Desperate for a thoroughbred, the Red Sox stable looks empty again

Houston Chronicle columnist Brian Smith Wednesday

Not so random thoughts

CARLOS CORREA: The Boston Red Sox got exhausted of Jose Altuve hitting home runs, so the decision was made to walk to Altuve to face Correa. "And the second one is like: 'Wow, what's going on here?"

Sale, the major league strikeout leader, was tagged for seven runs in five-plus innings of his postseason debut. It was one of his most dominant outings of the season. Christian Vazquez went 2 for 3, while Mookie Betts and Chris Young each chipped in a double in the loss.

Carlos Correa and George Springer celebrate after defeating the Boston Red Sox, 8-2, in Game 2 of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park on Friday. Those hinge largely on Doug Fister, the journeyman right-hander who lost to the Astros last Friday.

For the second straight afternoon in Houston, the Red Sox got nothing out of their starting pitcher and next to nothing out of their offense, ultimately leading to a pair of blowout victories for the Astros on their home field. Back in 2015, he hit 15 home runs, marking the first double-digit home run season of his career. Marwin Gonzalez, who was on third base for Houston, acted as if he was breaking for home.

Sale never got into a rhythm and was chased after walking Josh Reddick with no outs in the sixth. They scored a major league-high 896 runs, 38 more than the second-best New York Yankees.

"Anytime he mislocated, particularly in the middle of the plate, they made him pay for it".

"He's been dynamite", Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his decisions to intentionally walk Altuve twice.

Dombrowski also has learned over the past three seasons that managing the Red Sox is different than managing other teams. Big leaguers launched a record 6,105 longballs in the regular season, breaking the mark of 5,963 hit in 2000. But he allowed three homers and three doubles, marking just the second time in his career that he's given up six extra-base hits.

"This is a team that's very, very laser-focused on winning the series". They would add an error for good measure. "It happens (but a) awful time for it to happen".

Pomeranz was the pitcher of record when Boston clinched the AL East on September 30 against the Astros, allowing one run on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts over six innings in a 6-3 victory. Fister has been warming up early to avoid giving up runs in the first inning, which he had done in a six-game streak that snapped in mid-September.

This is Sale's first year with the Red Sox after being traded from the Chicago White Sox back in December. Nunez left Thursday's game after aggravating a sprained ligament in his right knee. "We gotta take a step back on the off day".

"I came to the ballpark today mentally prepared for that situation", Correa said. Boston has a history of manager scapegoats, so anything is possible if the Red Sox get totally embarrassed in the series. Rafael Devers hit a sac fly to tie the game at 2 before Verlander got out of the inning, however, had already raised his pitch count to 79. "It's a matter of going out there, staying with what we do and do what we do best", Fister said.

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