That wasn’t how the Red Sox drew it up at all.
However, this is probably exactly how the Astros drew it up. They beat the Red Sox 8-2 and gave Boston a 360-degree view of how their lineup can hurt teams in a bunch of different ways.
It started early, with Boston DH Eduardo Nunez re-injuring his right knee on the second out of the inning. Sox starter Chris Sale then got lit up for two solo home runs from Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman in the first inning, to put the Astros up 2-0.
The Sox put a run on the board in the top of the second inning to get within one run, but it wasn’t without some controversy. Dustin Pedroia appeared to run into an out at third before Mitch Moreland crossed home plate off a Sandy Leon single, but the run was upheld.
That’s about the last time the Red Sox had good luck in the game. Rafael Devers drove home Mookie Betts with a sacrifice fly to even things, and it looked for a moment like they figured out Justin Verlander for the day. That wasn’t the case, and he finished his outing with a very strong 6 IP, letting up only those two earned runs and six hits.
After that Chris Sale broke down again. He let up three more runs, including Jose Altuve’s second homer of the game and a two-run Marwin Gonzalez double, before finally getting pulled in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Sale didn’t leave his replacement pitcher in the best situation and while Joe Kelly did his best to get out of things, two more runs came home for the Astros to put them up 7-1. Houston never looked back.
Jose Altuve hit yet another solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, just to throw some more dirt on Boston’s Game 1 grave.
If there’s any team that has a chance to come back, it’s the Red Sox, though, as in 2017 there’s never been a final inning in which they didn’t at least threaten. That wasn’t to be at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, though, as they couldn’t rally and went down with three straight outs.
It’ll be a different pitching game on Friday. Houston is a lot less excited about that fact than Boston is right now.