It was another boring pitcher’s duel tonight, another epic battle of Cy Young winners. When the Indians’ Corey Kluber left in the seventh inning his 2-0 lead over Dallas Keuchel and the Astros seemed secure.
But then again, when a Cleveland starter leaves the game, almost no lead is secure. Whereas the Indians’ starters rank second in the AL, the bullpen ranks 29th in all baseball, with an absymal 5.56 ERA. I bet they want Tony Sipp back!
Good for the Astros. After Kluber left the game with a shutout, the Stros bats celebrated, and after the turnstiles mercifully stopped spinning, the Good Guys had accumulated 11 runs, 4 in the eighth, and 7 in the ninth.
They did it with singles and doubles, RBI walks and hit batsmen, squeeze bunts and of course, no Astros offensive explosion is complete without one, a George, oh my God, Springer dinger. So fun to watch.
The Astros finished with 16 hits, 9 in the last two innings.
The Astros opened the eighth inning with a George Springer double, followed by an Alex Bregman walk. Jose Altuve then exploded out of a two game hitless spell with a two run double to tie the game. After advancing to third on a Carlos Correa fielder’s choice, Altuve then scored on a Marwin Gonzalez sacrifice bunt, sliding head first into home just ahead of the tag. Gonzalez would later score on a Max Stassi walk.
The ninth got even crazier, starting with a hustle double by Altuve to right center field. He would score when his infield compadre, Carlos Correa, doubled down the right field line. Eventually seven runs would cross the plate, two on an Evan Gattis single, another on defensive replacement Jake Marisnick’s single, and of course, three on George Springer’s homer, a 391 foot, 105 MPH shot to left center field.
Dallas Keuchel struggled somewhat against a tough Cleveland offense, but managed to limit the Indians to 2 runs on 8 hits and one walk. He managed five strikeouts, several in crucial situations with runners in scoring position. He threw 103 pitches, 64 strikes, only 10 swings and misses. He did induce 9 ground outs.
But most importantly, Dallas kept the game close until the offensive cavalry could arrive.
Will Harris, Joe Smith, Chris Devenski and Tony Sipp combined for three scoreless innings to keep the Indians to two runs, and lower the team’s already record breaking ERA of 2.39.
Joe Smith (2-1) got the win. Andrew Miller (1-3), recently back from the DL, took the loss.
Carlos Correa broke the Astros record for consecutive errorless games for a shortstop, surpassing Roger Metzger with his 60th game without an error going back to last September 19th. The all-time record is 110. The least for a shortstop in a single season is 3, a record held by Cal Ripkin Jr.
Alex Bregman extended his hitting streak to 9 games. During that time he is ninth in MLB in hitting, with a 235 WRC+ going into last night’s game.
Tonight’s game features another good pitching matchup. Lance McCullers (6-2, 3.20 ERA), who one-hit the Indians in last week’s victory, goes against Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 3.65 ERA) Game time 6:15 CDT
Box score and videos here.