Cleveland returns home to try to keep the ALDS going.
Houston held serve at home in the first two games, winning 7-2 and 3-1 to take a commanding series lead, allowing only three total runs. The Astros were the best run-preventing team in the majors all season, giving up just 3.3 runs per game.
Cleveland’s last win when facing elimination was Game 6 of the 1997 World Series. They are 0-8 in such games since then.
TBS will televise Game 3 of the ALDS, with Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley on the call.
Indians vs. Astros TV & streaming info
- Teams: Astros (103-59) vs. Indians (91-71)
- Series: Houston leads, 2-0
- Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland
- Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
- TV: TBS
- Online: TBS.com
Astros vs. Indians ALDS Game 3 Live Results
Hello, it’s Marc Normandin, here for your live blogging needs. Want to read said live blog from the beginning? Scroll down to the “1st inning” marker and work your way back up!
7th inning: The Astros aren’t exactly running out of time in the series or anything given they’re up 2-0, but they also need to score some runs soon if they’re going to close out the ALDS today. They’ve got nine outs left in Game 3 and Trevor Bauer on the mound.
Tony Kemp hits a single to right on the first pitch, and that brings up George Springer, who homered last time he was up. Bauer tries to pick Kemp off, but he misses by a mile and Encarnacion can’t wrangle it: the ball bounced into the stands, and Kemp is awarded second base. The tying run is in scoring position for Houston with no outs.
Springer works a full count — this is a dangerous place for Bauer to be in, needing to throw a good pitch here to a hitter who can make him pay, and with no outs. Springer barely makes contact, basically bunting by accident, but it worked out for Houston: there are now runners at the corners for Altuve with no outs, and the go-ahead run is on first base.
Altuve hits a grounder that causes a force out at second and scores the tying run, but the throw to first goes right through Encarnacion’s glove and legs, so Altuve is safe at first. It’s 2-2, and the Astros only had to give up one out to make it happen when it should have been two. To make matters worse for Cleveland, here’s Alex Bregman.
lol, welp. Bauer fields a comeback from Bregman, but his throw takes Lindor off of the bag at second, which means Altuve is safe, and then the throw to first is late, so Bregman is safe, too. Two on, just one out, and here’s Gurriel.
6th inning: It is indeed Bauer on the mound for Cleveland in the sixth. Gonzalez lashes a liner to right field, and Guyer kind of slides/falls into catching it to keep the Astros off the bases. Awkward play, but he got there, and it counts the same regardless of attractiveness.
Reddick drops one into center field in front of Kipnis, though, which puts the tying run on first with one out. Carlos Correa will try to do something with that. He’s yet to pick up a hit in the ALDS. He’s still looking for his first, too, as he pops up to second. Brian McCann doesn’t inspire much faith for getting much out of this inning, as he goes down 0-2 in a hurry and doesn’t look great doing it.
McCann does end up striking out, and Bauer is able to maintain the lead he was handed. 2-1, Cleveland, still.
Collin McHugh enters the game in relief of Keuchel, and he immediately gets Jose Ramirez to pop out. He follows with a strikeout of Encarnacion, which brings up Josh Donaldson. Donaldson is 0-for-9 with a walk in the ALDS, and he didn’t pick that walk up until today.
Donaldson’s 0-for-10 now after a punch out, and McHugh keeps the score 2-1 after six.
5th inning: Clevinger has thrown 77 pitches through four, and he’ll begin the fifth by facing Kemp, Springer, and Altuve. He walked Kemp the last time up, and he’s got him to a full count here now, Clevinger’s fifth of the day. Kemp flies out, but it’s hard not to notice his climbing pitch count.
Or that ball George Springer just devastated: he hits his second homer of the postseason on Clevinger’s 82nd pitch of the afternoon, and it’s a 1-1 ballgame.
Cleveland’s pen is double barreled right now, with Trevor Bauer and… someone else whose identity I did not catch before the camera panned away, sorry. But Francona isn’t about to let Clevinger get near 100 pitches if he can help it, from the looks of things.
Clevinger does strike out Altuve — number eight on the day — for the second out, so he’s not exactly failing. But still, with the way Cleveland’s offense is going, every pitcher needs to be completely on point to stay in, and Clevinger, at 90 pitches after a 2-0 count to Alex Bregman, might not be there right now.
It’s now a 3-2 count, Clevinger’s sixth of the day, and he’s at 94 pitches after a foul ball. This might be the right-hander’s final batter regardless of outcome, given the speed at which the pen was working. That’s ball four, so Bregman is on base for the third time today. Clevenger has eight strikeouts and has allowed just one run, but he’s also got all those full counts and three walks in 4-2/3 innings: it has not been an easy one-run game.
Clevinger remains in the game to face Gurriel, so apparently Cleveland is willing to risk it. That, or they want Bauer in, and know that he might need a little extra time to warm up given he’s normally a starter.
Bauer’s the only one still up in the pen, so my guess is probably correct. And Cleveland’s risk pays off! Gurriel strikes out swinging on Clevinger’s 99th pitch of Game 3, and you have to imagine that’s the end for him. He certainly did work before that end, though. 1-1 as we head to the bottom of the fifth.
Keuchel has taken a much more efficient route to the same destination: he just threw his 71st pitch of the game to record the first out of the bottom of the fifth, and, just like Clevinger, has allowed just the one run.
Kipnis and Lindor are still due up this frame. Keuchel strikes out Kipnis — just the second strikeout of the game for Keuchel — but Lindor immediately erases any mildly good feelings that generated by hitting a solo homer. It’s now 2-1, Cleveland. Brantley grounds out to end the inning, but the damage is done.
Hey, remember when Lindor dropped a sac bunt earlier instead of facing Keuchel with a runner in scoring position?
4th inning: The Astros will bring Reddick, Correa, and McCann to the plate this inning. Let’s see if they’re starting to figure Clevinger out, or if last inning’s threat was just a blip.
Reddick flies out to begin the inning and Correa follows with one of his own, which is a good start for Clevinger’s lead protection. He picks up his seventh strikeout of the afternoon on McCann to end the top of the frame, and the Astros have gone down 1-2-3.
Encarnacion goes down via ground out, and Donaldson walks after. Diaz can’t move him over, though, as he pops out to Altuve. Brandon Guyer is once again up with a runner on. He strikes out, but hey, Cleveland is still up 1-0 after four.
3rd inning: Good news, sports fans!
Yandy Diaz’s two-out double in the 2nd did not lead to a run, but it did help raise Cleveland’s ALDS team average to .104 (7-for-67).
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 8, 2018
The Astros pick up their second walk of the afternoon to open the third thanks to Tony Kemp, and now they’re back to Springer and the top of the order.
Clevinger gets Springer swinging on a slider that badly fooled him. Maybe it’s a weird thing to say with his numbers being so similar, but 2018 Clevinger just looks a lot more dominating and in control than 2017 Clevinger did. Maybe it’s more that his performance looks like it backs up the results more this time around. Anyway, here’s Jose Altuve.
Altuve singles following an error on a pickoff attempt, so it’s now first and third for Houston with Bregman at the plate. That’s pretty much the situation Cleveland wanted the least: men on base for Bregman.
Speaking of things Cleveland doesn’t want to happen:
Cleveland is dumping Wahoo only because they want to host the 2019 All-Star Game and that was MLB’s condition for it. It’s also why the logo is still available today after the decision to get rid of it was made!
— Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) October 8, 2018
It’s gross that Cleveland is wearing the Wahoo hats today. It’s also gross that if I want to root against their season continuing I have to root for the team that’ll put domestic abuser Roberto Osuna on the mound to close things out.
Bregman ended up hit by a pitch to loaded the bases, but all is not lost yet for Clevinger. He strikes out Gurriel, which brings up Gonzalez to try to salvage something from this threat.
Clevinger gets out of it! Gonzalez gives a ball a ride to left, but it’s a harmless fly out, and we’re off to the bottom of the third, still scoreless.
Yan Gomes singles to get the third going, and that brings us Jason Kipnis, who has yet to pick up a hit in the series. He’s also struck out five times in six at-bats, so, you know, it’s probably time for him to change that. Any time now, Jason.
And he took my advice! A single to right puts a runner in scoring position with no outs, and here’s Francisco Lindor to do something with that. Lindor drops a sacrifice bunt even though one of the runners was already in scoring position and he’s one of the better hitters in the game. Sure!
Here’s Michael Brantley, now with one fewer out in the inning than Cleveland had before. He does get a run in with a sac fly hit to center, so the Indians are on the board, 1-0. This whole bunt situation will feel a lot better if Jose Ramirez can drive in Kipnis from third here, though.
Ramirez hits a shot to the warning track, but it’s hauled in, so Cleveland will have to settle for one run for now. Play for one run and that’s what you’ll get: 1-0, Cleveland.
2nd inning: All I can think about looking at Mike Clevinger sometimes is Breckin Myer’s character from Clueless. Ole Travis Birkenstock-looking starter.
Clevinger misses bats a lot, but he’s making a point of letting you know this is the case today: he’s got another two strikeouts this inning, on Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick. Carlos Correa walked, though, so the Astros are still alive in the second, and Brian McCann is up.
Clevinger gets his own grounder to put McCann away, and the Astros have been held scoreless for two. Every game in the series has started with strong pitching: which team is going to crack first today?
Here’s Keuchel vs. Edwin Encarnacion to kick off the bottom of the second. He flies out, and Josh Donaldson follows with a ground out. Yandy Diaz follows with a hard-hit double through a hole in the infield, though, so Cleveland has their first hit and a runner in scoring position. Brandon Guyer is the one with the opportunity to make sure Cleveland strikes first in Game 3.
Guyer grounds out — get used to seeing that today — and the threat is over. It’s still 0-0 after two full in Cleveland.
1st inning: Cleveland might be in for yet another ALDS defeat, at least if this series keeps going the way it’s been going. They’ll send Mike Clevinger to the mound to take on Dallas Keuchel, because we are now living in a world where former Cy Young winner Keuchel is the Astros’ third starter.
Granted, he’s not the pitcher he used to be — he had a 108 ERA+ this past season, and his strikeouts dipped below seven per nine — but still. Houston is up 2-0, and they don’t have to win today behind Keuchel but might, while Cleveland has no choice but to win behind Clevinger. Who, by the way, is pretty great at pitching these days: the 27-year-old has a 146 ERA+ over the last two years and 321 innings, most of them coming as a starter.
Clevinger is off to a good start, striking out George Springer to kick off Game 3 and then Yuli Gurriel to end the top of the first. Sure, Alex Bregman ended up on second base, but there seems to be little stopping him right now, anyway.
Keuchel, by the way, didn’t perform as well as usual overall, as mentioned above, but he’s been more like the Dallas Keuchel of old during the second half of his season. He had a 4.45 ERA on June 10, but over his following 20 starts, he managed a 3.23 mark. The strikeouts still weren’t there, however, so if Cleveland can make good contact, they’ll have opportunities to capitalize.
Of course, Keuchel’s contact tends to be of the ground ball variety, and he gets through the first with ease thanks to those. 0-0 after one.