Eduardo Nunez (knee) is on Boston's roster for the ALDS

Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve hit back-to-back home runs off Sale in the bottom of the first to help their club to an early lead. Chris Sale, who will either win the Cy Young this year or finish second, was tagged for seven runs over five innings, surrendering three home runs in the process in Game 1. Keuchel did not face the Red Sox this season, but was on a good roll to end the season and also should be fresh, having not pitched since September 26. In 2017, Fister started 15 games for the Red Sox, going 5-9.

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper runs the bases for his two-run home run in the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball's National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, at Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Washington. And so, when it was over and there was nothing left to do but process the disappointment, the Boston Red Sox ace found it easy to sum it all up. Sale and Pomeranz - neither of whom had ever started in the playoffs before - combined to allow 11 runs and 14 hits in seven innings against the Astros. The Red Sox must play the first two games of this best of five series in Houston, and Game 3 will undoubtedly be a high-leverage game.

Hanley Ramirez said the prospect of not winning a single playoff game for two straight years is a label no one in Boston's clubhouse wants to wear. The Boston bats managed to scrape across just two runs against starter Justin Verlander, and that would be it for their offensive output. The series will move to Boston for Game 3 on Sunday. He gave up six extra-base hits for just the second time in his career (3 home runs, 3 doubles). If the Red Sox are swept, and even if they're not but still lose this series, there could be some changes coming in Boston. Houston plated four runs in the frame to double its output, end the suspense, and seize control of the series.

On Thursday, Altuve lit up the Red Sox with his bat, hitting three home runs in a single game. "I think we are all looking forward to getting on the field here in front of our home fans at Fenway, but as close as our team is, as much conversation that goes on daily, whether it's about what we're now involved in, what the challenge is that we're facing, this has been a close-knit team". "[I'll] just try to treat this just like another game", he said.

Here are three takeaways from the Astros' Game 1 victory. Keuchel will be facing Boston for the first time this year.

Red Sox players and fans sure hope so. If you didn't think Altuve deserved the American League MVP before, perhaps your perception has shifted. "But we have seen Doug Fister be able to take a very good lineup and neutralize it in a few starts already this season and we're turning to him tomorrow to lead the way". In the playoffs, there is no need for Rodriguez on the mound late in games, seeing as the Red Sox now have two strong multi-inning relievers in Joe Kelly and David Price. And now the Astros find themselves with a 2-0 advantage heading back to Boston.

The bullpen has been one of the Red Sox' major strengths throughout the season and the team would be wise to ease the load on the Game 3 starter by leaning on relief pitchers.