HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — It’s early in this American League title bout, but the Astros looked as though they could go 15 rounds while withstanding every body blow that the Yankees can deal them.
Houston and New York go into Thursday night’s Game 2 of the AL Championship Series giving each other their best swing the night before in Game 1.
The Astros proved again that they can stay resilient enough to win in spite of two Yankees home runs, which represented the only runs scored throughout Houston’s series-opening win.
GRIDLOCK ALERT: Ready for round 2? Expect another night of crowds and closures for ALCS Game 2
Game 2 is a brand new game, though, and Houston is expected to tap into that same resilience to avoid knotting up the ALCS before heading out to the Bronx.
And they’ll need it. The only day off of the entire series is between Games 2 and 3. If the ALCS needs Games 5 and 6, there will be no off day for travel between them. That means both teams could play in New York, finish up in the evening, pack up and fly to Houston, and play the next night.
This article holds the major developments in tonight’s game. Check back for updates as they happen.
GAME 1 RECAP: Astros take ALCS Game 1 behind 3 solo home runs and JV’s record night
Breggy blasts bomb for early lead
The first runs of the game came courtesy of Alex Bregman, who, with two outs and two runners on base in the third inning, crushed Luis Severino’s four-seam fastball 360 feet to left.
Astros led 3-0.
Directly after that, in the top of the fourth inning, Framber Valdez’s was charged with an error when, with Aaron Judge at first, he dropped a weak pop up from Giancarlo Stanton and overthrew to first, advancing the runners to second and third.
Valdez would then allow two RBIs, each on a sacrifice grounder and and an infield hit.
The Astros’ lead cut down, 3-2, which would be unchanged heading into the seventh inning.
King of quality starts turns one in
For a second straight postseason game, an Astros starting pitcher was able to outlast his Yankee counterpart.
Framber Valdez, whose 2022 was highlighted by his streak of 25 straight quality starts, pitched seven innings of four-hit baseball, allowing only two runs – both unearned – on 101 pitches.
After his fourth inning error, Valdez regained control, throwing five of his nine total strikeouts the rest of the way.
In contrast, Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino was pulled after five and one-third innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs, all of them scored from the Bregman homer.
Tuck Robs Judge
The Yankees were indeed threatening the Astros lead ever since Bregman’s homer.
The closest such attempt at overtaking Houston came in the eighth inning with Aaron Judge at bat with one runner on base and Houston’s Bryan Abreu pitching in relief.
Judge, who plays in right field, launched a first-pitch fly ball to deep right where his counterpart, Kyle Tucker, took just a light leap against the wall to grab the inning’s second out.
Abreu would escape that inning with a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton.
Yes, the roof is open
And, no, the Minute Maid Park roof (the roof) isn’t on fire, but it certainly doesn’t need any water, even though the crowd should be fired up all the same.
Not a cloud was above downtown Houston by the time the first pitch was thrown.
So why’s the roof open? That’s a Major League Baseball call. Typically, the Astros organization would get to make that call if the temperature and humidity goes down to a certain point. MLB takes over that decision in the postseason, though.
Game 2 marks just the sixth time in franchise postseason history that the roof was open. The Astros have a 1-4 record in the playoffs while playing under the stars.
Golden ‘Stros: Houston well represented as finalists for top defensive award
Rookie Jeremy Peña’s banner regular season – and postseason, really – could mean some honorary hardware by the time the season ends.
Ahead of Game 2, the Astros’ shortstop was named among the three finalists at his position for the AL Gold Glove. The other finalists are Boston’s Xander Bogaerts and Minnesota’s Carlos Correa, whom Peña replaced at the position in Houston.
Outfielder Kyle Tucker joins Peña as the only other Astros representative to become a finalist. He got his second-straight nomination in right field.
Peña, Tucker, and Astros fans will find out the Gold Glove winners during a special edition of ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” on Nov. 1 at 4 pm, which takes place prior to Game 4 of the upcoming World Series.
2022 AL Championship Series: Astros lead 1-0
- Game 1: Astros 4, Yankees 2
- Game 2: at Houston, Thursday, 6:37 pm
- Game 3: at New York Yankees, Saturday, 4:07 pm
- Game 4: at New York Yankees, Sunday, Oct. 23, 6:07 pm
- Game 5*: at New York Yankees, Monday, Oct. 24, 3:07 pm or 4:07 pm
- Game 6*: at Houston, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 5:07 pm or 6:37 pm
- Game 7*: at Houston, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6:37 pm
All times listed are CDT. Games 5-7 are if necessary*.
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