

Tanaka outduels Greinke in a pitcher's duel

After three innings of overpowering pitching from both starters, the Astros and Yankees went into the middle innings scoreless. Zack Greinke had only yielded one hit over that span but would allow his second to start the top of the fourth, a leadoff single by DJ LeMaheiu. LeMaheiu moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a one-out RBI-double by Gleyber Torres to put New York up 1-0.

The Yankees would threaten again in the top of the fifth with back-to-back one-out singles, but Greinke would work out of it to keep it a one-run game. Masahiro Tanaka meanwhile was winning the pitcher's duel by allowing just one hit through the first four frames. The Astros put a runner on with a leadoff walk by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the fifth, but he would get doubled up by straying too far from first base on a flyout, erasing Houston's chances of a run that inning.

Gleyber Torres would strike again in the top of the sixth, getting a one-out solo home run off of Greinke to extend New York's lead to 2-0. Giancarlo Stanton was next to tack on to the lead for the Yankees, getting a two-out solo home run to make it 3-0. Though he would finish that inning still with a relatively manageable pitch count, AJ Hinch would not task Greinke with going any further. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K , 2 HR.

Torres keeps driving in runs

Ryan Pressly was the first reliever to take the mound for Houston, but after two quick outs would fall victim to New York's offense with three-straight singles to load the bases before Gleyber Torres would get his fourth RBI of the night with a two-run single to blow the game open at 5-0. Josh James would come in to get out three to finish the inning.

The Yankees would also make a move to the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, bringing in Adam Ottavino to try and keep the top of Houston's lineup from getting the Astros on the board. Despite an error that would give the Astros their first big scoring chance of the game, a double play would end their chances.

Houston shutout in Game 1

James would stay on the mound for the top of the eighth to try and keep the score pat and did so with an impressive 1-2-3 inning. Zach Britton would come into the game for New York in the bottom of the eight and was able to erase a one-out walk by Houston to keep the shutout alive.

Houston would give Bryan Abreu a chance to pitch in the ALCS by taking over for James in the top of the ninth. He was met with a solo home run before later in the inning Gleyber Torres would get a fifth RBI on an RBI-groundout to make it 7-0. Abreu would continue to be hit around, resulting in a move to Hector Rondon to get the third out. Houston would come up empty for yet another inning in the bottom of the ninth, suffering a shutout loss at home to start the ALCS and put New York up 1-0 in the series.

Up Next: ALCS Game 2 from Minute Maid Park will be Sunday at 7:08 PM Central. The Astros will get Justin Verlander a start on regular rest, looking to get back on track after his disappointing outing in ALDS Game 4. The Yankees will counter with James Paxton, who went four and two-thirds innings while allowing three earned runs in his start against the Twins in ALDS Game 1, which the Yankees would win.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston needs a win to advance

ALWC Game 2 Preview: Astros vs. Twins

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

It took all nine innings, but the Astros rallied late and took Game 1 by a score of 4-1 and are in the driver's seat in this best-of-three series. They'll return to Target Field, home of the Twins, on Wednesday afternoon to try and get the win and advance to the ALDS. Here's what you need to know about Game 2:

Game Facts

When: Wednesday, 12:08 PM Central

Where: Target Field - Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: ESPN 2

Streaming: ESPN App

Pitching Matchup: Jose Urquidy+ vs. José Berríos.

Series: HOU leads 1-0.

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central) Location Pitching Matchup
Game 1 Astros 4, Twins 1 Target Field, Minneapolis Greinke vs. Maeda
Game 2 Wed 9/30, 12:08 PM Target Field, Minneapolis Urquidy+ vs. Berríos
Game 3* Thu 10/1, 12:08 PM Target Field, Minneapolis McCullers Jr.+ vs. Pineda+

* If necessary.
+ Projected starters.

Game Storylines

Houston's offense has to get going earlier

The Twins' error in the ninth inning in Game 1 was a gift for the Astros that they were able to take advantage of and score the winning runs. It's unlikely to be handed another chance like that in the postseason, so in Game 2, it's paramount that Houston creates their own opportunities at the plate.

The good news is, every batter in the lineup was able to reach base in the first game, either by hit or walk. However, they would go 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine on base during the game. Because they can't expect to have two pitchers to combine for a one-run game on Wednesday, they will have to carry over the momentum from the end of Game 1 into Game 2 to build a lead their bullpen can carry.

Trust your arms to navigate through

Whether it's Jose Urquidy, who is the likely candidate, or anyone else who ends up starting Wednesday's game, the Astros have to be prepared to have a longer stretch of innings filled by their bullpen. Despite his struggles to end the regular season, Greinke did well only to allow one run to the Twins over his four innings in Game 1.

You should expect a similar outcome in Game 2, where hopefully your starter can hold the Twins at bay for as long as they can before needing to make the change to relievers. It will be interesting to see how Dusty Baker plays that situation, mostly dependent on the score at the time, as he could have someone like Cristian Javier come in for multiple innings. The only thing the Astros shouldn't do is fire too many of their bullets and put their chances in a potential Game 3 at risk.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

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