Astros advance to the ALCS
Among all three of the non-Red Sox Division Series around the league this year, the Astros-Indians one was easily the matchup about which to be the most excited. These were two teams with recent postseason success as well as two teams with impeccable starting pitching. That’s not even to mention the top-end talent in each lineup. When you put all that together, it had the makings of an absolute classic. That....did not happen. Instead, Houston imposed its will on Cleveland and it really looks like they are ready for another long run through October and possibly a repeat championship.
In Game 3 of this series, with the Astros one win away from a series victory, Cleveland actually got off to the better start. They struck first off Dallas Keuchel and the Astros in the third, and then after the game was tied in the top of the fifth Francisco Lindor had a huge solo homer to put Cleveland back on top. The Indians had a lead, Mike Clevinger was looking dominant. Then, the bullpen came in and everything changed. Trevor Bauer tossed a scoreless sixth, but then the wheels came off. Marwin Gonzalez had a huge double to give Houston the lead in the seventh, and they never looked back. They ended up with ten runs over the last three innings an 11-1 victory. What looked like it could be a close Cleveland victory ended with a Houston blowout to send them to the next round.
Dodgers advance to the NLCS
This Dodgers-Braves series was sort of the clash of two generations of contenders, with the Dodgers winning the division for what seems like the 20th year in a row and Atlanta arriving a year or two early to win theirs. Los Angeles made their experience count in the first two games of the year, but Atlanta got a couple of huge homers to extend the series out to four games. It wouldn’t last too long. After the Dodgers struck first with a run in the top of the first, Mike Foltynewicz settled down and kept L.A. off the board for four frames. Meanwhile, Atlanta got going with two runs in the fourth, and they held the lead going into the sixth. Then, it came apart. The Dodgers took the lead back with a two-run lead from David Freese in the third, then Manny Machado continued his hot October with a three-run shot in the seventh, and the Dodgers ran away with a 6-2 victory to close this series. So, it’s going to be a Dodgers-Brewers NLCS, with Game One in Milwaukee on Friday. As for the Braves, it’s a different feeling for them than for Cleveland. Atlanta will be back.