The Boston Red Sox came into Game 5 of the American League Championship Series with a 3-1 lead over the Houston Astros looking to finish off their opponents quickly to advance to the World Series. David Price was scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox, opposing Justin Verlander of the Astros, who had previously discussed Price’s poor record as a postseason pitcher.
Justin Verlander on David Price: “Great teammate. Really enjoyed my time with David. Him and I still talk all the time, stay in touch.
“And, yeah, I do find that odd (he’s never won a game as a starter in postseason). Honestly I hope the trend continues for the short term now.”
— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) October 13, 2018
I am pleased to report that I was wrong about both the eventual winner of the ALCS and the length of the series (although many fans without rooting interests in the series were hoping for the drama that only a full seven-game series can provide).
Red Sox 4, Astros 1
W: Price; L: Verlander; S: Kimbrel
Players of the Game: David Price (victory, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB 9 SO); Rafael Devers (1-4, 3 RBI: 3-run HR)
Boston Wins Series 4-1
David Price had another chance to secure his first postseason victory as a starting pitcher with the American League pennant on the line, and he delivered with a quality start, working 6.0 IP and allowing no runs on 3 hits with 0 BB and 9 SO. His Houston counterpart, Justin Verlander, was also sharp for the first five innings. Verlander’s final line was 6.0 IP and 4 runs allowed on 7 hits (2 HR) with 2 BB and 4 SO.
The game was in a scoreless tie until the top of the 3rd inning, when DH J.D. Martinez hit a solo home run after a missed strike call by the home plate umpire, and the Red Sox clung to a 1-run lead over the home team until the top of the 6th, when INF Rafael Devers delivered the game’s big blow, a 3-run bomb off Verlander.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Astros got on the board with a solo shot by OF Marwin Gonzalez.
Boston closer Craig Kimbrel came into the game in the bottom of the 9th for another save bid after several shaky outings throughout the series. He struck out the leadoff batter, INF Carlos Correa, but walked INF Yuli Gurriel. After striking out Gonzalez for the second out of the inning, Kimbrel retired OF Tony Kemp on a fly ball hit to the left field wall to secure the BoSox’s latest AL pennant.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora is the just third rookie manager to reach the World Series in the expansion era (1961-present). As I expected, OF Jackie Bradley Jr. was named the series MVP award winner thanks to his clutch 2-out RBI.
The World Series will open in Boston on Tuesday, October 23. The National League opponent and start time are TBD. If you have enjoyed my nightly playoff recaps, please consider supporting the site!
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