The Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series after eliminating the Houston Astros on Thursday.
Boston took down defending champions the Astros 4-1 to lock up the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in five games.
David Price was impressive as Houston never strung anything together offensively.
The Red Sox will head back to the fall classic for the first time since 2013.
It's all about matchups
Price is not a good starter in the postseason. Coming into game two of the ALCS, Price's teams had never won a game in which he started in the postseason. But the playoffs are all about matchups and Price has always matched up well with the Astros.
Coming into Thursday's game Price had a career 6-2 record with a 2.94 ERA against the Astros. In the postseason he had posted a career 3.17 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts.
Price tossed six innings of three-hit, shutout ball with no walks and nine strikeouts in game five.
Justin Verlander should be infuriated with his team-mates
To be clear, Verlander would never call out his team or express any kind of anger toward a group that helped him win his first World Series last season, but he should be extremely frustrated with them. Not just for their performance on Thursday, but because of their lack of production for him at Minute Maid Park all year.
While Verlander was on the mound in game five, Houston scored no runs. This is not new for the Astros at Minute Maid Park with Verlander on the mound in 2018. Houston was shut out five times in Verlander's starts on their home field in 2018. The team scored three runs or less eight times and four or less 11 times in 19 starts.
And it is all either mental, or the Astros really cannot see with the new batter's eye in the outfield. However, Boston scored eight runs in games three and four and another four while Verlander was on the mound in game five, so it could very well be in their heads. This season Houston scored 51 more runs on the road than at home and 3/4 of a run less per game away from Minute Maid (5.23 v 4.60). In Verlander's starts at home it was even worse as Houston scored 3.84 runs per game.
Verlander is as close to perfect as it gets in the postseason, especially in elimination games, but he almost had to be perfect for the Astros to win at home this season and he simply was not on Thursday. It is his fault for giving up four runs in this game. It is his team-mates' fault for not backing him up – at all – at the plate.
JV, meet J.D. pic.twitter.com/V2gjyNrWaf— MLB (@MLB) October 19, 2018
Pitching is for the regular season, hitting is for the playoffs
The team that hit better in the postseason wins. This is almost always true. In the last five World Series the team with the higher OPS have won. That has been true for eight of the last 11 as well.
In the ALCS specifically, the team with the higher batting average during the season have won seven of the last nine series. Pitching is great to have and the Astros had all kinds of it this season, but Boston's hitting beat the Astros' pitching, smacking five home runs and 13 extra-base hits in the final four games to close out the series.
The Red Sox were the best hitting team in a great hitting American League this year. They out-hit the Astros this series.
|Devils´ Palmieri replaces Hall on NHL All-Star roster|
|Tuchel stunned by PSG´s nine-goal thrashing of Guingamp|
|Modric wants to extend Real Madrid stay|
|Marotta: Icardi will re-sign, Godin wants Inter|
|´F*** no!´ - Westbrook on if he´s cool with Embiid|
|Mickelson shoots 66 to stay ahead at Desert Classic|
|Real Madrid? You never know what the future holds - PSG´s Mbappe|
|Inter lacked quality in disappointing Sassuolo draw - Spalletti|
|Walton has one goal for Lakers-Rockets matchup: Keep Harden under 50 points|
|CAF Champions League Review: Simba learn Vita lesson as Sundowns find form|
|Bayliss relishing pressure of World Cup and Ashes to finish England reign|
|Guardiola keen to keep City rhythm and challenge on four fronts|
|Fifita backs Johnson to inspire the Sharks|
|For Real Madrid, nothing is impossible - Solari refuses to give up in title race|
|Inter 0 Sassuolo 0: Spalletti´s side labour at sparse San Siro|
|Marshawn Lynch will continue playing ´if it works out´|
|Simeone excited by improving Atleti|
|Jones ´cautiously optimistic´ over Farrell ahead of Ireland clash|
|Sarri questions Chelsea motivation after Arsenal surrender|
|Emery urges Arsenal to find balance after downing Chelsea|
|Koscielny hails Arsenal fighting spirit in Chelsea win|
|Pellegrini: It was not a good idea for Arnautovic to play|
|Iran v Oman: We´re not satisfied yet, says Al Mahaijri|
|Carbery sends Munster through and ends Exeter´s lingering Champions Cup hopes|
|Dyche defiant despite offside call|
|Hasenhuttl rates Everton win as Southampton´s best|
|Benitez looking up the table after Schar inspires win over Cardiff|
|RB Leipzig 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Witsel restores six-point cushion|
|Swansea City 1 Sheffield United 0: McBurnie punishes wasteful Blades|
|Cardiff sign Sala from Nantes for club-record fee|
|Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0: Lacazette and Koscielny fire Gunners to rousing derby win|
|Huesca 0 Atletico Madrid 3: Dominant Atleti keep pressure on Barca|
|Rashford arguably league´s best striker with Kane out - Solskjaer|
|Hafeez plays steady hand as Pakistan punish Proteas´ patient approach|
|Klopp: Exceptional Salah would have scored even more up front!|
|Suspected ´serious´ Verratti injury leaves Tuchel with mixed emotions|
|We needed to rediscover our best form - Ramos pleased for Real Madrid fans|
|City bought Guardiola four full-backs! - Mourinho aims dig at Man Utd transfer policy|
|Valverde ´not frustrated´ amid De Jong & Vela links|
|Championship Review: Leaders Leeds beaten at Stoke as Villa end Hull run|
|Bournemouth rode their luck, admits Howe|
|Barca boss Valverde calls for clarity on RFEF rules|
|Bears rack up 107 points in routing Enisei en route to quarter-finals|
|Paris Saint-Germain 9 Guingamp 0: Verratti injured for rampant champions|
|Solskjaer: I´ll remember managing United for the rest of my life|
|Palace win a ´massive relief´ for Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Salah fourth fastest to 50 goals in Premier League history|
|Real Madrid 2 Sevilla 0: Solari´s side take over third spot|
|Watford 0 Burnley 0: Wood denied winner by contentious call|
|Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 3: Salah reaches 50 thanks to Speroni shocker|
|Newcastle United 3 Cardiff City 0: Schar double moves hosts out of bottom three|
|Southampton 2 Everton 1: In-form Saints steer clear of trouble|
|Bournemouth 2 West Ham 0: Wilson and King sink Pellegrini´s men|
|Manchester United 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1: Record-breaking win for Solskjaer|
|Pelicans star Anthony Davis out for one to two weeks with sprained finger|
|Verratti hobbles off for PSG against Guingamp|
|Brook ponders next move after missing out on Khan|
|Mick Schumacher: The Ferrari academy graduates who made it to F1|
|Thailand v China: Lippi aims to overcome War Elephants and reach last eight|
|I deserved red card, says Wolves boss Nuno|
|Mick Schumacher joins Ferrari Driver Academy|
|Jared Goff not worried about Superdome noise: ´When it´s loud, we love it´|
|Rooney urged Rashford to run at defenders|
|Former Springbok Lambie retires from rugby aged 28|
|Spygate: EFL confirms 11 clubs have made contact about Leeds|
|When it´s loud, we love it - Goff ready for New Orleans noise|
|Wolves 4 Leicester City 3: Jota hat-trick drama piles pressure on Puel|
|´Asparagus´ Zverev joins frustrated Djokovic in round four|
|Lowry takes Abu Dhabi title at the last after ding-dong Sterne battle|
|Rooney: United should go "all out" for Pochettino|