The Boston Red Sox loss in Game 1 of the ALCS to the Houston Astros boils down to three main factors that cost them the game.
It’s hard to say that Game 1 in a best-of-seven series is a must-win yet it sure feels like the Boston Red Sox are letting the ALCS slip away by losing the opener in their own ballpark.
Not only have they surrendered home-field advantage, Boston is now forced to rely on a pitcher with a history of postseason failure to keep them from falling into a 0-2 hole before heading to Houston. You can never count a team out after what we witnessed in 2004 but that was a once in a lifetime comeback.
We can’t look at one particular moment that decided a 7-2 game but the final score undersells how close Game 1 was – or at least should have been. Four of those Houston runs came on a pair of home runs allowed by Brandon Workman, who wouldn’t have been pitching in the ninth inning had the previous eight innings gone differently.
There are three factors that put the Red Sox in that position. Change the outcome of at least one of these reasons and we probably see Craig Kimbrel closing out the ninth instead of one of the weaker links in the bullpen putting the game out of reach.