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Justin Verlander

Astros awake from slumber to rout Yankees 7-1 and force a deciding Game 7 in ALCS

Astros awake from slumber to rout Yankees 7-1 and force a deciding Game 7 in ALCS

Several times Friday night at Minute Maid Park, Justin Verlander said, he forgot what inning he was pitching in, what batter would be coming up next, and other circumstances he’s normally aware of but on this night found irrelevant.

It is his elimination-game standard, culled over his lengthy postseason career. Confronted with the chance to save his team’s season, his mode turns relentlessly rigid. In each moment, he thinks only of his next pitch.

It works. Because of another gleaming performance from Verlander, because their hitters awoke from an inconvenient slumber before a sold-out home crowd, the Houston Astros are still alive. They staved off elimination, forced a...

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