ALDS: Red Sox Answer Back in Game 3
Fenway was kind to the hometown team in game three of the Boston Red Sox ALDS series with the Houston Astros. With their backs against the wall and a 2-0 series deficit, the Sox were certainly happy to get out of Houston.
There was a brief moment of concern however as the Astros came out in the top half of the first and made it look like they would continue their offensive dominance despite the change of venue. Three first inning runs seems to be the trend in the 2017 playoffs and the Astros continued it on Sunday afternoon.
George Springer led off the game with a single and then advanced on a wild pitch from Red Sox starter, Doug Fister. Josh Reddick would drive Springer in with a single from the two hole before Carlos Correa launched a two run homer to complete the three run opening frame.
Fister issued a lead off walk to Carlos Beltran to start the second inning and then allowed a single to Yuli Gurriel on the very next pitch. As a sense of panic swept over the Fenway crowd, Joe Kelly got up in the pen and would enter the game with one out and runners still threatening on first and second. A wild pitch allowed the runners to advance before Kelly got a ground out.
Every playoff series seems to have an iconic moment, one that people can look back on as the turning point in the series. Even if the Red Sox don’t win three straight to take the series, the next play will be remembered as the one that kept them alive.
With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Reddick stepped in to face Kelly. On a 3-2 pitch Reddick popped a ball down the right field line that looked like it could be trouble as it headed towards the pesky pole. The only problem is, there is a guy named Mookie Betts that roams right field in Boston. With a potential 6 run deficit hanging in the balance, Betts made an impressive over the shoulder catch at the wall to rob Reddick and the Astros the opportunity to put the series away.
There was a clear momentum shift as game three was all Red Sox from that point on. Sandy Leon would cut into the lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the second before the Red Sox would take the lead for good in the third. Hanley Ramirez, who was 4/4 at the plate on the day, drove in a run before Rafael Devers added a two run homer to give the Sox a 4-3 lead.
David Price entered the game in relief in the fourth inning and maintained the home lead for four solid innings. Price, who doesn’t have the best reputation as a postseason pitcher, shutout the Astros high powered offense while allowing just four hits and striking out four until the Sox put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh.
The Red Sox seventh saw a walk, a single, a single, a two run double, and a one run single before an out was ever recorded. Now with a comfortable 7-3 lead, Joe Musgrove entered the game to at least try and keep it close. He caught a bad break.
The next at bat from Jackie Bradley Jr. would seal the fate of game three. He hit a flyball down the right field line and it looked like Reddick had a nice beat on it. The Astros right fielder went up, had the ball in his glove, and when he went to put his foot into the outfield wall to brace himself, the ball was jarred loose and popped into the seats, resulting in a three run homer and a 10-3 Red Sox lead. The worst part is, the ball wasn’t even going over the fence until Reddick’s deflection. Overall, a tough day on the right field wall for Reddick.
After being outscored 16-4 in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox have swung momentum and turned this into a competitive series. Sunday afternoon’s victory was a convincing one after many had already written the Red Sox off. Game four is set for tomorrow at 1pm with Charlie Morton facing Rick Porcello.