Astros' Justin Verlander: Not sharp on short rest
Verlander (1-1) allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out five over 3.2 innings in a loss to Tampa Bay in Game 4 of the ALDS on Tuesday.
The Astros decided to start Verlander on short rest and the decision backfired, as his stuff did not look as crisp and the Rays capitalized. Tommy Pham homered in a three-run first inning and Willy Adames followed up with a long ball of his own in the fourth. "You know, the low-hanging fruit is to sit there and say this was short rest, and that's the reason why," Verlander told The Athletic. "But I don't think so. I felt good. My body felt good physically. I just didn't execute the way I needed to." If the Astros get past the Rays, Verlander will likely start Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday.
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