Major League Baseball postseason 2018: Red Sox making another big bet on David Price

Joe West hit ball

Boston finally struck against Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, scoring a pair of runs to tie the game 2-2.

Cora was ejected following Andrew Benintendi striking out looking with runners on second and third with two outs to end the fifth inning.

The vaunted Verlander focus certainly wasn't sidetracked by the 108-win Red Sox and the sellout crowd at Fenway.

That balance makes the Astros a better team than the Red Sox. The game-time temperature was 53 degrees and Price allowed two runs in eight innings. If Verlander didn't walk three straight hitters and uncork a wild pitch in the fifth inning, the Sox were staring at a shutout.

Game 2 is Sunday night in Boston, when left-hander David Price pitches for the Red Sox opposite Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole. These are the World Champion Astros, after all. Sure, the Red Sox lead man only allowed one hit in his four innings of work, but the pitch count of 86 told the true story. And I did. It's kind of like embarrassing that it happens in the playoffs.

On the local front, Houston was the No. 1 metered market, generating a 20.0 local rating, the highest-rated telecast ever for any program on TBS in the market while Boston generated a 19.8 HH rating, the best MLB Postseason telecast on TBS in the market since 2013. It was the first extra-base hit of the game and extended the Astros post-season homer streak to 13 games in a row, matching an American League record. He reminds me of Dustin Pedroia in his prime. That's the type of depth and talent a big-time lineup brings to the table. These guys know what it takes to win.

"I think knowing what's at stake and having experienced it, I think there's just a great boost of adrenaline that kicks in at this time", Hinch said.

The Astros are the World Series champs - and the betting favourites in this one - for a reason. I felt like I was battling myself for a little bit. Change the outcome of at least one of these reasons and we probably see Craig Kimbrel closing out the ninth instead of one of the weaker links in the bullpen putting the game out of reach. Unable to locate his slider and with his fastball averaging just 92 miles per hour, it's a miracle the lanky lefty got through a potent Astros lineup twice and allowed just the two runs on one hit. They'll need to pitch better, hit better and field better.

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