Houston and Boston split the first two games of their best of seven ALCS matchup in Fenway Park.
This afternoon they’re in Minute Maid Park, where the Astros went 46-35 in the regular season and are 2-0 so far in the postseason.
Boston’s throwing Nathan Eovaldi in Game 3. Red Sox’ skipper Alex Cora talked before the game about the veteran righty, who tossed seven strong in his ALDS start against the New York Yankees, giving up just five hits and one earned run and what he expects from Eovaldi tonight.
“Another good start,” Cora said. “He’s in a good place. One thing he’s done the last four or five, he’s using the fastball in different spots. As far as stuff, pure stuff, there’s not too many left in October with that kind of ability. This guy’s throwing 99, 100 in the sixth inning.
“With him it’s about usage and not staying on the same plane. He’s been doing that lately. I expect him just to go out there and keep doing the same thing he’s been doing, give us six, and we go to the bullpen.”
Astros’ skipper A.J. Hinch is turning to Dallas Keuchel, who gave up four hits and two earned runs in five innings against the Cleveland in their Division Series. Keuchel said yesterday he was excited about the opportunity to take the mound with an opportunity to give Houston a lead in the Championship Series.
“I think anytime you get to play at home it’s a special feeling,” Keuchel said.
“When you really kind of break it down it’s amazing we didn’t really have home field advantage just because of the Red Sox having 108 wins. So that in itself is a feat.
“But just getting started off at home, doing our job on the road, splitting, potential — we had potential to go up 2-0, but the Red Sox are a tough team, so they proved their worth. But we came back and we’re here. And just trying to make sure that we put on a good show for the home fans just because we know how much they mean to us.”
That game gets underway at 5:09 PM EDT.
Meanwhile, out in LA, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers play Game 4 of the NLCS, with the visiting Brewers up 2-1 in the series after last night’s 4-0 win.
Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts talked after the loss in Game 3 about missed opportunities, including two bases-loaded chances, in what was a 2-0 game through six.
“I thought we had the right guys in those moments and we just didn’t execute,” Roberts said.
“So I think we were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. And one part of it is creating scoring opportunities. We had a second and third, one out. We had a leadoff double. And we couldn’t push them across.
“So in games like this, things like that get exploited. I definitely don’t think it’s the personnel. It’s a matter of when we get in those spots we have to find a way to be productive.”
LA will have to try to get something going against Gio Gonzalez tonight, after he gave up a run in two innings in his start in Game 1 of the series. Craig Counsell talked last night about how he’s handled the pitching staff so far and what his starters have provided.
“Our guys that we’re giving the ball to at the start of the game, they’re doing a heck of a job, man,” Counsell said.
“And they’re setting the tone really for games. They’re putting us in a good position. They’re putting us in a very advantageous position to use our guys in the bullpen. And then that’s going to lead to wins.”
How are they making the decisions on how to handle their starters/openers?
“It’s conversation with Derek Johnson, our pitching coach, with David [Stearns], our general manager,” Counsell explained, “and we kind of — we laid out some scenarios, kind of going into today’s game, what the possibilities were for tomorrow. And if we got a good start and we’re in good shape, Gio was always going to be the guy.”
Will the Brewers take a commanding lead in the NLCS? Will the Dodgers even things up?
We’ll find out at … 9:09 PM EDT? Really? That’s sort of late. At least for those of us on the East Coast. Enjoy your postseason baseball tonight…