The Houston Astros defeated the Cleveland Indians 10-2 on Monday, winning the American League Divisional Series 3-0 and advancing to the AL Championship Series. The Astros will meet the winner of the series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Here's what you need to know about Game 3:
Bauer, Cleveland's 'pen melts down
Cleveland used Trevor Bauer as a reliever this series, asking him to appear in each game. His performance on Monday was the most notable of the three, in large part because it .
Bauer entered with a 2-1 lead in tact and pitched a fine sixth inning. Terry Francona sent Bauer back out for the seventh, and that's when things went south. Bauer allowed Tony Kemp to reach and then threw away a pickoff attempt, permitting Kemp to advance. Kemp would later tie the score. Bauer would soon make another throwing error that ruined a potential double play, and would then give up a big double to Marwin Gonzalez, plating two to give the Astros a 4-2 lead.
All total, Bauer faced 10 batters and retired just four of them. He gave up three runs and made a pair of throwing errors:
Trevor Bauer has made 5 errors in his career. In the seventh inning in Game 3 of the ALDS, he's made 2.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) October 8, 2018
To make matters worse, the rest of the bullpen imploded too after a solid start from Mike Clevinger. Miller exited after giving up two hits and a walk and recording one out; Allen gave up two hits and two walks against six batters; and even Brad Hand was no match for the Astros lineup.
There was a lot of fear throughout the summer about how Cleveland's bullpen would fare in October -- Game 3 was a reminder of that fear, and in many ways, a validation of it.
Cleveland's offense struggled again
Cleveland entered Game 3 having had trouble scoring runs. In Games 1 and 2, they'd combined to score three runs and bat .100/.156/.150 -- that's 6 for 60 as a team. Jose Ramirez and Josh Donaldson had combined to go 1 for 16 with six strikeouts and a walk. Only Francisco Lindor had multiple hits. And so on.
Game 3 didn't go too much better. Cleveland scored two runs on four hits and a walk, with Francisco Lindor contributing another home run -- his second of the series. Otherwise, Ramirez and Donaldson combined to go 1 for 7 with a walk, pushing them to 1 for 22 on the series. Ouch.
In the 3 games in this series, the Indians have A TOTAL of 10 hits and have had 4 at bats with runners in scoring position so far...— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) October 8, 2018
Even Lindor drew some scrutiny for a decision he made in the third. Yan Gomes and Jason Kipnis had singled consecutively to begin the frame, and Lindor opted to bunt rather than swing away. To Lindor's credit, he did advance the runners and nearly reached himself. But you'd rather not play with one run that early with a hitter the caliber of Lindor.
Michael Brantley would bring in a run with a sacrifice fly, but as Lindor illustrated elsewhere in the game, Cleveland could have had a much bigger rally on its hands had he not taken the bat out of his own hands.
On the bright side, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway given how Bauer and the rest of Cleveland's relievers pitched.
Springer homers twice, sets Astros record
George Springer’s nine career postseason homers are the most in Astros history.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) October 8, 2018
Then, in the eighth, Springer delivered again, putting the Astros up 5-2. Springer entered Monday having hit .282/.368/.583 in 26 career playoff games.
Cleveland drops another elimination game
As if the result of this series isn't depressing enough, here's something to keep Cleveland fans sad for weeks to come. Since Game 6 of the 1997 World Series against the Marlins, Cleveland is now 0-9 in elimination games. Yes, that includes the 2016 World Series. Yes, we'll stop there, Ohioans.
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