Houston Astros Beat Los Angeles Dodgers In Game 3 Of World Series
After coming back to win Game 2 of the 2017 World Series, the Houston Astros managed to take care of business at home to take a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As with the first two games of the series, the pitching matchup was the big headline heading into Game 3. The Dodgers were throwing Yu Darvish, whom they acquired at the trade deadline, and who has thrown for an incredible 1.59 ERA this postseason. The Astros, meanwhile, were starting Lance McCullers, who’s thrown an almost as good 1.93 ERA this October. The big question was whether Darvish could shut down the Astros and hand them their first loss at home of the playoffs.
Well, that was answered pretty quickly. Darvish didn’t even get through two innings before getting yanked in Game 3. Although he avoided giving up any runs in the first inning despite a leadoff double, the second was not one he’ll like to remember. Yuli Gurriel started things off with a solo home run. Evan Gattis and Brian McCann both notched RBI singles and Alex Bregman got an RBI sac fly before Darvish being pulled. He finished the game throwing only 1 ⅔ innings, giving up four runs on six hits, one walk and no strikeouts.
The Dodgers looked like they were about to get some of those runs back in the top of the third inning. They managed to load up the bases with no outs, but Corey Seager hit into a double play, which drove in one run, but ensured they could only score one run that inning.
In the fifth inning, the Astros were able to extend their lead when LA reliever Tony Watson made an error on a ground ball that ended up in the outfield, allowing Reddick to score from second base, giving them a 5-1 lead.
Once again the Dodgers looked like they were going to strike back at the top of the sixth inning. After a walk by Corey Seager, Justin Turner hit a double, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Corey Bellinger, who’s been having a terrible World Series, struck out. Then Yasiel Puig grounded out, which drove in a run. A wild pitch then allowed Turner to score. So despite going 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position in the game, the Dodgers were somehow only down 5-3.
Not only did the Dodgers lose the game, but for the second straight game they were forced to use multiple members of their bullpen to get through the game. And while manager Dave Roberts has avoided throwing anyone for too many innings, it can’t be good that the team requires five or more pitchers to get through every game.
Offensively, the Dodgers are also struggling. Despite putting up decent run numbers in all three games, they’re actually not hitting all that well. In the first two games, they were almost entirely reliant on home runs to score. And in last night’s game, they ruined multiple opportunities to start large rallies and instead settled for one or two runs when three or more were possible.
And ever since their comeback in Game 2, Houston has looked like the offensive juggernaut that they were throughout the regular season. Throw in some good pitching, and they’re firmly in control of this series.
Both teams will now face a dilemma for Game 4 regarding their pitchers. Does either team pull out their ace (Clayton Kershaw for Los Angeles, Dallas Keuchel for Houston) even though they both threw Game 1? Doing so would allow that pitcher to be available for Game 7, but it’s not a lot of rest. Los Angeles may be forced to do so. They’re already down 2-1, and they’d probably rather not face elimination in Game 5 with the possibility of Justin Verlander pitching that game.
The series is not over yet, but if you’re an Astros fan, you’re probably feeling a lot better than you did heading into the eighth inning of Game 2.
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