The New York Yankees were out of the postseason when they lost to the Red Sox in the wild card. However, Boston continued to win, but last night they had their backs against the wall in an elimination game in Houston. At the end of the night, it was the end of their dream season as they succumbed to the Astros 5-0 and packed their bags for the long sad trip back to Boston. The Houston Astros will face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Atlanta Braves in the Fall Classic next Tuesday.
Game One: The first game featured Sox Ace Chris Sales against the Astro’s Framber Valdez. Vazquez doubled in the top of the first, scoring Altuve from third as the Astros got on the board first. In the top of the third Kike Hernandez answered with a homer to the left-field stands to tie the game up at one apiece. Then, in the bottom, Altuve bungled a hit, and Bogaerts scored. Then Renfroe hit an RBI double to make it 3-1 Sox.
Jose Altuve tied it up with a two-run homer into the left-field stands in the bottom of the sixth inning. Carlos Correa put one up into the stands in left at the bottom of the seventh, putting the Astros up by one. At the bottom of the eighth, Altuve hit a sac fly scoring Gurriel from third, Astros 5 Boston 3. Kiki Hernandez hit another homer just into the stands in the top of the ninth, drawing the Red Sox one-run closer, but that was it for the Sox as the Astros took game one 5-4. The winning pitcher was Ryne Stanek, the loser was Hansel Robles, and the save went to Ryan Pressly.
The Red Sox entered the second game of the 2021 ALCS behind a game in the series, hoping to salvage one game at MinuteMaid Park in Houston. They did it, winning the second game by beating Houston 9-5. Nathan Eovaldi went into the sixth inning, giving up three runs; Ottavino and Whitlock combined for 2.2 scoreless innings. Hernandez gave up two runs in his .02 innings of work, while Brasier finished it up for the Sox, getting the final out and win. Meanwhile, the Red Sox racked up nine runs in the contest.
J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers put the game pretty much out of reach for the Astros by getting two Grand Slams in the game. It started poorly for the Astros and starter Luis Garcia when Martinez got his Slam in the first inning. Then, in the second, he gave up another run, which was the night for Garcia. To make matters worse for the Astros, the Sox loaded up the bases for Rafael Devers to hit his Grand Slam in the same inning. It’s the first time in postseason history that two Grand Slams had been achieved in the first two innings of a postseason game.
In the top of the fourth, Kiki Hernandez, who led the Sox in hits, this postseason hit his 3rd home run of the postseason making it 9-0 Red Sox. The Astros got three runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but it was far too little, far too late. Unfortunately, that also signaled the end of Eovaldi’s pitching effort. At the bottom of the ninth, the Astros made a valiant attempt at a rally, and although scoring two home runs, it wasn’t enough. The loss for the Astros tied up the series at one apiece. The winning pitcher was Eovaldi, and the loser was Garcia.
If the Houston Astros looked back to the last game at their home park as a miserable failure, they were in store for even greater embarrassment at Fenway Park in game three. But, instead, the Boston Red Sox piled on the runs, twelve of them to put the Sox up two games to one.
The Red Sox sent out Eduardo Rodriguez to start facing Jose Urquidy. Just like in the previous game, the Astros were out of the game early. The Red Sox scored nine runs in the first three innings. It was a chilly autumn night in Boston but even colder for the Astros. In the second inning, Boston got on board with an RBI hit by Christain Vazquez. Then, JD Martinez scored on a line drive that bounced off Jose Altuve. Boston 2-0. Then with the bases loaded, Kyle Schwarber got a Grand Slam Boston 6-0. In the third, Renfroe scored, then Christian Arroyo hit a two-run blast into the green monster stands to make it 9-0 Boston.
In the top of the fourth inning, Kyle Tucker hit a three-run homer for the Astros, but again just as in the last game, it was too little too late. Meanwhile, Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez pitched masterfully through six innings. In the bottom of the sixth, J.D. Martinez struck again, this one a two-run shot into the green monster to make it 11-3 Boston. In the bottom of the eight, Devers tacked another run up into that same monster for the final score of 12-3 Boston, putting the Red Sox up two games to one in the series with two more games at Fenway. The winning pitcher was Rodriguez, and the loser Urquidy.
Game four was a turnaround for the Astros as they won the second game at Fenway Park 9-2. In the very first inning, the Astros struck early with an Alex Bregman homer over the green monster against Boston pitcher Nick Pivetta. Then, in the bottom, with one on, Xander Bogaerts shot one onto Landsdown St. putting the Red Sox up by one. But, unfortunately, that would be the Red Sox only scoring for the night. After that, neither team would score another run in the next six innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Jose Altuve, who had been 0 for 12 in this series, launched a solo shot that hit the Nationals rental sign over the green monster making it a tied game at two apiece. But there was much more to come as the Astros scored another seven runs in the top of the ninth inning, with starter Nathan Eovaldi on the mound pinch-hitter Castro with one on doubled driving in a run. That did it for Eovaldi being replaced by Perez in a bases-loaded jam. Then, Brantley hit a bases-clearing double to center. Finally, Alverez doubled driving in Brantley. Just like that, it was 9-2 Astros, a deficit the Sox couldn’t recover from.
In game five, the Houston Astros repeated Tuesday night, scoring another nine runs to the Red Sox 1 run, forcing the series back to MinuteMaid Park in Houston. The first inning was scoreless for both teams. At the top of the second, Alverez slammed one into green monster stands to put the Astros up by one. In the sixth, Alverez doubled to the left-field wall driving in another Astros run with two on. Gurriel drove in another run. Siri with two on popped into center, driving in both runs, and it was 6-0 Astros.
Houston scored another run in the top of the seventh. In the bottom, Rafael Devers who homered just to the left of the Pesky Pole in the right for the Red Sox only run of the game. In the top of the ninth inning, with the bases loaded, Gurriel singled, driving in two more Astros runs and making it 9-1 Astros. The Sox remained scoreless at the bottom.
Last night was game six of the seven-game series back in Houston. With the Astros up three games to two, it was an elimination game for the Red Sox; they had to win or go home. The Red Sox sent out Nathan Eovaldi to start. The Astros starter was Luis Garcia. With a standing-room-only crowd, fans in the stands saw the “Rally Nun” throw out the first pitch. The Rally Nuns are the Astros’ lucky charm.
The Astros heavenly or not, struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Yordan Alverez had an RBI double that was missed by Kiki Hernandez, giving the Astros the 1-0 lead. The following five and a half innings were scoreless for both teams as the Astros’ Luis Garcia took his Astros no hitting the sox into the sixth inning. The Astros tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth. When Yordan Alverez made a good read on a double play, he scored from third base to make it 2-0 Astros.
The Houston Astros weren’t done. In the bottom of the eighth, with Adam Ottavion on the mound for the Red Sox and two on base, Kyle Tucker hit a three-run blast into the stands in left field for the 5-0 Astros lead. With the season’s last licks on the line for the Boston Red Sox in the top of the ninth and Astros’ closer Ryan Pressly on the mound, Kiki Hernandez stepped to the plate and flew out to left. Rafael Devers stuck out. Xander Bogaerts flew out to left, and the Astros won the American League Pennant.
This series between the Red Sox and the Astros have been a home run-fest for anyone who likes a lot of action in a baseball game. There have been three Grand Slams, 20 home runs and a total of 64 runs scored. But that was not the only excitement in the games. Both teams have made some fantastic defensive plays. Just when it looked like the Red sox couldn’t be stopped, the Astro came roaring back to win the last three in a row. Dusty Baker and his Houston Astros are going to the World Series for the third time in five years. The Boston Red Sox, for their part, could only muster up two hits in the game.
The final score was the Houston Astros 5 and the Boston Red Sox 0. The Red Sox had never been shut out in a postseason elimination game. The winning pitcher was starter Luis Garcia, and the loser was starter Nathan Eovaldi.