Carlos Correa's four RBIs help lead the Astros past the Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Dallas Keuchel bounced back from early trouble in game 2 of the ALDS on Friday, was backed by a huge game from Carlos Correa, and the Astros have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in the ALDS.
Keuchel finished the day with 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, and 7 Ks and Correa drove in four runs in the 8-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Correa got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer to give the Astros a 2-0 lead, scoring Jose Altuve who stayed hot by getting a two-out single prior to Correa's home run.
After getting runners on the corners with no outs in the top of the second, the Red Sox cut the lead in half on a one-out RBI single from Jackie Bradley Jr. to make it 2-1. Keuchel fought back and was able to limit the damage to only one run by getting two strikeouts to end the inning.
George Springer extended the Astros' lead to 3-1 with a solo home run to start the bottom of the third, followed by a double by Alex Bregman. Altuve followed with a RBI single to make it 4-1 Astros and end the disappointing day for Drew Pomeranz after recording just six outs. The Astros loaded the bases with no outs against Carson Smith, but David Price entered and was able to get the Red Sox out of the inning, stranding all three runners.
After allowing the run in the second inning, Keuchel locked in and sat down every batter he faced until he walked Hanley Ramirez with two outs in the sixth on his 96th pitch, prompting a call to the bullpen. Chris Devenski recorded the final out of the sixth.
Marwin Gonzalez scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth when Mookie Betts fumbled a throw after catching a Bregman flyout for the second out. The Astros then broke the game open, getting a two-RBI double from Correa, then a RBI single from Gattis to extend their lead to 8-1.
Devenski returned and pitched the seventh, and Luke Gregerson the eighth, both scoreless. Ken Giles allowed a run on a RBI single by Bradley Jr. in the ninth, but still wrapped up the Astros 8-2 win.
Going for the sweep: The series will shift to Fenway Park in Boston for games 3 and 4 (if necessary). Game 3 is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM Central and can be seen on FS1. Manager A.J. Hinch has not yet named the starter for the Astros, but the Red Sox are expected to send out former-Astro Doug Fister who went 5-9 in the regular season with a 4.88 ERA.
While most of the Astros roster is returning for the 2024 season, there are still some areas of uncertainty for the club. Astros manager Joe Espada will have some tough decisions to make in his first season managing the team.
The Astros infield is set, so we know who will be playing on a nightly basis, assuming health. The outfield is where things get tricky. Espada told the Houston Chronicle last week that he hopes to play Alvarez more in left field this season, which would open up the DH spot for Chas McCormick and players he would like to rest while keeping their bat in the lineup (Yainer Diaz, Jose Altuve, etc).
Astros GM Dana Brown would like to see if Jake Meyers can hit well enough to play regularly in center field. This is a team that stresses defense, which Meyers provides. But if defense is the top priority, wouldn't that mean Chas McCormick should play left field with Yordan Alvarez hitting in the DH spot?
Certainly, there will be nights when that's the case. The reality of the situation is all these guys are going to play, but how much and where is yet to be seen.
Houston plays 20 games in 21 days to start the season, so it's not going to take long to see if Meyers is providing enough offense to play regularly. If we get into the month of May and Meyers is an offensive liability in the lineup, we won't be surprised if his playing time starts to decrease. But by how much?
Don't miss the video as we examine how Joe Espada will deploy his outfielders and get the most out of the DH this season!
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