Justin Verlander's 11 Helps the Astros Win Game 1 of the American League Championship Series
The Astros exaggerated when describing Justin Verlander's performance in their 4-2
Echoes of "first Hall of Famer on the ballot" and "ace" were heard in the Astros'
clubhouse as Verlander fired 11 batters in six innings and allowed just one earned run.
The Astros scored a comeback win against Seattle on a three-run homer by slugger Yordan Alvarez, with
Verlander showing notably rustiness and lack of control. Still, catching
Martin Maldonado came as no surprise that his ace quickly returned to form when it was needed most.
"It's what I expected from him," Maldonado told ESPN. "That's why he's a member of the Hall of Fame."
"Not only is he physically strong, as you can see, but he's also mentally strong," manager Dusty Baker added in praise of Verlander.
"This man, he's got the mental fortitude. When he's down and it looks like you got him in trouble, I mean, this man, he can handle it."