MLB’s 12-team postseason bracket has already been whittled down to eight contenders. Now, the top two seeds from each league have joined the battle in the Division Series. After advancing directly to their ALDS and NLDS slots via byes, the Astros, yankees, Dodgers and Braves faces challengers.
Game 1 in Houston saw the Astros capture victory from the Mariners in heroic, historic fashion. They move on to Game 2 on Thursday with Seattle ace Luis Castillo on the mound, looking to pick up a game before returning home. In a twist, that will be the only Game 2 on Thursday. The planned contest between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians was postponed to Friday afternoon due to rain in the Bronx.
Another clutch Yordan Alvarez homer raises Astros to 2-0 series lead
He struck out earlier this time, but Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez struck out again. His two-run homer in the sixth inning squeaked just enough to overcome a great outing by Mariners starter Luis Castillo. The Astros now have a commanding 2-0 series lead as the series heads to Seattle.
The hero of Game 1, Alvarez came to the plate in the sixth with Houston trailing, 2-1, and a rookie shortstop Jeremy Rock standing on first base. Castillo, working to win another key game for his new team after coming off the trade deadline, cautiously threw Alvarez. It didn’t matter. His second 98 mph sinker from the plate left the park when Alvarez slammed it into the Crawford Boxes in left field. The next time he came up, in the eighth, the Mariners didn’t throw to him at all, intentionally walking him to face. Alex Bregmanwhich also made them pay with an RBI single.
Although an Astros starter Framber Valdez struggled with his command at times, walking three, he allowed just two runs (one earned) over 5 2/3 innings. Hector Neris got a huge out to avoid the sixth and set up Alvarez’s blast. Closer Ryan Pressly worked around a walk and a double by Julio Rodriguez to finish the 4-2 victory.
The first postseason game in Seattle since 2001 will be an elimination game for the young Mariners. They will send rookie pitcher George Kirby to the mound in Saturday’s Game 3 in hopes of keeping what has been a magical season going for at least one more day. The Astros, meanwhile, are one win away from their sixth consecutive ALCS appearance. They will give the ball to Lance McCullers Jr. looking to clinch it.
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