The Astros acknowledge that it was such a strange game that by the second inning they were already down 8-0 with two grand slams, as no one had ever connected in history and with a starting pitcher who was only on the mound for an inning, before leaving very back to your team.
“Nobody hits two grand slams the way they did,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Much less visitors and that made the rest of the game very complicated. We have to recognize their work, but we left too much to do on the field to think about winning.”
“We must highlight the effort of the boys who battled with the bat until the end, but it was already very difficult,” he added. “Now we have to focus on the game on Monday, because the series does not wait for anyone.”
Yes, the Astros will have to think about how their starter, Mexican José Urquidy, will have to try to get outs and innings. Especially to stop that Boston Red Sox artillery that woke up as a group from the first grand slam of JD Martínez and that followed with that of Rafael Devers.
But further, they will have to manage to face Enrique Hernández, the Red Sox center fielder, who is tearing them to pieces every time he stands at the batting plate.
Hernández appears to continue on his historic mission. This Saturday he hit two hits, including his fifth home run of the postseason, the second in the current series in which he already has three RBIs.
Led by the Puerto Rican, the Red Sox have connected 21 hits in two days against the mostly relief pitching of the Astros, which has 14 2/3 innings in the first two games of the series.
“It’s hard to think that you can beat a good team, if every day you expect your relief to get 15-20 outs,” acknowledged Baker. “We trust José to do a good job. He’s been on this stage before and he knows what it’s about.”
Despite the complexity of the game that they were already losing before grabbing the leadoff, the Astros will travel to Boston this Sunday with the motivation that they were able to rise from 9-0 to finish 9-5 and with two home runs in the last inning. That is, their offense continues to produce.
“I think we are pretty even,” said the Houston manager. “That is why we are here. That is why we are both teams in the Final Four. These are two teams that are not going to give up. They took the lead earlier today. But we are still competing competing and this is far from over.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora agreed with his colleague.
“Those guys are going to compete to the end, just like mine,” he said. “We know that they are a team that can do a lot of races. So can we.”
Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, who hit the second grand slam of the afternoon, spoke similarly.
“They have a tremendous team, just like us,” he said. “This is going to be a great series, which is now tied.”
Game 3 of the series will be played at Fenway Park in Boston, with Urquidy starting for the Astros. The Red Sox have yet to define their starter.