Justin Verlander leads Astros to easy Game One win
We here, of course, are all wrapped up in the Red Sox-Yankees series because, well, we are Red Sox fans. However, on the national landscape, there are plenty who believe the real marquee series of this round is the Indians-Astros series. It’s hard to argue with that, given that these are the last two American League champions. Plus, these are probably the two best rotations in all of baseball. The first game didn’t go according to plan. Justin Verlander was great and got Houston into the sixth, and their bullpen took over from there. On the other side, Corey Kluber started off extremely well, but then the Astros bats got going and ended up crushing four homers off Indians pitching. At the end of the day it was a relatively easy 7-2 win to give Houston the 1-0 series lead.
You can get a recap from Houston’s perspective here and from Cleveland’s perspective here.
More great pitching gives Milwaukee ten straight wins
The Brewers look like an absolute juggernaut right now, and what’s really surprising is that their early playoff success is being carried by their pitching. This is a team known for their offense, and they’ve been just fine as well. Their bullpen has always been fantastic, and they led Milwaukee to the Game One victory on Thursday. On Friday, they went with a traditional starter in Jhoulys Chacin, who was pitching on short rest. It didn’t look like it. The righty tossed five scoreless innings before the Brewers bullpen took the keys and maintained the shutout for the final four frames of the game. On offense, Milwaukee got one run off Rockies Tyler Anderson, which was enough but they then added three insurance runs late and they cruised to the 4-0 win. That gives the Brewers a 2-0 series lead, needing one more win as the series heads to Colorado.
You can get a recap from Milwaukee’s perspective here and from Colorado’s perspective here.
Clayton Kershaw’s vintage performance leads to another L.A. victory
If you’re ever looking for hope that David Price isn’t doomed to always struggle in the postseason, look at Clayton Kershaw. Granted, Price ain’t Kershaw — basically nobody is — but for a long time the narrative around the Dodgers ace was similar to that of Price’s. Then, Kershaw broke through last year and continued his success to open up this postseason. On Friday he shut down the Braves lineup for eight dominant shut out innings and went home with another victory. Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth and on offense the Dodgers got a big homer from Manny Machado in the first, and like the Brewers they have a 2-0 lead as they head on the road. Atlanta will need to win their next three to advance to the NLCS.
You can get a recap from Los Angeles’ perspective here and from Atlanta’s perspective here.