Sox beat Yankees 4-3, advance to ALCS

The roster decisions the Astros face ahead of their ALCS matchup against the Red Sox

The roster decisions the Astros face ahead of their ALCS matchup against the Red Sox

Also familiar with each other: Red Sox manager Alex Cora and the Astros.

"I think it's just staying locked in, not trying to play above your playing grade", Sale said. The Red Sox upgraded a lineup that was overmatched on this stage previous year by adding MVP candidate J.D.

One of the flashpoints of the ALDS was the use of the song "New York, New York", right at the center of a lot of mutual Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees trolling.

After beating the 100-win Yankees, the Red Sox face the 103-victory Astros. These teams are too good, and they have too much to play for.

"This is a rematch of previous year", Sale said. Who knows where I would have been? He's ready to go, and he isn't holding anything back with a trip to the World Series on the line. Red Sox players - including a couple that were Cora's teammates when he was with the team from 2005-08 - praised the relatability of their 42-year-old manager after five years with the more traditional and distant John Farrell.

There are trade deadline acquisitions and then there are ones like the one that brought Justin Verlander to the Astros last August.

In this postseason, both won Game 1 of his respective series. It doesn't guarantee that you're going to have success, but when you're not shying away from the moment and doing everything you can to be prepared, I think that's the biggest thing.

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Verlander was stellar in Game 1 of the ALDS against Cleveland, giving up two hits and two earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. The Red Sox's bullpen still has some issues getting the ball to closer Craig Kimbrel.

He grew into one of baseball's most productive hitters.

Sale is 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in seven career regular season starts against the Astros. With Jackie Bradley Jr. dancing on third base, Verlander put a 1-2 curveball in the dirt and past catcher Martin Maldonado, allowing the runners to advance and tying the game 2-2.

"I think it's just better for the game", Sale said.

It was fairly obvious that Yankees ace pitcher Luis Severino, for whatever reason, just didn't have his best stuff in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Monday.

From Cy Young candidates such as Verlander and Game 2 starter Gerrit Cole, to MVP possibility Bregman (and the guy who won the award a year ago, Jose Altuve) to a bullpen anchored by former Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna, the Astros are indeed a juggernaut. Benintendi slammed down his helmet and bat down and jawed with plate umpire James Hoye before Red Sox coaches ran in to get between them. Cora insisted that he had faith in Price, and he told the 2012 AL Cy Young victor as much after the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees in the previous round.

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