Tonight’s Game 1 of the ALDS very quickly revealed itself to be far from ideal for Boston starter Chris Sale. That started with the second batter he faced, Alex Bregman, turning a flat slider into a solo home run and continued with the third batter, José Altuve, turning a high fastball into the same thing.
From there, it just kept coming, with a two-run double from Marwin Gonzalez in the fourth, followed by yet another Altuve home run in the fifth.
Sale was brought out for the sixth inning and allowed to reach 100 pitches, even though it should have been clear to manager John Farrell by that point that he wasn’t at his best. (And despite his own talk of making Sale the go-to for a potential Game 4 on short rest.) Meanwhile, Houston starter Justin Verlander held Boston to two runs in six innings, en route to what ended up an 8-2 victory for the Astros.
With that final run coming from another Altuve home run, making him the ninth player ever with three dingers in a postseason game:
Truly blessed we are, with this cornucopia of dingers. All hail Altuve.