I came into this game with high hopes as the World Series shifted to Houston for game 3. With the series tied and the Dodgers coming off a heart breaking loss in game 2 it seemed as if the Dodgers had the advantage in the third game with Yu Darvish on the mound. The pitching match-up seemed favorable for the Dodgers. With Darvish going up against curveball specialist Lance McCullers Jr.
It looked like the Dodgers had the edge, considering Darvish had been dominating in his previous two postseason starts. Unfortunately Darvish was atrocious allowing four earned runs on six hits and getting knocked out in the second inning. He didn’t strike out a single batter as the Dodgers fell behind 4-0. The bats could never catch up resulting in a 5-3 loss. The final score was a lot closer than it actually was.
World Series Game 3-Houston Leads 2-1
Dodges 3 4 0
Astros 5 12 0
McCullers on the other hand was very effective allowing three earned runs on four hits across 5.1 innings of work. He struck out three and walked four. Despite shaky command he was able to work out of jams as the Dodgers were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Brad Peacock tossed 3.2 scoreless innings in relief allowing just a walk and striking out four. The Dodgers were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Yuli Gurriel hit a massive home run in the bottom of the second inning and former Dodger Josh Reddick contributed with two hits and Brian McCann collected three base knocks to lead the Houston offense. The Astros had 12 hits. The Dodgers got just four hits and looked totally lost at the plate all night. Terrible plate approaches pulled the Dodgers away from their normal hitting strategies. The Dodger bats were unable to work counts and swung at pitches outside the strike zone the entire game. Cody Bellinger struck out four times, becoming the youngest player to do so in a World Series game since Mickey Mantle.
Darvish looked horrendous from the first inning. His off-speed command was non-existent. He barely escaped trouble in the bottom of the first. George Springer immediately led off the game with a booming double. Alex Bregman’s grounder and Jose Altuve’s deep fly to center got the Dodgers two quick outs. With Springer at third Carlos Correa grounded to Seager to end the inning.
After McCullers shut down the Dodgers in the top of the second, The Astros touched up Darvish for four runs in the bottom half. Gurriel blasted a home run to lead-off the inning and then made an obscene racist gesture in the dugout. Classy. Reddick doubled to left and Evan Gattis walked. A coaching visit to the mound did nothing to stop the onslaught. Marwin Gonzalez singled to left to score Reddick to make it 2-0 Houston. Brian McCann’s single to right brought home Gattis to extend the lead to 3-0. After a Springer line out to Forsythe, Bregman’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0 Houston and essentially ended the game. Altuve doubled and the Dodgers were forced to remove Darvish. Kenta Maeda came in and quickly restored order tossing 2.2 scoreless innings. Darvish might have been pathetic, but Maeda was a godsend for the Dodgers. Thank you King Kenta!
With Maeda in restoring order, the Dodger bats could go to work chipping away at the lead. In the top of the third McCullers lost his control issuing three consecutive walks (Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor) to load the bases with nobody out. The Dodgers had him on the ropes, but of course couldn’t get more than a measly run across. Corey Seager chased a pitch up in the zone and grounded into a double play. A run did come home to score but the Dodgers wasted a golden opportunity to get back in the game. Justin Turner grounded out for the third out. Astros 4 Dodgers 1 after two and a half.
More outs in the top of the fourth. Bellinger whiffed and Puig chopped a single that deflected off of Correa, but he was thrown out trying to take second. Logie Bear flied out. Maeda struck out Springer and Bregman in the bottom of the fourth to keep the Dodgers in it.
The Dodgers got a one-out double from Joc in the top of the fifth, but Hernandez and Taylor made out so they didn’t score. Tony Watson replaced Maeda in the bottom of the fifth with one out. Gurriel grounds out but Reddick walked. A huge throwing error from Watson on a Gattis dribble to the mound allows Reddick to come around and score to make it a 5-1 game.
The Dodgers battled back in the sixth. Seager walked. Turner doubles down the line in left to put runners at second and third. The Dodgers again couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position. Bellinger whiffed again. Puig’s grounder scored Seager but now there’s two outs. With Brad Peacock on the mound, a wild pitch scores Turner and the Dodgers are within two. Astros 5 Dodgers 3. Pinch-hitter Chase Utley pops out.
Brandon Morrow pitches the bottom of the sixth inning. He works around a throwing error from Turner and a walk to strike out Altuve and Correa. Dodgers still trail by two. The Dodgers did nothing in the top of the seventh and then dickface Gurriel doubles to lead-off the bottom half of the seventh. Roberts hooks Morrow and brings in left hander tony Cingrani. Reddick pops a bunt up in the air for Bellinger to make a nice diving catch. There’s an intentional walk and then a pop out. After a ground ball single the Astros load the bases. Ross Stripling comes in to get the last out of the frame. Springer crushes a deep fly ball to center but thankfully Taylor catches it in front of the wall.
Peacock sets the Dodgers down again in the top of the eighth with Seager and Bellinger whiffing pathetically. Move to the top of the ninth with Peacock staying in to finish the game. Puig strikes out. Utley grounds out and after a battle, Yasmani Grandal pops out to right to end it. Finale score: Astros 5 Dodgers 3.
The Astros now take a 2-1 series lead as FOX rejoices. I said I wouldn’t worry unless the Dodgers lost game 3. Now I’m worried. Tomorrow the Dodgers will send Alex Wood (Mr. 4 innings) to the mound as the Astros will counter with Charlie Morton. The Dodgers may be in serious trouble.