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ALDS Game 3: Astros 4, Royals 2 - A haiku recap

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Chris Carter explodes/there is power in the Beard/one more for the clinch

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

unmatched in Houston
Dallas Keuchelangelo
the legend still grows

16-0. Dallas Keuchel is about as close to automatic at home as a pitcher can get. But yet  each win is just as exhilarating as the last. And just when you think there's no way he could ever top himself on the mound, he does just that, pushing ever so close to perfection.

The game began on an auspicious note when Keuchel gave up a lead single to Alcides Escobar. Although Dallas would retire the three batters, the 1st inning set the tone for the rest of the game. The Royals were going to take pitches, work the count, and try to drive out Keuchel as quickly as possible. Their approach seemed to work as Lorenzo Cain launched the 10th pitch of the at bat over the train tracks to give Kansas City the early lead 1-0 in the 4th.

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But as the pitch count mounted, Keuchel only seemed to grow stronger. In the 5th with two men on he made the clean up man Eric Hosmer look silly on a chased third strike. Then in the 6th with his pitch count over the century mark, a man on third, and a full count, Dallas fooled Alex Gordon for another clutch strikeout. Finally in the 7th with his pitch count at 123 and yet another man on third with a full count,  he struck out Alex Gordon to put an exclamation point on another fantastic outing: Seven innings, five hits, one earned run, three walks and seven strikeouts.

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The bullpen came in and did their thing. Tony Sipp faced three batters striking out two and walking one. Luke Gregerson came in for the four out save, though giving up an earned run off an Alex Gordon bomb. The Royals, who had the least amount of strikeouts of any team in baseball, struck out 10 times, matching the Astros total.

dragon-man at bat
dragon-man burninates ball
Trogdor awakens

Chris Carter has quietly been producing in the playoffs thus far. He had three walks against the Yankees and went 2-8 in Kansas City. Now back in Houston it was time to make some noise. It started in the 3rd when Carter knocked a hard liner off the wall in left. Rounding first base, he made the last second decision to go for the extra base hit. Alex Gordon fired it back into second, nailing Carter by a mile.

In the 5th Carter slapped a double down the line, moving Luis Valbuena over to third. That brought up the struggling Jason Castro, who snuch a clutch RBI single through the right side, his first career postseason hit. That gave the Astros the 2-1 lead. From there they wouldn't turn back.

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George Springer lead off the bottom of the 6th with a double just out of the reach of  Lorenzo Cain. Two outs later, the ailing Carlos Gomez coming back for his first start since Tuesday against the Yankees flared a single to extend the Astros lead to 3-1

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Then in the 7th on the very fist pitch he saw, Chris Carter annihilated the ball, its remains landing on the train tracks. Carter would finish the game with a line of 3-3, a triple short of the cycle.

chicken fried Nazarite
the ball ascends to heaven
lesson in ground rules

Colby Rasmus hit what must be one of the strangest hits in Minute Maid Park history in the 8th.  Off the bat it looked like it could've been Rasmus' 4th home run in as many playoff games, but it slowly died  to what seemed like a routine fly ball.  Routine, that is, before it bonked off the rafters of the roof and landed in shallow right field. The roof is considered in play at Minute Maid, and any ball knocked off it is still live. Amidst the confusion, Colby only ended up with a single, ending his streak of six playoff games with a extra base hit. Though what a way to do it: 1-1 with three walks.

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twenty-seven outs
the ALCS is near
nine more games to go