Astros defeat Red Sox 5-4; advance to the ALCS

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Marwin Gonzalez
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Marwin Gonzalez /

Despite some nervous hand wringing throughout Monday, the Astros bested the Red Sox in Game 4 to advance to the ALCS.

Postseason baseball is something else. Seriously. It just happens to be more enjoyable, and stressful, for myself when the Astros are in on the action.

A blessing and a curse. Such is life.

The unpredictable weather was only a precursor for the Astros’ afternoon in Boston. There were a few points when it did seem this Game 4 would’ve been postponed into Tuesday. Alas, the game went on anyway. And the unpredictability ensued on the field.

This game featured two interesting pitchers in Charlie Morton and Rick Porcello. As you may recall, Morton received a renewed lease on his professional baseball career following a surge in velocity. This combined with renewed efficiency was a primary reason the Astros signed him to a contract this past offseason. Porcello is the defending AL Cy Young from a season ago. But the veteran starter had fallen on hard times in 2017 (4.65 ERA in 203.1 innings).

Both starting pitchers, though, didn’t last long. 7.1 innings combined and four runs allowed. Not shabby, but this is postseason baseball.

Then there was the unusual starting pitcher-turn-reliever. Yes, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander pitched multiple innings of relief. In fact, this was the first time in Verlander’s known baseball career that he made an appearance as a reliever.

Baseball is awesome. Postseason baseball is amazing.

Both lineup’s also had their issues.

The Astros had plenty of opportunities early on in this Game 4. The one instance stands out is when Carlos Correa had the bases loaded with two outs in the second inning. He struck out. End of inning. And the Astros wouldn’t score again until the eighth inning. That’s when this happened.

Goodness gracious, Alex Bregman. Goodness, freaking, gracious.

Then there was this Josh Reddick RBI single in the same inning.

The Red Sox had their moments. Both good and bad.

First, the good.

At one point, the Red Sox had the bases loaded and no out in the second inning. Morton was able to escape the jam without surrendering a run. Impressive for him. Not so much for Boston.

But the Red Sox would then take the lead on this Andrew Benintendi home run. Good for Boston. Not so much for Houston. Or Justin Verlander.

Lastly, there was this inside-the-park home run by Rafael Devers. My stomach still aches from this one.

Thankfully, Houston was finally able to vanquish the Red Sox to a score of 5-4. The series was won three games to one. Stressful moments abound. The game in its entirety was unpredictability from the first pitch from Rick Porcello to the last pitch from Ken Giles.

This Game 4 was a simply roller coaster of emotion.

Next: Astros: A honest take on the ALDS

The upcoming ALCS will be an interesting series to watch. But there is no telling on whom the Astros will face. At the time of this post, the Indians-Yankees series is tied two games apiece. This is going to be fun.

**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**