On Wednesday, the Bullpen Astros were simply exceptional in this season, allowing only four hits without running of any kind in 16.2 rounds. You know, the kind of thing you only see in movies, especially after it ranked near the bottom of baseball in the regular season.
The stage was perfectly set for them to continue to shine, as the fifth in five rounds gave Houston a 7-4 lead in the third game at Dodger Stadium. It looks like the series will end with the minimum three matches necessary behind the attack which is more exciting than the orange uniform the team has been rocking this week, plus a “ pen that has been performing on another level.
However, ghosts of the past revealed themselves in the late afternoon. With Astros nine teams away from a three-game sweep for Oakland A, the Relief Heart collapsed, and the players scored five unanswered runs on their way to a 9-7 victory. The Astros still tops the series 2–1 and has two additional chances to win – either tomorrow or Friday in Southern California.
Pen finally suffered its first qualifying whirlwind in the seventh inning. Josh James had a run for sixth, but was welcomed by singles from Semien and La Stella to start the next frame. Then Chad Bender stepped in and stepped on a linear motor that barely grabbed Tucker’s grip and into the right-field seats for a three-stroke Homer peg match.
With Brooks Rallye on the hill in eighth place, Robbie Grossman set off on foot and then Ramon Loriano shot in perfect position just below the right streak, scoring twice. After Shawn Murphy jumped Oakland forward with a sacrifice fly, Tommy La Stella plunged straight onto the elbow. La Stella left the match in apparent pain, but A’s crime is handled in an insurance flight thanks to another sack fly – this time with permission from Semien.
There was high drama in the eighth inning with Liam Hendriks on the hill, as Correa opened with one song before Tucker reached a catcher’s intervention call to put the first contestants on the base. But Hendrix retired from the next three hitters, including the knockout Josh Riddick that prompted him to hit his racket on the knee while he was returning to bunker.
Hendriks retired from the top of the standings without incident in the ninth game, but used many bullets in action on the last three frames. He delivered a total of 37 throws, which could affect his availability for either of the next two days.
The game started much like the opening game on Monday, with an early barrage of home. A single blast from the Tommy La Stella racket resulted in the “visitor” being at the top of the first, before Jose Altov met him with a long ball in the bottom half. The Astros then got singles from Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman, and Brantley scored a goal in the Carlos Correa match at the RBI.
Houston’s Jose Orkidey continued to experiment with Homer-Itis on a pair of teammates up front – Mark was in second and Olson died in fourth, their second post-season blowout for both.
Urquidy retired from the first strike in fifth place, but Marcus Simien followed him by launching a ball over the center field wall to make it 4-2 in Auckland. The fourth solo home round of the day ended for Orkwaidi, who entered the game with only two groups permitted in 14.1 post-season innings across five rounds. He tied the longest balls he gave up in a match by Urquidy of his professional career, and he did it again, last July 15 for Triple-A Round Rock against Memphis.
Blake Taylor replaces Urquidy and A’s holds the rules two-way, but Southpaw has Khris Davis fly into the center, finishing half of the half. Taylor’s work proved crucial, because Jesus Losardo marched with Yuli Juriel to start the lower half, then Aledmys Diaz hooked up to the left, linking the competition again.
Diaz made the most of his post-season debut, and the only other time he made it to the qualifiers as a professional was when he tied the two in the first match of the first round series for Memphis against Colorado Springs on September 6, 2017.
Oakland brought Yosemero Petit later in the inning, and Astros again took a right-handed hit. Brantley’s hit single gave Houston the lead, and Bergman then broke a line away from the wall in the center-left to score an RBI double, making him 6-4. After a deliberate walk to Korea, Betty was raised, having surrendered three runs in one combined round over the last two matches.
New jug? This crime does not matter. Kyle Tucker greeted Jake Dickman with a one-shot chance at the center, painting Bergman to lead 7-4 and crowned a five-stroke frame.
This group marks the first time in post-season history that each team has contacted at least eight home matches during the first three matches of a series. In total, Astros has eight home runs while Auckland has ten. We might still have two games left, folks.
The first two potential competitions will be held tomorrow, and another will start in the early afternoon in possibly cooler temperatures. It’s expected to be in the low 70s at first court time 12:35 local time (2:35 ct), which means the ball may not hold as it is yet this week, but we’ll see. Neither team has announced a potential promotional offer as of the end of Game 3.