It’s the Houston Astros’ world, and we’re all just living in it.
The Astros fought back from down four runs against the Seattle Mariners and won Game 1 of the ALDS, 8-7, on a three-run walk-off home run by Yordan Alvarez.
The Astros were down 7-3 entering the eighth inning, but they clearly weren’t dead. Alex Bregman brought Houston within two with a two-run blast. In the ninth, Paul Sewald put the lead run at the plate in Alvarez with two outs, prompting Scott Servais to match with a lefty, defending AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray.
It didn’t matter one iota. Alvarez took the second pitch he saw and blasted it 438 feet to win the game.
The comeback only occurred because of a surprisingly rough start from one of the game’s best, both today and of all-time. Justin Verlander entered the day as far and away the American League Cy Young Award favorite — yet he looked anything like that on Tuesday. Verlander lasted just four innings and allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and only struck out three batters.
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Logan Gilbert did more than what was asked of him in his postseason debut, giving Seattle 5.1 innings of three-run ball, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five. He was in line for the win, but his bullpen let him down, needing just five outs to change the series.
Instead, the Astros have all the momentum, as they aim for their sixth-straight ALCS.
The top of the Mariners’ order in Julio Rodriguez, Ty France and Eugenio Suarez combined to go 7-for-13 with five RBI on two doubles (both by Rodriguez) and a homer (by Suarez). But now, it’s all moot thanks to Alvarez’s five RBI — he had driven in two runs with a third-inning double.
Houston will have Framber Valdez in Game 2 on Thursday, while the Mariners will have Luis Castillo fresh off 7.1 scoreless innings against the Toronto Blue Jays in the wild card series. Starting pitchers haven’t loved the bye straight to the Division Series (Max Fried allowed six runs, four earned against the Phillies), but all that matters is getting 27 outs.
The winner of this series will face the winner of the Guardians-Yankees series.