Verlander Dominates Rays, Astros Take Game One

Verlander Dominates Rays

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning during Game 1 of a best-of-five American League Division Series baseball game in Houston, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Justin Verlander cruised through seven innings allowing the Tampa Bay Rays just 1-hit while striking out eight and walking three as the Houston Astros won the first game of the best-of-five series 6-2.

Kevin Cash was asked after the game if he feels that the team may have learned anything facing Verlander that could help if they face him again. His response drew laughter as he said, ”  No. We got Verlandered.”

Tyler Glasnow had held his own through four innings of work before issuing a walk to Josh Reddick to open the bottom of the fifth. Glasnow struck out Geroge Spring for the first out of the fifth but Jose Altuve followed with a 2-run homer to left giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Altuve’s homer ended Glasnow’s afternoon and his postseason debut after 4.1-innings of work allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five and walking three.

Glasnow got beat on a letter high fastball that didn’t get as high as it needed to be. ” Hindsight’s 20/20. If I went back, I would probably throw a curveball.” Glasnow said. “There were a lot of heaters leading up to it. It was a good pitch though. He’s a really good hitter and he put a good swing on it.”

Brandon McKay, making his postseason debut, gave up a single to Michael Brantley and a double to Alex Bregman before striking out Yordan Alvarez for the second out.

Chaz Roe replaced McKay to face Yuli Gurriel and he got him to pop up to short right field in what looked to be an inning ending popup but Brandon Lowe was unable to cleanly field the ball allowing both Brantley and Bregman to score and extending the Astros lead to 4-0.

“I’m not sure if there was miscommunication, lack of communication.” Kevin Cash said of the misplay. “I haven’t actually gone and talked to the guys. I think we all recognize that that’s got to be an out.”

Houston extended their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back RBI doubles by Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel off Rays reliever Oliver Drake.

Tampa Bay answered with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on Eric Sogard‘s RBI single scoring Joey Wendle and Austin Meadows RBI double to plate Sogard.

The Rays and Astros play the second game of the best-of-five series on Saturday night at 9:07 est.

Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA) takes the ball for the Astros. Tampa Bay counters with left-hander Blake Snell (6-8, 4.29 ERA).