Astros, Dodgers Survive: Game Times, TV Info and Pitching Matchups for Saturday
It was Elimination Friday — but no one got eliminated in the baseball playoffs Friday night. The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers both won to stave off a trip back home.
In the American League, the Astros beat the Rays 7-4 in Game 6, winning their third straight game after falling in a 3-0 hole and forcing a Game 7 on Saturday night. They are embracing the 2004 Red Sox, who are the only team in baseball history to win a series after falling behind 3-0.
To get fired up before Game 5, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman had several Astros teammates watch a documentary of the 2004 Red Sox's improbable comeback. Now they are on the verge of pulling off the same miracle.
"We are relentless, and when we said we didn't want to go home, we really meant it," Houston shortstop Carlos Correa said. "But if we don't win one, more then this all has meant nothing. When we were down three games, the atmosphere in the clubhouse was the same as if we were up 3-0."
Tampa Bay players are disappointed that their lead has disappeared, but they aren't panicking either.
"They are frustrated, we are all frustrated," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I don't think they are tensing up. I think they are recognizing that we have an opportunity for the fourth time now to do something special."
The Dodgers aren't ready to go home either. They've forced a Game 6, and have Walker Buehler on the mound.
Here's the remaining schedule and the series recaps:
ALCS: Rays vs. Astros
- Game 1, RAYS 2, ASTROS 1: Blake Snell allowed only a first-inning home run, going five innings and then let the bullpen do its thing in Tampa Bay's 2-1 win over Houston. Snell struggled with his control, but kept working out of jams. Four bullpen pitchers threw four scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. The Rays tied the game in the fourth inning on a Randy Arozarena home run and won it on Mike Zunino's single in the fifth. (Tampa Bay leads series 1-0.)
- Game 2, RAYS 4, ASTROS 2: Manuel Margot hit a three-run home run in the first inning after an error and made a tremendous catch while falling over the wall to help Tampa Bay beat Houston, 4-2. Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. was really good, but was victimized by his own defense, which made two errors. He pitched seven innings and struck out 11. Charlie Morton got the win for the Rays, pitching five scoreless innings. Houston had plenty of chances to score, but left 11 men on base. (Tampa Bay leads series 2-0.)
- Game 3, RAYS 5, ASTROS 2: Tampa Bay took advantage of another Jose Altuve error and exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to break the game open. Ryan Yarbrough went five innings for the Rays to get the win, and the bullpen pitched four scoreless innings. For the third straight night, Houston squandered all sorts of scoring opportunities, leaving 10 men on base. (Tampa Bay leads series 3-0.)
- Game 4, ASTROS 4, RAYS 3: Jose Altuve hit another first-inning home run and George Springer hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to break a tie, as the Astros won to keep the series alive. Zach Greinke pitched six innings and allowed only two runs to pick up the win for Houston, beating Tampa Bay star Tyler Glasnow.
- Game 5, ASTROS 4, Rays 3: Carlos Correa hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Astros their second-straight win and keep the series alive. Houston survived a bullpen day by trotting out five straight rookie pitchers, and they got the job done, pitching a combined 6 2/3 innings and allowing only two runs. Nick Anderson, who allowed only one earned run all year over 16 2/3 innings, took the loss for Tampa Bay,
- Game 6, ASTROS 7, RAYS 4: Houston evened the series thanks to a four-run explosion in the fifth inning. The game swung there after Rays starter Blake Snell allowed a walk and a single to the Nos. 8-9 hitters to start the inning, and got a quick hook. But the usually reliable Diego Castillo wasn't the answer, as four straight Houston hitters went single, double, walk single to blow the game open. Houston starter Framber Valdez went six innings and allowed just one one and three hits.
- *** Game 7, Saturday 8:37 p.m. ET (TV: TBS): The Astros are playing the role of the 2004 Red Sox perfect, erasing that 3-0 deficit and forcing a Game 7. It's a pitching rematch of Game 2, and the Astros have ace Lance McCullers Jr. ready to go on full rest. The Rays will be able to counter with Charlie Morton, who won Game 2 and is known as a big-game pitcher. For instance, he won Game 7 of the 2017 World Series when he pitched for the Astros. Should be one for the ages. Tampa Bay won a winner-take-all game in the previous round, eliminating the New York Yankees.
NLCS: Braves vs. Dodgers
- Game 1, BRAVES 5, DODGERS 1: The Braves broke a tie in the ninth inning, scoring four times thanks to home runs from Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies to break the game open. The Dodgers, who had the best record in baseball this season (43-17), lost in the postseason for the first time after five straight wins. Starter Max Fried was great for Atlanta, allowing just one run and striking out nine over six innings. Three relievers pitched three hitless innings to grab the early lead in the series. (Atlanta leads series 1-0.)
- Game 2, BRAVES 8, DODGERS 7: Ian Anderson, a 22-year-old rookie, continued his consecutive scoreless innings streak and the Braves survived a ninth-inning scare to beat the Dodgers. Anderson pitched four stressful innings, walking five but not allowing a run. He's now gone 15 2/3 innings without giving up a run in the playoffs. Freddie Freeman was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a homer and Ozzie Albies was 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. The Dodgers, who trailed 7-0 at one point, scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to make it interesting, but A.J. Pollock grounded out to end the game with a man on third. (Atlanta leads series 2-0.)
- Game 3, DODGERS 15, BRAVES 3: Right-hander Kyle Wright got pummeled in the first inning, allowing seven runs before getting yanked with just two outs in the inning. Los Angeles set a playoff record with 11 runs in the first, cruising to an easy victory. Dodgers starter Julio Urias was really good, going five innings and allowing just one run and three hits.
- Game 4, BRAVES 10, DODGERS 2: The Braves bounced back nicely after that Game 3 blowout, beating Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to take control of the series once again. Marcell Ozuna had a huge night for the Braves, going 4-for-5 from the plate, with two home runs and four RBIs. Rookie pitcher Bryse Wilson was brilliant for the Braves, going six innings and allowing just one run and one hit all night long. It was an impressive performance for the 22-year-old, who hadn't pitched since Sept. 27. "That was 100 percent a dream come true, especially to do it against someone so established like Clayton Kershaw is,'' Wilson said. "I'm just glad I could help us get a win. I knew how important it was.''
- Game 5, DODGERS 7, BRAVES 3: The Dodgers won the battle of bullpens to stay alive. They used seven pitchers and allowed just one run and four hits over the final seven innings. Corey Seager was the hitting star for Los Angeles, clubbing two home runs.
- Game 6, Saturday 4:38 p.m. ET, if necessary (TV: FoxSports1): It's a Game 1 rematch with a lot on the line as the Braves look to close out the series behind Max Fried. His numbers are off the charts this season. He was 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 10 starts during the regular season, and in the playoffs, he's been dominant at times. He pitches seven scoreless innings against the Reds in the first round, and allowed just one run and four hits in Game 1. Walker Bueher gets the call for the Dodgers. He's made three starts in the playoffs but has pitched only 13 innings. He has a 2.77 ERA in the postseason.
- Game 7, Sunday 8:15 p.m ET, if necessary (TV: FoxSports1 or FOX):