World Series: Houston Has Hot Start at Home
When the Houston Astros take to their home field they are hard to beat, especially in this 2017 postseason. While the Los Angeles Dodgers trotted out one of their most intimidating pitchers in game three, the Astros jumped all over him. Yu Darvish didn’t even make it out of the second inning before Dave Roberts had to call to the bullpen.
The Astros hung four runs on the board in Darvish’s fateful inning with contributions coming from all different areas of the lineup. Yuli Gurriel got the scoring started with a solo home run, something we should all be used to by now, and the Astros continued to pour it on from there.
Marwin Gonzalez, Brian McCann, and Alex Bregman would each tally an RBI in the second. Darvish allowed the first five batters of the inning to reach base before ever recording an out. The 31 year old right hander would sit two batters down in the inning before Roberts called on Kenta Maeda to come in.
Up to this point, Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. had been pitching exceptionally well. However, once we opened the third, manager AJ Hinch was getting a little bit concerned. McCullers actually walked three straight batters to load the bases. He would get one of the best hitters in the National League in Justin Turner to ground into a double play, and McCullers would get out of the inning while allowing just one run.
The Astros took the 4-1 lead and never looked back. While the scoring was limited through the rest of the game, the drama was not. We saw a near grand slam, a run scoring throwing error and a wild pitch for an Astros insurance run.
McCullers gave the American League champions more than five outstanding innings and I’m sure Hinch was relieved when that happened. Whether the Astros don’t have confidence in their bullpen or they have a ton of confidence in their “spot starters”, they are taking a much different approach from most postseason teams. The Astros only used two pitchers in game three as McCullers and Brad Peacock combined to beat the Dodgers.
The Astros remain undefeated at home in the 2017 playoffs and now have a convincing advantage heading into game four. Tonight we will see Alex Wood try and help his Dodgers even the series against Charlie Morton.
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