Per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Royals manager Ned Yost announced this afternoon that Jeremy Guthrie will start against the Orioles when the ALCS shifts to Kansas City for Game 3 on Monday.
Like Miguel Gonzalez with the Orioles, Guthrie wasn’t needed during the ALDS, so he hasn’t pitched since September 26. The 35-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.13 ERA and 124/39 K/BB ratio over 202 2/3 innings this season. Monday will be his first career postseason appearance. And he’ll be doing it against a team he spent five seasons with from 2007-2011.
Yost wouldn’t go as far to confirm his Game 4 starter quite yet, but he said that Jason Vargas will “probably” get the assignment. This means that Danny Duffy, who had a 2.53 ERA during the regular season, will remain in the bullpen. McCullough writes that the main reason he’s pitching in relief is because he struggled to throw strikes out of the stretch during his final two starts.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.