The Houston Astros made quick work of Cleveland in the American League Division Series (ALDS), sweeping the Indians after an 11-3 win in game three.
The Astros, the team that made everything look so easy during a 103-win regular season, eased through the ALDS.
Houston now move on for the second straight year to the American League Championship Series, where they will face the winners of the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees series.
George Springer's postseason heroics continue
During the regular season, George Springer is a two-time All-Star and a vital cog at the top of the Astros' order. But in the postseason, Springer looks like a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Hyperbole, perhaps, but Springer is once again having a beastly postseason. The 2017 World Series MVP homered twice against the Indians in game three and finished the series with three home runs, going six-for-14 at the plate.
Springer now has 10 postseason home runs – an Astros record – in 27 games. No-one expected what he did in the World Series last year (five home runs, 1.471 OPS) and to expect him to continue at that level this postseason is unreasonable. But he did in the ALDS.
Carlos Correa comes alive, a welcome sign for rest of postseason
The Astros shortstop has been mired in a terrible slump lately. He hit .180 from August 10 through the end of the regular season, and was hitless in seven at-bats in the first two games of the ALDS. But manager A.J. Hinch said after game two he still had faith in Correa.
"I know we put so much pressure on this guy, and there's so much attention on what he's doing and not doing," Hinch said. "He's a winning player and can help us win. I think his swing has been good. His results haven't been there. But there's no chance that I'm going to lose faith in that, in an at-bat where he comes up that he can't do something positive."
Correa started game three 0-for-two, but came up in the eighth with the Astros in control. With the pressure off, Correa took a Brad Hand pitch to the opposite field bleachers for a three-run home run. Maybe that is the spark Correa needs to get back on track at the plate. He is certainly a much better hitter than he has showed in recent weeks, and he looks like he is putting the back issues that landed him on the DL behind him. That is good news for the Astros, who really need Correa to get going in what will be a tough ALCS matchup.
Bauer self-destructed at the worst possible time
After a strong five innings from starter Mike Clevinger (nine strikeouts, one earned run), the Indians turned to Trevor Bauer to protect a 2-1 lead. Making his third appearance of the ALDS, Bauer has been outstanding for Cleveland this year, but he picked a bad time for a bad outing. Bauer gave up three runs in 1.1 innings of work. Although he gave up four hits, much of the damage he incurred in that three-run seventh inning was self-inflicted. He picked up his first error on an errant pickoff throw to first. Then, when Alex Bregman sent an easy bouncer back to the mound, Bauer picked up another throwing error with a bad throw to second base.
It should have been an easy double play that would have stopped the bleeding and kept the score tied at two. Instead, two more runs scored, and Bauer's day was done.
|Astros get 10th straight win with defeat of Red Sox|
|Springer making early MVP case as Astros win ninth straight|
|Astros reliever Pressly sets MLB record|
|Rangers hit five homers, score 16 runs on day of MLB blowouts|
|Braves youngsters shine in win over Cardinals|
|Yankees infielder Andujar likely to miss rest of MLB season|
|Rockies prevail over Red Sox despite Sale´s 17 Ks|
|Phillies top Brewers behind Hernandez and Harper|
|Yankees slugger Andujar placed on IL|
|Springer, Bregman power Astros to 15 runs in win over Rangers|
|Astros star Altuve placed on IL|
|Rays top Yankees behind two Diaz homers|
|Jackson dealt to Blue Jays, on cusp of historic record|
|Red Sox thump Mariners to top .500 mark for first time|
|Cubs continue hot streak with 10th win in 11 games|
|President Donald Trump welcomes Red Sox to White House|
|Boyd, Gibson deliver performances worthy of attention|
|White Sox shut out Indians, Phillies pull away from Cardinals|
|Angels star Shohei Ohtani returns after Tommy John surgery|
|Yankees cruise to win over Mariners|
|Red Sox lefty Price on IL with elbow problem|
|ML-Bee! Swarm delays Reds-Giants game|
|Marte hits walk-off homer to push Pirates past A´s|
|Cora announces he won´t visit White House with Red Sox|
|Brewers rally to beat Mets in 18 innings|
|Kemp´s Reds experience ends after release|
|MLB wrap: Rhys Hoskins´ power hits franchise heights as Philadelphia take charge|
|Devers error precedes walk-off homer for White Sox|
|Mets´ Syndergaard accomplishes feat not seen in almost 36 years|
|WATCH: Hungry Dodgers fan given food for thought|
|Mets spoil superb performance from deGrom in loss to Reds|
|Indians pitcher Kluber struck by line drive, fractures arm|
|Brewers hold off Rockies, Porcello leads Red Sox to win|
|Cardinals use six-run inning to push past Nationals|
|Nationals make history in extra-innings win over Padres|
|Twins smash five homers in back-to-back games|
|Murphy´s three hits help Rockies win ninth game in past 11|
|Bauer leads Indians past Astros|
|Mariners introduced to Padres´ Paddack in loss|
|Top prospect Guerrero called up by Blue Jays|
|Wheeler impresses in Mets´ win over Phillies|
|Rays bounce back with win over Royals|
|Red Sox, Yankees claim extra-inning wins to continue turnarounds|
|Tucker´s homer on MLB debut powers Pirates to fifth straight win|
|Red Sox star Eovaldi on injured list with elbow issue|
|Hendricks leads Cubs to fourth straight win|
|DeGrom to undergo MRI for elbow ailment|
|Dodgers hold off Brewers|
|Braves, Red Sox bullpens both lose as Kimbrel sits at home|
|Paxton leads Yankees to win over Red Sox|
|Yelich powers Brewers to win over Cardinals|
|Astros win ninth straight, Marquez snaps Rockies skid|
|Rockies lose eighth straight as early season woes continue|
|Arrieta celebrates 100th win as Phillies crush Marlins|
|Mariners continue one of hottest starts in MLB history|
|Davis hits two homers as Athletics win, Nationals in 15-1 rout|
|Reds break losing streak, Harper cannot stop Nationals|
|Pirates´ Archer suspended for five games following Reds brawl|
|Cubs rout Pirates 10-0, Mariners stay hot|
|Davis breaks hitless streak record|
|Orioles´ Davis ties unwanted MLB record|
|Orioles’ Chris Davis 0-for-44 at bat, closes in on record futility|
|Trout steals show as Angels shine, Yankees crush Orioles|
|Mariners crush White Sox to hold MLB´s best record|
|Dodgers, Diamondbacks continue offensive onslaughts|
|Bauer throws no-hitter through seven innings, sets MLB record|
|DeGrom stars as home runs fly in MLB|
|Machado crushes first home run with Padres|
|Francona signs two-year extension with Indians|
|Harper returns to Nationals Park, Yankees lose again|