Nick Doran

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Astros Win Game 3

Saturday, October 28, 2017


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The Astros pulled out a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday and now own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven set. The Dodgers looked to have the edge in this one despite playing on the road because they had experienced ace Yu Darvish on the mound against youngster Lance McCullers for the Astros. But it was Darvish who broke first and looked like a rookie while doing it.

 

Darvish allowed four runs in just 1 2/3 innings before being yanked by Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts. He allowed six hits and five of them went for extra bases. Even the outs were crushed. Darvish wasn't fooling anyone and the only question is if he should have been pulled earlier.

 

Yulieski Gurriel led off the second inning with a solo home run and was then caught making a crude, offensive gesture at Darvish while celebrating in the dugout. Expect some sort of discipline to be handed down by the commissioner's office as soon as Saturday.

 

The next batter, Josh Reddick, cracked a double and then Evan Gattis drew a walk. Marwin Gonzalez followed with a single to drive in Reddick and make the score 2-0 Houston. Brian McCann singled to drive in Gattis, then Alex Bregman lifted a sacrifice fly that plated Gonzalez. That made it 4-0. Jose Altuve followed with a double and that was all she wrote for Darvish, who failed to make it through three innings for the first time in his career (136 starts including the postseason).

 

Kenta Maeda came on in relief and allowed one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless frames. The Dodger bullpen as a whole allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings to give the team a chance to come back but it wasn't to be.

 

McCullers bent but didn't break. He escaped a crisis of his own making in the third inning, walking the first three batters of the frame. Corey Seager grounded into a double play that allowed a run to score but the damage could have been much worse. McCullers lasted into the sixth frame when he put the first two runners on base via a walk and a double. The Astros turned to Brad Peacock, who allowed both inherited runners to score without benefit of a hit. Yasiel Puig drove in one run with a fielder's choice grounder, then Peacock uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the second runner to score.

 

Peacock rattled off the next three innings without allowing a hit or a run to earn the first save of his major league career. He struck out four batters in the contest and the only baserunner he allowed came via a base-on-balls. Manager A.J. Hinch was surely glad to see his bullpen hold firm in this one after pitching poorly throughout the playoffs.

 

Setting the Stage for Game 4

 

Saturday's contest features Alex Wood for the Dodgers versus Charlie Morton for the Astros. Once again the matchup seems to favor the Dodgers on paper but the Astros have home field advantage and momentum in their favor.

 

Wood went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA during the regular season. He's pitched only once so far in the playoffs, losing to the Cubs while allowing three runs in 4 2/3 innings in Game 4 of the NLCS. Morton went 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA during the regular season. He has made three starts in the playoffs so far, going 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA. He tossed five scoreless innings in his last start, beating the Yankees in the decisive Game 7 of the ALCS last Saturday.

 

Neither pitcher has a track record of consistently pitching deep into games, making it likely both teams will have to turn to their bullpens fairly early in this one. This is where Friday's game comes into play. The Dodgers used five relievers in the game while the Astros used just one, giving Houston the edge in rest and depth for tonight's game. Neither team used their best set-up men nor their closer on Friday.


Quick Hits: Per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Royals denied the Braves' request to interview general manager Dayton Moore for a similar role in Atlanta ... Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals interviewed former Red Sox manager John Farrell, Cubs bench coach David Martinez is rumored to be the frontrunner for the job with former Mets hitting coach Kevin Long in the picture as well. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Joe Girardi is not likely a fit, possibly because he will command a higher salary ... According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Padres have hired Matt Stairs to serve as their hitting coach. Stairs had a .262 batting average with 265 home runs and played for 13 different teams in his 19-year major league career. He was the Phillies' hitting coach in 2017 ... Per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Chris Bosio will soon be named the Tigers' new pitching coach. Bosio was let go as the Cubs pitching coach last week. He had a 94-93 record and 3.96 ERA in 11 seasons with the Brewers and Mariners in his playing career ... Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago reports the Cubs are likely to sign Jim Hickey to replace Bosio as pitching coach. Hickey served as pitching coach under Cubs manager Joe Maddon when they were both in Tampa Bay.




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