Perhaps it was ill-advised to doubt the Astros at any time heading into the playoffs. Even after limping in the playoffs with a no-punch offseason and untested pitching staff in which Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole were nowhere, Houston is clearly not ready to take the October.
The Astros, winners of seven straight road playoff games, are one win away from advancing to the AL Championship Series for the fourth straight season.
• The score of the box
|Game||Date||Time||Matchup / Result||TV / Highlights|
|Gm 1||October 5||NEW 10, OAK 5||Watch|
|Gm 2||October 6||NEW 5, OAK 2||Watch|
|Gm 3||October 7||3:30 p.m.||OAK @ HOU||TBS|
|* Gm 4||October 8||3:30 p.m.||OAK @ HOU||TBS|
|* Gm 5||October 9||3:30 p.m.||HOU @ OAK||TBS|
In best-of-five playoff history, teams taking a 2-0 lead have won the series 73 of 83 (88%) times. The most recent team to rally after a 2-0 deficit was the Yankees against the Indians in 2017. Of the 73 teams to advance after winning the first two games, 49 completed a sweep in Game 3.
Valdez, who pitched five innings in relief in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series against the Twins, gave up solo homers against Khris Davis in second and Chad Pinder in fourth before striking out the last 10 batters he had. faced, including seven on the ground. balls. Throwing deep, he allowed the Astros to use just two relievers, keeping their field in good shape for Game 3.
Springer added to his playoff legend with a two-run homerun in the third inning and a solo shot in the fifth, facing wide receiver Martín Maldonado on two different pitchers for a 5-2 lead. Springer’s 17 career playoff homers are the most in club history, tying Nelson Cruz, Jim Thome and David Ortiz for the seventh-all-time in playoff history.