After two nights in which the road to the Astros' fall was paved with strange, fluke-y moments, faithful fans might well be forgiven for concluding that the Red Sox got lucky in game 2 of the American League Championship Series, and also game 3, in which Boston summarily dispatched Houston Tuesday afternoon in well-nigh commanding fashion, 8-2.
All true, but we are not in the habit of discounting luck, which after all was present in no small quantity during the Astros assent to a World Series crown last year. Still, something about the Sox performance so far has us wondering if the boys from Beantown aren't leaning too heavily on luck—pressing their luck, that is—as the team that TBS can't stop calling healthy and able (as opposed to our boys) doesn't ever seem to find a way to play commanding baseball, despite its salubrious bona fides. But perhaps luck is enough in a best-of-7 series. That seems doubtful, but we shall see.
The Sox struck first yesterday, as they are wont to do, in their initial at-bat off perennial slow starter Dallas Keuchel, with Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi getting two singles in the top of the first inning. A J.D. Martinez double and Xander Bogaerts ground out combined to give Boston a 2-0 lead off the top.
The 'Stros answered immediately, as they are wont to do, with Marwin Gonzalez singling in Alex Bregman and getting Houston on the board in the second inning. It took until the bottom of the fifth for our boys to tie the game, when Bregman doubled, bringing home a hobbling-not-quite-100-percent Jose Altuve.
But from that point on it was all Sox, however, with first baseman Steve Pearce homering in the sixth as a prelude to what can only be described as an utterly disastrous outing by the usually-reliable Roberto Osuna. It was bad enough that the reliever hit two batters in a row, but the second one also allowed a run to score. Oh, and then there was that errant pitch he threw to Jackie Bradley, Jr.—you know, the one with the bases loaded that the Sox centerfielder stroked with ease into the right field seats for a grand slam.
If game 1 was the game the Red Sox wish they could forget, game 3 is the best candidate for Astros amnesia. But can they forget it in time for tomorrow's all-important game 4? That's the question.
The American League Championship Series continues tomorrow at Minute Maid Park. The first pitch is at 7:39 p.m. local time and the game will be televised on TBS.