The Houston Astros’ bid for back-to-back World Series titles ended just one series short as the defending champs were eliminated in the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox won the series 4-1 after beating the Astros 4-1 in Game 5.
Game 5 was a defensive battle in the first half of the game. In the pitcher’s duel, Houston’s Justin Verlander and Boston’s David Price were trading outs and keeping the runs scarce. For the longest time, a J.D. Martinez home run in the third inning was the only thing separating the two teams on the scoreboard.
JV, meet J.D. pic.twitter.com/V2gjyNrWaf
— MLB (@MLB) October 19, 2018
The turning point in the game took place in the sixth inning. I won’t say the wheels completely came off for Verlander but he was struggling a bit in the sixth. Mitch Moreland lead off with a double while Ian Kinsler singled right after. Then Rafael Devers sent Verlander deep with a three-run opposite field home run that just sunk the hopes of Astros fans at Minute Maid Park.
🍦 🍦 🍦
— MLB (@MLB) October 19, 2018
On the mound, David Price was nearly unstoppable for the Red Sox. Pitching six scoreless innings, Price also ended his night with only three hits and nine strikeouts. When you have those kinds of stats through six, it’s tough for anyone to beat you.
The Astros didn’t give up. Once Price was out, they broke out the bats and tried to get out of the ballpark but most fly balls remained in play. Marwin Gonzalez hit a homer in the seventh but the Astros just weren’t able to overcome that deficit and were eliminated.
One interesting tidbit from this series came from Twitter user @Curtos07, who pointed out that TBS once again had another LCS series that ended in less than five games. In fact, TBS had to deal with a short series in six of the last seven years while Fox (who has the NLCS this year) will again have a series that will last at minimum, six games.
In the 12 years TBS has been doing playoff baseball, the only year they got the better of the two LCS series was probably 2008 (Rays-Red Sox). https://t.co/D1SiX0Phtz
— Curtis (@Curtos07) October 19, 2018
Overall, this ALCS was rather controversial. The two most notable moments involved controversy and really overshadowed the entire series. First, there was the report that the Astros were having an unofficial staffer record the opposing team on his phone in order to steal signs. The Astros wound up not being punished by Major League Baseball. The second controversial moment came in Game 4 where a fan tried to catch a home run ball and potentially prevent Mookie Betts from catching the fly ball. Despite the ball looking like it was in the stands and therefore up for grabs among Betts and the fans, officials ruled fan interference and the Astros were unable to tie the game. They would wind up losing 8-6.
The Red Sox will face the NLCS winner between the LA Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers are up 3-2 in the series and will face off at Miller Park Friday night.