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Astros Complete Sweep, Remind Us All Why They Are World Series Favorites

On Monday afternoon, the Houston Astros completed the sweep over the Cleveland Indians in a game that was, for the most part, much closer than the lopsided 11-3 score would suggest.

Houston Astros by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Astros Complete Sweep, Remind Us All Why They Are World Series Favorites


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On Monday afternoon, the Houston Astros completed the sweep over the Cleveland Indians in a game that was, for the most part, much closer than the lopsided 11-3 score would suggest. Perhaps the final three innings of Game 3 (in which the Astros rallied for 9 runs) are more indicative of the tone of this ALDS series as a whole- while competitive at times, Houston was in the driver’s seat from start to finish.

Indians starter Mike Clevinger did his best to give his team a shot at staying alive for one more day, pitching 5 innings while allowing 1 earned run and striking out 9. But reliever Trevor Bauer, pitching for the third consecutive game, was unable to hold a slim 2-1 Indians lead.

Bauer imploded in the 7th inning, and when all was said and done, allowed 3 runs, 4 hits, and a walk in 1.1 inning pitched (and committed two brutal throwing errors while he was at it).

The final four relievers didn’t fare much better- Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, Brad Hand, and Adam Cimber combined to allow 4 walks and 6 hits in the final 2-plus frames as the game spiraled out of control for the AL Central winners.

Things went a little better for Houston in this game, to say the least. Starter Dallas Keuchel allowed 2 runs in 5 innings pitched, and the bullpen (anchored by a beautiful two innings from Colin McHugh) allowed only 1 garbage-time run in the final four frames. George Springer continued his monster postseason with a pair of home runs, and Marwin Gonzalez broke the game open in the 7th inning with a two-run go-ahead double off Bauer.

Overall, the Indians bats in this series went dead silent while their pitchers struggled to keep Houston’s bats in check for more than a few innings at a time. A few of the most telling stats from this three-game sweep:

  • Houston had as many hits in Game 3 (13) as Cleveland did all series.
  • George Springer had more home runs in this series (3) than Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, and Jose Ramirez had hits combined (2).
  • The Indians as a team were held to a .189 batting average (17 for 90).
  • Cleveland’s bullpen allowed 12 earned runs in three games. Houston’s bullpen allowed 1.
  • Cleveland’s pitching staff finished the series with an ERA of 7.20 Houston’s staff registered a stingy 2.00 ERA.
Francisco Lindor by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Here’s another stat Cleveland fans probably don’t want to think about: Since Game 6 of the 1997 World Series, the Indians are 0-9 in playoff elimination games. Yikes.

Houston will now have some extra rest before the upcoming ALCS, where they will face the winner of a Boston-New York series that just feels destined for 5 games.

Whichever team does move on to face Houston is likely running into a buzzsaw- and a well-rested one at that. Houston has a corps of healthy starting pitchers and a bullpen that saw relatively minimal use against Cleveland. The defending champs have proven this week that they are the team to beat coming out of the AL, and a favorite to capture another World Series title.

Ryan Kelly lives in Cambridge, MA, a stone's throw away from his beloved Boston teams. When he is not working as an editorial assistant, he is providing commentary on the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins for The Turf.

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