The Houston Astros' rebuilding process is all coming together this season for them, and they are looking to use that to lead them to a World Series appearance. They got a good start with that on Friday night, as Dallas Keuchel struck out 10 over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. The Astros' starter did not allow a run on four singles and only walked one batter in the win, which was his first of the postseason. Houston's only sign of run support was a two-run fourth inning, as Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel both singled home runs off of Yankees' starter Masahiro Tanaka for the lead. The shutout would hold until the Yankees made things interesting in the ninth on a solo home run off the bat of Greg Bird. They couldn't do nothing after that, as Ken Giles earned a four-out save by throwing a season-high 37 pitches. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to end the game, as the Yankees squandered scoring chances in the fifth and eighth innings. Giles escaped a two-out jam in the eighth, while Bird was thrown out at home on an Aaron Judge single by left fielder Marwin Gonzalez in the fifth. Jose Altuve added three hits to this year's resume, as he now has 11 hits, which ties Ichiro's record for most hits through a team's first five postseason games, which was set in 2001. Houston will host Game 2 of the series on Saturday, when they send Justin Verlander to the mound.
Clemson Loses Bryant in Stunning Loss to Syracuse
For the second consecutive week, the second-ranked Clemson Tigers lost starting quarterback Kelly Bryant to injury. Although this time, they could not survive without him under center, as the Tigers' FBS-leading 11-game win streak came to an end with a 27-24 loss to the Syracuse Orange on Friday night. Eric Dungey lead the way for Syracuse with 278 yards passing and three touchdowns, helping the Orange score in each of the four quarters. The loss for Clemson also snaps a 12-game road win streak, which was a Clemson record, and tied for the second-longest current streak in the FBS. Bryant left the game in the final minute of the first half with a concussion, and was already dealing with an ankle injury from last week. Zerrick Cooper took over from there and did lead the Tigers to a field goal in the opening drive, but that would be it. Bryant finished just 12-of-17 for 116 yards before exiting. The one bright spot for the Tigers is first, the amount of upsets in the top 10 as of late, and two, the fact that they were upset by Pittsburgh last year, which ended with a National Title. For the Orange, they improved to 3-6 in school history against the previous year's National Champion, as they will be tested again on the road next week against Miami. Clemson will look start a new win streak when they return home against Georgia Tech after enjoying a bye week.
Washington State Falls to Cal in Upset
Immediately following Clemson's shocking defeat, Washington State followed suit, unfortunately for them. The eighth-ranked Cougars fell to Cal on the road, 37-3, in a blowout that no one saw coming. Luke Falk struggled with five interceptions, two of which went to Camryn Bynum, as the Golden Bears' defense kept the Cougars out of the end zone all night long. Falk finished with just 286 yards passing, as he was under pressure all game, getting sacked nine times. Washington State as a team had seven turnovers overall, including two fumbles, which led to Cal cruising to a victory, despite only out-gaining their opponents by 28 yards. Cal's offense struggled to gain yards, although they didn't really need to, as quarterback Ross Bowers threw for 259 yards and a touchdown, while Vic Enwere ran for 102 yards and a score. Coming in to the game, Cal was just 1-52-1 against top-10 teams since 1978, with their only other win coming against No. 3 USC in 2003. They will stay home for a matchup against Arizona next week. while Washington State will look to bounce back at home against Colorado.