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Astros ride big second inning to defeat Dodgers 5-3 in Game 3 of the World Series

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The Astros once again emerged victorious in a close, hard-fought battle against the Dodgers. This time they took Game 3 at home by a 5-3 margin and now hold a 2-1 series lead with two more home games remaining.

Dodgers starter Yu Darvish couldn’t make it through the second inning, as the Astros put up a four spot on five hits and a walk. For a recap of that action, which resulted in the shortest outing of Darvish’s career, check out our in-game post from earlier. Darvish gave up six hits and a walk overall with no strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings, throwing 49 pitches in the process. The Astros tacked on another run in the fifth inning on an Evan Gattis single and a throwing error by reliever Tony Watson.

Astros starter Lance McCullers didn’t look nearly as dominant as he did when he hurled four scoreless frames in relief in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Yankees. In the third inning, McCullers walked the first three batters he faced, but lucked into a ground ball double play from Corey Seager, which did plate the Dodgers’ first run. McCullers again ran into trouble in the sixth, walking Seager to lead off the frame, then giving up a double to Justin Turner. After striking out Cody Bellinger, manager A.J. Hinch brought in Brad Peacock. Yasiel Puig knocked in another run with a ground out. With Chase Utley batting, Peacock uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Turner to score, making it a 5-3 game. The right-hander saw his way out of the inning by getting Utley to pop out. Both runs were charged to McCullers, who gave up three in total on four hits and four walks with three strikeouts across 5 1/3 innings, utilizing 87 pitches.

Peacock then worked a scoreless seventh and eighth. He remained in the game for the ninth as Hinch opted to stick with the hot hand rather than closer Ken Giles. It was the right call. Peacock struck out Yasiel Puig, got Utley to hit a tapper back to the mound, then got Yasmani Grandal to fly out to right field to end the game in a 5-3 victory for the Astros. In 3 2/3 innings of relief, Peacock did not allow a hit and walked one while striking out four on 53 pitches. That is a yeoman’s effort.

The World Series continues on Saturday with Game 4 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Alex Wood will start for the Dodgers opposite the Astros’ Charlie Morton.

Andrew McCutchen to open season on IL

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters today that Andrew McCutchen will not be ready to play to start the season. McCutchen is still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered last year. Girardi said that McCutchen hasn’t suffered a setback, but is simply not on a timetable that would allow him to play on Opening Day.

Obviously, this is a bit of a blow for the Phillies. McCutchen isn’t the MVP-level player he once ways, but he’s still a difference-maker and can be a spark plug for an offense. He was off to a .256/.378/.457 start in his 262 plate appearances before the injury struck. His continued stint on the injured list opens up everyday at-bats for Jay Bruce, whom the Phillies traded for during the 2019 season to help fill the hole caused by McCutchen’s injury. Bruce moving up the depth chart opens up a roster spot for someone like Neil Walker, Nick Martini or Kyle Garlick to make the team.

Girardi said that the Phillies expect McCutchen back at some point in April, so he hopefully won’t be on the shelf too much longer. Still, it stinks that we’re going to have wait longer for one of the more fun players in baseball to suit up again.

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