The Cleveland Indians are back home but need a win in Game 3 on Monday against the Houston Astros to stay alive in the American League Division Series.
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
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!
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.
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!
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.