McCullers had his struggles against the Dodgers, but he limited the damage.
McCullers had his struggles against the Dodgers, but he limited the damage.
Photo by Jack Gorman

Astros Blast Off Against Darvish, Defeat Dodgers 5-3

The Los Angeles Dodgers had to feel comfortable coming into World Series Game Three against the Astros. Dodgers starter Yu Darvish had dominated the Astros at Minute Maid Park. So of course the Astros destroyed Darvish, scoring four runs in the second inning and chasing him from the game. The Astros got the 5-3 win to take the 2-1 series lead as Lance McCullers Jr. and Brad Peacock teamed up for the win.

THE MVPs

YULI GURRIEL: The MLB Network analysts said after the game that Gurriel was known in Cuba as being “Jeter-clutch.” Gurriel continued his excellent postseason. He led off the second inning with a home run to the Crawford Boxes and slapped a double later in the game. The home run was the start of the second inning barrage that chased Darvish. He also started an excellent 3-6-1 double play in the third inning that helped to get the Astros out of a bases-loaded, zero-outs situation.

LANCE MCCULLERS JR: It wasn’t the best game that McCullers has pitched this year. It wasn’t his best performance of the playoffs. But McCullers did what was needed. He limited damage and threw 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out just three. The major moment for McCullers came in the third inning when he walked three batters in a row and loaded the bases. McCullers coaxed a double play and got a strikeout to end the inning, giving up just one run in the process and stripping any hope away from the Dodgers.

BRAD PEACOCK: Peacock entered the game in relief of starter McCullers and shut down the Dodgers for 3 1/3 innings, surrendering no hits, walking one and striking out four. Not only did he shut down the Dodgers, he had them completely flummoxed and embarrassed hitter after hitter. His slider was the best it has been in months. It was the first save of Peacock’s career, and it was the second-longest save in World Series history.

A.J. HINCH: It’s evident that Hinch has lost faith in his bullpen, but he has done a decent job in the playoffs in nursing his pitching staff through these games, doing the best he can to get outs of pitchers who are being beat up on. But his confidence in McCullers has paid off, and Peacock has excelled coming out of the bullpen.

THE DFAs (Designated for Assignment)

YU DARVISH: Did you know that Yu Darvish was 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA against the Astros inside Minute Maid Park? Did you know that Darvish had struck out 55 Astros in 41 2/3 innings in those games? Did you know that Darvish came within one out of pitching a perfect game against the Astros in Houston in 2013? Do you know that the Astros had hit just .139 against Darvish at home? Forget about all of that because the Astros beat up on Darvish, sending him to the showers after the shortest outing of his career. Darvish lasted just 1 2/3 innings, gave up six hits, walked one, struck out none and gave up four runs.

CODY BELLINGER: The Dodgers lineup had an awful night, getting just FOUR hits. But none had a worse night than first baseman and cleanup hitter Bellinger who went to the plate four times and struck our four times — earning a dreaded Golden Sombrero. Bellinger has yet to get a hit in the World Series.

DAVE ROBERTS: It was another tough night for the Dodgers manager. He went to his bullpen early and often, but this time, he had to go to the bullpen as his starter was getting shelled. The problem for Roberts is that his bullpen has had a lot of use, and now he is stuck with the issue of his Game Four starter being a guy who is not known for going deep into the game, and now he has a tired bullpen.

YULI GURRIEL: It was a big night for Gurriel. He had a home run and a double. He also got nailed by TV cameras making a racist gesture at Yu Darvish. Lip readers also claim that Gurriel shouted a Spanish slur while making the gesture. The pitchforks are out. Dodgers fans are demanding he be suspended — media members have noted that MLB has suspended players for gay slurs made during games. Darvish responded by saying that Gurriel made a mistake and that he’s sure that Gurriel will learn from it. Gurriel stated that he did not mean to offend anybody and that he was commenting to his family about his inability to hit Asian pitchers in the big leagues.

Game Four is Saturday night with Charlie Morton on the mound for the Astros. The Dodgers will pitch Alex Wood. Wood is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in just 4 2/3 innings in the postseason. He was 16-3 in the regular season, but he threw just 152 1/3 innings (a little over 5 innings per game).

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