Day 3 of the Division Series means that the NLDS gets a day off, after both the Brewers and Dodgers have taken a 2-0 lead. They’ll both resume their series tomorrow as they head to Colorado and Atlanta, respectively, as the home team has won every game this round.
That last statement also holds true in the ALDS, as the Astros and Red Sox also hold a 1-0 edge after winning yesterday, and look to push it to a 2-0 edge in this best of 5 series this afternoon before hitting the road tomorrow.
Cleveland @ Astros
Yesterday was supposed to be one of the best pitching matchups of the Postseason, and while it was for the first 3 innings, Corey Kluber faltered badly going against the Astros a second time through the order. Kluber ultimately allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, including a trio of home runs to Alex Bregman, George Springer and Jose Altuve over 4.1 innings.
Justin Verlander cruised through 5 innings, not allowing a hit and surrendering just 1 walk. But the wheels came off a bit in the 6th, as the inning started going single-strikeout-single-walk, and that was the night for Verlander. A wild pitch and an RBI groundout scored 2 of the inherited runners, but that was as close as Cleveland would get.
The Astros tacked on 3 more, and the bullpen held it for the 7-2 win.
Today is game 2, where Gerrit Cole faces off against Carlos Carrasco. Gametime is set for 4:37 ET.
Cole came over this past winter from the Pirates, and he put together arguably the best season of his career. He went 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA, while shattering his previous high in strikeouts at 276 (compared to 202 in 2014). The big change for Cole since coming to Houston has been the increase in the spin rate on his fastball, something the Astros have been working on with a lot of pitchers as they try to unlock their full potential. Gerrit Cole is likely the posterboy of this transition, just like Yonder Alonso was for the fly ball revolution last year.
Carrasco makes surprisingly just his second ever postseason start for Cleveland, as he has faced injuries in 2016 and only made 1 start last year against the Yankees. But he’s healthy now and ready to build on a strong 2018, where he went 17-10 with a 3.38 ERA. The FIP was even better, sitting at an impressive 2.94, the 4th best mark among qualified pitchers in baseball (his opponent, Gerrit Cole, was second at 2.70, while teammate Trevor Bauer was first at 2.44). Carrasco consistently strikes out more than a batter per inning, while also doing a great job of limiting walks, typically sitting around the 2 per 9 inning area. He’s an Ace in many facets of the word, but has been overshadowed by his rotation accomplice ever since he broke out.
Perhaps today is the day we get the big Cleveland-Houston pitcher’s duel.
Yankees @ Boston
Boston batters jumped all over J.A. Happ yesterday. After a strikeout to Mookie Betts to lead off the bottom of the 1st, the Red Sox got a single, walk and a big 3 run home run off the bat of J.D. Martinez. Happ settled down after that, getting the next 5 outs. But Betts led off the 3rd with a double, and then Andrew Benintendi got a bunt single and that was the end of the night for Happ before he would face Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez again. Chad Green came in and allowed the 2 inherited runners to score, but that was it. And that was it for the rest of the night as the Yankees bullpen dominated the rest of the way.
Chris Sale was dominant on the mound for the Red Sox, striking out 8 with just 3 hits through his first 5 innings. But the Yankees got to Sale in the 6th, knocking a pair of singles around a forceout, and that was the end of the night for Sale. And just as Chad Green did for the Yankees, Ryan Brasier came in and allowed both inherited runners to score. The Yankees threatened as the inning continued, but Gleyber Torres left the bases loaded. The Yankees loaded the bases in the top of the 7th too, but Giancarlo Stanton struck out with none out, and the Yankees scored one as Luke Voit just beat out a double play.
The Yankees would score their final run in the 9th inning on a leadoff home run from Aaron Judge, but Craig Kimbrel settled down and got 3 strikeouts to end it, saving the final score of 5-4.
Today’s game features David Price going for the Red Sox and Masahiro Tanaka going for the Yankees. It should be an excellent game as well, and it gets underway at 8:15 ET.
Price has had a pretty good season for the Red Sox. He went 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA, numbers that aren’t really close to his dominant days before joining Boston, but still plenty good enough for a team with the firepower the Red Sox have. Price also turned it up in the second half of the season, pitching to a 2.25 ERA in 68 innings, holding opponents to a .199 batting average. Of course, all of that means nothing if he can’t finally pitch well in the playoffs for the Red Sox.
Tanaka is making his 5th postseason start for the Yankees, and it comes on the heels of a season I’m sure he’s not happy with. Tanaka went 12-6 with a 3.75 ERA, and while it’s a vast improvement from his struggles last season, he also missed time on the DL with a hamstring strain in June and July. But he’s healthy now, and I’m sure he’s looking to build off the success he had in the playoffs last year, when he went 2-1 with an 0.90 ERA.
Find the Link
Find the link between Gerrit Cole and David Price.