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Astros vs Yankees: Astros defeated Yankees by 4-2. USA TODAY

Dusty Baker, manager of the Astros was concerned, he might have to use his bullpen early since Justin Verlander was struggling and required 45 pitches to complete two innings.

Instead, the seasoned ace settled down and got into a rhythm, striking out 11 batters in six shutout innings to lead Houston past the New York Yankees 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALCS on Wednesday. Astros vs Yankees

Astros vs Yankees
Image Credit- Getty Images. Astros vs Yankees. USA TODAY

As Baker said, “This man has mental tenacity.” When he’s in a tight spot, this man can turn it up, and it appears that you’ve gotten him into trouble.

Astros vs Yankees, USA TODAY

In the sixth inning, Houston’s Yuli Gurriel blasted a tie-breaking home run. After finishing 106-56 in the regular season, the AL West winners advanced to 4-0 in the postseason with contributions from Chas McCormick and Jeremy Pea.

The Astros are attempting to win their sixth straight ALCS and make it to the World Series for the fourth time in that span as they take on a New York team in the LCS for the first time since Houston eliminated them in 2019.

Astros vs Yankees
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Gurriel hit off reliever Clarke Schmidt for a single blast into the left-field bleachers to give Houston the lead with the score knotted 1-1. Two hitters later, McCormick drove Schmidt’s sinker into right field to make the score 3-1.

Schmidt said, “I didn’t perform my job today.”

With his seventh postseason game with double-digit strikeouts, Verlander established a big league record. He overtook Clayton Kershaw (213) to become the playoffs strikeout leader for his career with 219, surpassing him.

As the game progresses, Verlander explained, “you simply build more confidence as you start making better pitches.” “After I started being able to execute my pitches the way I wanted, my confidence simply kind of increased upon that,” the speaker added.

Astros vs Yankees
Image Credit- Getty Images. Astros vs Yankees . USA TODAY

The Astros struck out just twice more than New York did overall, which was the biggest disparity in a postseason game ever.

They’re clearly very dynamic, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Excellent starting pitching, but can also cut games short with the best of them. Therefore, we must devise a strategy to defeat them.

Astros vs Yankees: Game recap, USA TODAY

Pea homered off Frankie Montas to start the seventh and increase the advantage to 4-1. Pea’s home run in the 18th inning finished off a sweep of the Mariners in the ALDS. Due to a shoulder issue that kept him off the Division Series roster since September 16, Montas was throwing for the first time since then.

Astros vs Yankees
Image Credit- Getty Images. Astros vs Yankees . USA TODAY

With two outs in the eighth, Anthony Rizzo hit a home run off Rafael Montero to pull the Yankees within two. Before Josh Donaldson walked, Giancarlo Stanton singled, prompting Baker to insert closer Ryan Pressly.

He got the four-out save by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth and getting Matt Carpenter struck out to close the game.

Carpenter fanning all four times up after just recovering from a fractured foot.

“I could have played for the previous two months, but it would have been a challenging day,” he remarked of Verlander’s pitching performance tonight.

Harrison Bader’s home run in the second inning gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead as Justin Verlander struggled in Game 1 of the ALDS against Seattle. It was Bader’s first four long balls with New York and his fourth home run in six playoff games.

However, Martn Maldonado’s RBI double in the bottom half gave the Astros the lead back.

The Astros enjoyed a few days off following their victory against Seattle on Saturday. The Yankees had a short turnaround after defeating the Guardians at home on Tuesday’s rain-postponed Game 5 before traveling to Houston.

Astros vs Yankees
Image Credit- Getty Images. Astros vs Yankees. USA TODAY

After Stanton’s double in the third, they had runners at second and third with one out, but Verlander got out of the jam by striking out Donaldson and Carpenter.

“I worked pretty hard to get a couple of strikeouts and was able to do it,” Verlander said. “From then on, just keep making throws,” the pitcher said, “and a few changes I was able to make fairly fast on the off-speed stuff really paid off.”

These were the first of Verlander’s six straight strikeouts, which tied a postseason record. He previously struck out six consecutive times for Detroit in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS, thus this is his second opportunity to tie the record.

I thought we had a chance from the beginning. “I don’t think he was that keen early, but he kind of tuned it in,” Boone said, counting. He started to carry out his plan while avoiding obstacles.

After the third inning, Verlander retired his next 11 batters while striking out nine. He did not allow a baserunner afterward. He raised his fist and roared after fanning Carpenter to end the sixth and the largely orange home crowd gave him a standing ovation as he left the field.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who went 0 for 4, said, “We really couldn’t get anything going against him.” “We really couldn’t think of that critical hit early on to keep him on his toes,” the player said.

The nine-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner made his 32nd playoff start—his 11th in a series opener—and allowed three hits and one run. Since 2019, it was his first playoff victory.

Prior to his home run, Pea doubled twice, giving him seven hits in the postseason. He tied the rookie record most extra-base hits in a postseason game with three.

The Astros have benefited from Pea’s clutch outings in October while star Jose Altuve has faltered. Pea replaced Carlos Correa at shortstop this season.

Astros vs Yankees
Image Credit: Getty Images. Astros vs Yankees. USA TODAY

Everything I had hoped for has come true. Regarding his first postseason, Pea stated, The venue, the audience, the spectators, and the preparation for each game, fun follows.

Three-time batting champion Altuve is 0 for 19 in the postseason after going 0 for 3 with a walk.

With Aaron Hicks out for the remainder of the postseason with a damaged knee he sustained in an outfield collision on Tuesday, Stanton filled in in the left field. Since July 21, Stanton had not played in the field, and in the first inning, when Pea hit a fly ball for a double, Stanton’s rust was evident.

After that, Yordan Alvarez was walked by New York starter Jameson Taillon, but Judge prevented Alex Bregman from getting a single and prevented at least one run from scoring, if not more, by making a diving grab in right field for the second out of the inning.

In 4 1/3 innings, Taillon gave up four hits as well as a run.

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Albert Rawn
Albert Rawn
Journalist | Media | Blogging. These Three Words Describe Me in The Best Way. I Am a Journalist with 10 Years of Experience. I have a small team who helps us with content writing.


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