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, and Sale's Game 1 effort does not bode well for the Red Sox. Houston's Bullpen Remains Its Biggest ALCS AdvantageHouston's starting rotation often gets most of the attention when the team's pitching is mentioned, and for good reason: The trio of Verlander, Cole andDallas Keuchel is superb. Verlander, in particular, has been historically good in the postseason.Stats By STATS StatsBySTATSThe astros Justin Verlander has now allowed a total of 9 hits over his last 4 postseason starts. That ties the fewest hits ever allowed over a span of 4 postseason starts; the other to do it was Don Larsen from 1955-57 - a stretch that included his perfect game. #NeverSettleBut Saturday night, Houston's bullpen was dominant, proving it remains the team's major advantage over Boston.During the regular season, Houston led baseball in bullpen ERA. In 12.2 innings of postseason ball, they've given up one run. The Red Sox managed just one hit against Ryan Pressly, Lance McCullers Jr. and Collin McHugh on Saturday night.Boston, meanwhile, was forced to cycle through five relievers over five innings http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-abreu-jersey
, and that group gave up five runs, including the two ninth-inning dingers.Shea Serrano SheaSerranothe 9th inning of this astros game 3YlRj4KlWXThis series has been billed as the matchup of the unstoppable force (Boston's lineup) against the immovable object (Houston's pitching staff). But Boston has solid options in the starting rotation, even if Sale struggled on Saturday night, and the Astros have dangerous bats. The "unstoppable force vs. the immovable object" storyline is a bit reductive.Look more closely, and it's clear the bullpens could decide this series. In that regard, the Astros appear to have the advantage.Red Sox NeedMookie Betts to Get HotMookie Betts, the front-runner to win the AL MVP, only hit .188 against the New York Yankees in the ALDS. No matter. The rest of the Red Sox offense showed up, pushing 27 runs across the board in four games.But Betts had a limited impact once again Saturday night, managing just one hit without any runs scored or knocked in. And against Houston's superior pitching staff, the rest of the Red Sox weren't up to the task either, only posting three hits.In fact Melky Cabrera Jersey
, Boston's two runs came off a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch by Verlander. It was an ugly night for the Red Sox at the plate.And it's been an ugly postseason for Betts, who hit .346 with 32 homers, 80 RBI, 129 runs and 30 stolen bases during the regular season. He was a major factor in every conceivable way for the Red Sox. He's been much less so in the postseason.For his career, Betts is hitting .239 with no homers, two RBI and six runs scored in 46 postseason at-bats over the past three years (12 games).