RHP Gerrit Cole (16-8, 3.23 ERA) goes for the Yankees and RHP Nathan Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA) takes the ball for the Red Sox.
October 5 has been an eventful day in baseball history. Among other things, Mickey Owens let Tommy Heinrich’s ball get past him in 1941, Al Gionfriddo caught Joe DiMaggio’s fly ball in 1947, Don Newcombe made the first World Series start by a black pitcher memorable but lost 1-0 on a walk-off HR by Tommy Heinrich (him again!) in 1949, Mickey Mantle tore up his right knee in 1951 when DiMaggio called him off a fly ball, and Glenn Burke high-fived Dusty Baker in 1977, the first time that gesture was seen in MLB.
Boston got LHP Chris Sale last offseason for precisely this moment: to pitch Game One of a playoff series. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA this season, striking out 308 along the way. This is his first postseason start. He’ll face RHP Justin Verlander, who came to the Astros from the Tigers at the trade deadline, waiving a no-trade clause to do so. He was 15-8 with a 3.36 ERA between his two teams, and he’s been in the postseason a lot; this will be his 17th playoff start.
The Yankees start RHP Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA), whom they got from the As at the trade deadline. He wasn’t quite as good (4-7) for them as he had been for his former team (6-5), but he’s had two postseason starts in his past. He’ll face RHP Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19 ERA), a surprise starter over their Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber.
Today in baseball history: From Mickey Owen’s passed ball to Al Gionfriddo’s catch to Mickey Mantle’s knee injury to Glenn Burke’s invention of the high five, a lot has happened on the fifth day of October in baseball.