10/21/22 By Jordan Pagkalinawan
The Houston Astros started the ALCS strong with a 4-2 win over the New York Yankees.
Pitcher Justin Verlander excelled in the victory with 11 strikeouts in six innings, passing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in career postseason strikeouts (219). The 39-year-old also broke the record for most double-digit strikeouts in the playoffs with eight, according to the MLB.
Aside from Verlander, Houston’s offense was clicking. After a 1-1 tie in the second inning, the Astros took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer from Yuli Gurriel. Outfielder Chas McCormick added to their lead shortly after with a dinger to right field.
Both homers were off of Yankees reliever Clarke Schmidt, who said after the game, “I didn’t do my job today.”
The onslaught continued in the top of the seventh inning when Jeremy Peña buried a ball into left field to make it 4-1 Houston. Peña’s heroics previously sent the Mariners home in the 18th inning of Houston’s ALDS sweep.
The Yankees scored again in the top of the eighth thanks to Anthony Rizzo, setting the stage for a possible late comeback. The Astros would spoil it, however, as closer Ryan Pressly pulled off a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth and completed the four-out save.
Game 2 of the ALCS is tonight, with the first pitch coming at 7:37 PM EST.