Houston will look to even the series in Game 2
Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: ALCS Game 2 Preview
Houston's performance in Game 1 of the ALCS was a night to forget. The Yankees dominated on both sides of the ball en route to a 7-0 victory, which halted any momentum that Houston had built by winning their way into the series with their big Game 5 win in the ALDS.
However, the ALCS is a seven-game series, which means that overcoming a 1-0 deficit is something that a team of Houston's caliber should be able to do. What the Astros have in their favor is that they had arguably their worst starter of the first three games take the mound in Game 1, and in Game 2, they will have Justin Verlander. Here is a quick preview of Game 2 that will take place Sunday night:
When: Sunday, 7:08 p.m Central.
Where: Minute Maid Park - Houston, Texas.
Streaming: Fox Sports App.
Pitching matchup: Justin Verlander vs. James Paxton
Series: Yankees lead 1-0.
|Date & Time (Central)||Location||Pitching matchup|
|Game 1||Yankees 7, Astros 0||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Greinke (L) vs Tanaka (W)|
|Game 2||Sunday 10/13, 7:08 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander vs Paxton|
|Game 3||Tuesday 10/15, 3:08 PM||Yankee Stadium, Bronx NY||Cole vs Severino|
|Game 4||Wednesday 10/16, 7:08 PM||Yankee Stadium, Bronx NY||TBD vs TBD|
|Game 5*||Thursday 10/17, 7:08 PM||Yankee Stadium, Bronx NY||TBD vs TBD|
|Game 6*||Saturday 10/19, 3:08 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||TBD vs TBD|
|Game 7*||Sunday 10/20, 6:38 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||TBD vs TBD|
* If necessary
+ Projected Starters
Houston needs a big day from Verlander
With the Yankees' bats overpowering Houston pitching in Game 1, the Astros will look to Justin Verlander to try and hold the potent lineup in check to keep them from putting the game out of reach as they did on Saturday against Zack Greinke and Ryan Pressly. Verlander will rise to the moment well, like he always does, and could be just what the Astros need to hold New York at bay.
The intriguing storyline to see will be how Verlander can manage his pitch count. Greinke was able to do great in this area on Saturday, finishing six innings with a pitch count that, if needed, could have allowed him to go deeper. With Verlander working for more strikeouts than contact, it would be a significant benefit to the Astros if he can go deep into Game 2.
Astros need offense to build on
Houston's bats went nearly silent in Game 1. They cannot allow that to happen again on Sunday. While coming out and putting up a huge first inning would bode well for them, the Astros would also do well to get some offense to build on in the early goings of the game to capture some momentum that they can use to get the crowd behind them to shake the Yankees off their game.
I would expect one, or several, of Houston's key bats to have a huge game to even this series up before it shifts to the Bronx for three games. As was seen in Game 1, it's unlikely that the Yankees will go down without getting a few big hits that usually result in runs. The Astros need to put up as many runs as possible to keep the Yankees out of reach.
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
The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.