ALDS GAME 3 POST-MORTEM
Red Sox 10, Astros 3
The first two innings followed a familiar formula for this ALDS: the Astros staked an early longball-driven lead, then let the Red Sox have some early traffic to get a run back.
That’s when the script wildly diverged from what played out the first two games. Short of injuries, nearly everything that could go wrong for the Astros did go wrong in Game 3:
- Defensive miscues – errors by Marwin and Correa; Springer giving up on a fly ball that would have been catchable at the CF wall, allowing Boston to take the lead later in the inning
- Shoddy pitching – Liriano coughing up the lead with a no-doubter blast to his first batter; McCullers and Devenski both getting touched up
- Sudden inability to push runs across the plate – 3 runs on 13 fucking hits, 10 LOB
- Just plain bad luck – Reddick having a would-be soul-crushing 3-run home run stolen by Betts at the short wall in RF, then later having a Bradley fly ball bounce out of his glove and over the fence for a 3-run home run (thanks, BBGs, for that little dose of tragic irony)
Here’s hoping they got it out of their system and can shut this shit down without a win-or-go-home game in Houston on Wednesday. Otherwise, I’ll be nervous-cleaning my house while the game is on. The lopsided score gave the Red Sox the luxury of not using Kimbrel, so he’ll be good for up to two innings of relief on Monday if the situation warrants.
I’m going to go ahead and say it: Ted Barrett’s strike zone today was worse than Angel Hernandez’s on Friday. He was abominably inconsistent on inside, outside, and low pitches.
Also, I’d hate to be the janitor tasked with cleaning up the FS1 broadcast booth after today’s game. It must have been coated with a staggering amount of human reproductive material thanks to various aspects of today’s Red Sox win.
ALDS GAME 4 – HOU leads 2-1
Monday, October 9, 12:08pm CDT – Fenway Park
Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62) vs. Rick Porcello (11-17, 4.65)
Morton has only one postseason appearance under his belt, putting in a good outing in the 2013 NLDS Game 5 which his Pirates lost 2-1. Like Peacock, he also had a steady year in 2017, injuries notwithstanding. His ERA always hovered somewhere between 3.50 and 4, with only slight blips above 4 in May and July. The biggest knock against him has been his longevity in games, although that improved as the season went on: he lasted at least six innings in nine of his 14 starts after the break. He also closed the season very strong, going 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA and over a 5:1 K:BB ratio in September.
The Red Sox were one of those September wins for Morton as he beat them 3-2 in the final week of the season, holding them to two runs over 5.1 innings. Before then his only other career appearance against Boston was a scoreless start in 2014.
Porcello has a decent volume of postseason work, having been on a number of Tigers and Red Sox playoff teams dating back to 2011. In ten total playoff appearances (including his scoreless inning in Game 1 of this series) he is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA, and much of that damage was done in his three postseason starts where he has a 5.82 ERA. Porcello followed up his 22-win 2016 season with 17 losses, and he closed the season with his second-worst month of the year, clocking a 5.93 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in September.
The Astros did not see Porcello in the last series of the year, but they hit him hard at Minute Maid in June, scoring seven runs and two bombs off of him in six innings. That is his only recent work against Houston, as his next most recent appearance against them was in 2014.
Select pitcher/batter matchups:
Bogaerts vs. Morton: 6 AB, .333/.333/.500
Young vs. Morton: 12 AB, .250/.308/.500
Ramirez vs. Morton: 15 AB, .067/.176/.067
Springer vs. Porcello: 7 AB, .429/.429/.714
Beltran vs. Porcello: 27 AB, .370/.379/.519
Reddick vs. Porcello: 10 AB, .300/.533/.600
McCann vs. Porcello: 23 AB, .261/.250/.304
Altuve vs. Porcello: 9 AB, .222/.222/.667