HOUSTON (KIAH) — A good team can create its own luck, and in their three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners in the American League Divisional Series, the Houston Astros had luck on their side.
“We are very fortunate to have won the games that we won, because they’re — one hit, one run — they could have won every one of those games,” Astros Manager Dusty Baker said.
In Game 1 of the ALDS, Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander lasted only four innings while giving up six runs on 10 hits.
He gets the ball again Wednesday night to begin the American League Championship Series at home at Minute Maid Park against the New York Yankees.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” Verlander said. “I feel good.”
The Astros didn’t know who their ALCS opponent would be until the night before Game 1.
The deciding Game 5 of the ALDS between the Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians had to be played Tuesday after getting rained out Monday.
The Yankees won 5-1, but now they’ll take on the well-rested Astros without a day off.
Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker doesn’t think the rest disparity will impact their best-of-seven series.
“During the season, we play a game, leave that night, play the next day,” he said. “So you never really know how it goes. You’ve just got to go out there and win as many games as possible — try to put yourself in as good of a position as you can.”
The Astros are in a perfect position when it comes to their pitching rotation because of the three days in between ALDS Game 3 and ALCS Game 1.
The Yankees will counter Verlander with Jameson Taillon, who won 14 games in the regular season, but has an infinite earned run average in the postseason after giving up three runs without recording an out in his only outing.
The Astros are four wins away from another trip to the World Series, and they’re hopeful for more clutch performances like in games one, two, and three of the ALDS.
“We won them,” he said. “So instead of looking back, we have to look at where we are.”
First pitch of ALCS Game 1 is set for 6:37 p.m. Wednesday and can be watched on TBS.