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Justin Verlander K’s 11 to help Astros win ALCS opener

The Astros quickly ran out of superlatives to describe Justin Verlander’s performance in Wednesday night’s 4-2 win over the New York Yankees in Game 1.

After Verlander struck out 11 batters in six innings, and only one earned run allowed, the Astros clubhouse was filled with echos of “first-ballot Hall of Famer”, and “ace”.

His performance was a marked improvement on his previous performances. Verlander, 39, had one of the worst postseason games of his career, allowing six runs and 10 hits in the opening game against the Seattle Mariners.

With a three-run walk-off home run from Yordan Alvarez, the Astros won a dramatic comeback win against Seattle. Verlander was particularly rusty and lacking in command. Martin Maldonado, the Astros’ catcher, was not surprised that his ace quickly recovered to his best when needed.

Maldonado stated, “This is exactly the kind of thing I expected from him.” “That is why he’s a Hall of Famer.”

Dusty Baker, a manager, said Verlander is not only physically strong as you can see but also mentally strong. He is mentally tough. He can turn it up when he’s down or out.

The Astros were unable to score in the second inning, as Harrison Bader singled him. Verlander, however, bounced back and retired the 11 Yankees he faced with nine punch-outs.

Verlander had 11 strikeouts, which was the eighth consecutive double-digit game in his postseason career. This MLB record is still unbeaten. Verlander became the postseason strikeout king by setting a major league record of 219 career strikes in the playoffs. This surpasses Clayton Kershaw’s 213.

Lance McCullers Jr., a fellow starter, said that he thought he saw the true Hall of Fame pitchers’ performance tonight. He had a difficult start in the DS. It didn’t go as planned. He wanted to do better, I’m sure. He worked all week. He felt that he needed to adjust, and he did. … He was able to pitch six incredible innings in a series that has only one off day. This speaks volumes about who he is as both a competitor and a pitcher.

The Yankees had 17 strikeouts in the final game, which tied them for second in the postseason’s nine-inning games. Their differential of 15 strikeouts, which was only two for the Astros, made it the largest single-game in postseason history.

Jose Altuve said that Verlander gave us the performance we needed. He is currently in the longest postseason slump of all his career, at 0-for-19. This was a major win for us and our bullpen, which has been outstanding all season. He set the tone for us and allowed us to win the first game against a formidable team like the Yankees.

Verlander’s record improved to 5-1, with a 2.62 ERA from nine postseason starts against New York Yankees. This was Verlander’s 15th postseason win in a row, tied for second with Hall of Famer John Smoltz (Andy Pettitte is the leader with 19).

The Astros are now 10-5 against New York in postseason play, with a 7-1 record at Minute Maid Park.

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