Altuve's Historic, Verlander's Effective As Astros Thump BoSox
Four seasons of tanking have put Houston in this position.
Among other things, they produced:
- Four high-pick drafts with more hits than misses,
- A hearty helping of sabremetrics, and
- Innovative farm system development that yielded bargaining chips as well as core players put the Astros in position to have a strong run as a contender.
Houston rarely plays in those snazzy shoulder-sunburst uniforms anymore ...
And only breaks out the infamous threads that begat their more refined look ...
But fashion statements aren't their defining image these days.
The Boston Red Sox knew that, of course, and surely knew what they were getting into in their American League Division Series matchup.
But how could they prepare for a red-hot José Altuve?
Rhetorical question. They couldn't.
Game 1's first inning basically told the tale.
- The 'Stros set the tone with last-second acquisition Justin Verlander making short work of the BoSox;
- Boston's Eduardo Núñez was lost for the series, and
- Altuve served notice that Houston's offense was ready for blast-off.
Just as quickly as Cleveland getting a jump on the New York Yankees in the other divisional semi-final.
Houston's already looking in T-minus mode for liftoff to the next series.
Game 2's gonna be huge for both Boston and the Bombers.