WORLD SERIES GAME 3 POST-MORTEM
Astros 5, Dodgers 3
If you were expecting another tooth-and-nail outing against Yu Darvish, you didn’t get it. The Astros hammered Darvish like they never had before, jumping to an early lead and forcing Roberts to burn through five of his relievers starting in the 2nd.
McCullers looked like he was coming unraveled in the third inning, until he got a whale of a double-play ball to bail him out. It helps when your first baseman is not actually a first baseman. Then in comes Peacock to shut in the 6th and, despite allowing McCullers’s runners to score (including on some bad luck), proceeded to shut down the Dodgers in what turned into an all-time great relief performance in World Series history.
And, despite the disappointment of watching Springer’s fly ball to center falling just a few feet short of a grand slam, this is actually a good thing. As much devastation as the city of Houston has gone through the last few months, it didn’t need an earthquake on its hands.
WORLD SERIES GAME 4 – HOU leads 2-1
Saturday, October 28, 7:20pm CDT – Minute Maid Park
Alex Wood (0-1, 5.79) vs. Charlie Morton (1-1, 6.23)
Wood turned in an excellent 2017 season, setting career marks in ERA (2.72) and wins (he went 16-3 on the year). He was lights out out of the gate and owned a 1.56 ERA right after the All-Star break. He had two brief stints on the DL, one from late May to early June and another in late August, for shoulder issues. One byproduct of the Dodgers’ postseason success has been that Wood has only made one appearance, when he took the Dodgers’ only loss in Game 4 of the NLCS. He allowed three runs – all solo homers – in 4.2 innings while punching out seven.
Wood only has one career appearance against the Astros, which came in 2014 when he was with the Braves. He threw a three-hit shutout over seven innings at Minute Maid Park, but Springer and Altuve are the only current Houston hitters that saw him that day.
You have to figure that Hinch is looking for another five or so solid innings from Morton, who is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA lifetime in two starts against the Dodgers. If they get anything close to what they got from him in Game 7 of the ALCS, I have to figure McHugh will be waiting to take the ball most or all of the rest of the way.
Select pitcher/batter matchups:
Ethier vs. Morton: 5 AB, .600/.667/1.200
Utley vs. Morton: 10 AB, .500/.545/1.000
Grandal vs. Morton: 5 AB, .400/.400/.400
Only Altuve, Springer, and Reddick have ever faced Wood. They are a combined 1×10, Springer owning the lone hit.