Astros maintain on to beat Rays and keep alive within the ALCS
From there, Reliever Cristian Javier worked on two goalless innings, approaching the leader in ninth, and was penned by Ryan Pressly. He danced off the wall around Willy Adames’ RBI doubles and glued the tie run to third place. In this way, the Astros pushed against a team that had driven right past them.
Now we’ll see if the formula is repeatable.
“I’m not ready to go home, nobody is ready to go home,” said Baker. “We are ready to go to Dallas.”
Nobody had interviewed José Altuve’s bat. In fact, Altuve clocked a solo homer in the first inning of three of the four games here to help Houston move forward. The last came on another tall fastball, 100 mph on the letters Altuve took out to the left. Ray starter Tyler Glasnow mumbled something into his glove as he left the hill. The Astros had an air of traction. But unlike in Games 1, 2, and 3, there was more where that came from.
Swing back to Altuve. He’d spent most of that week on the wrong side of mistakes. A throwing mistake brought the Rays to a 4-2 win and brought them 2-0 up. Another throwing error resulted in Tampa Bay’s five innings in a 5-2 win on Tuesday. Reporters asked Baker about the Yips. Baker, a baseball player, couldn’t tell if Altuve had it. All he knew was that the Astros needed to recover in order to recover. They needed their star second baseman to play like one.
And he did. To build on that homer from the first inning, Altuve snapped an RBI double to the right in the third.
“I didn’t have a choice,” said Altuve as he made mistakes to win Game 3. “It was today or go home and I didn’t want to go home.” I flipped the page pretty quickly. “
The Astros had made two runs. Greinke crossed through the rays. Everything clicked until a megaphone went off in the airy distance.
The first sound was a siren, as if someone had set off the fire alarm in a nearby building. But it should signal the start of a midgame message. A man with a megaphone had a few things to say. First he introduced the Astro’s fraud scandal, with his voice cutting through the false noise of the crowd. He mentioned that they illegally stole signs in 2017 and 2018. He told them, if they were even listening, that “the baseball community has not forgotten your transgressions.” Then he went through the list.
“José Altuve … you are a deceiver, shame on you.”
“Carlos Correa … you are a cheat, shame on you.”
“Josh Reddick … you are a cheat, shame on you.”
Back on the field, where every muffled charge could be heard, Greinke Rays outfielder Austin Meadows gave a single. Megaphone Man thanked his audience and retired for the night. And on cue Randy Arozarena drew a homer to the left.
But Springer had an answer. Springer crushed his two-run shot, one inning after Arozarena tied him, taking the Astro’s lead back for Homer after the season. His 19th came from a fastball that left Glasnow’s hand and hit 98 mph. In the next half, the high wire act was brought to life by Baker and Greinke.
“I heard about them,” said Baker as he saw Springer’s Homer reach the third deck of the old Western Metal Supply Co. building on the left. “And I saw it on ESPN.”
As soon as the rays hit successive singles, the manager made his way to the hill. Pressly was warm and made it halfway out of Houston’s bullpen. But Baker stopped Pressly right there. After a short conversation, he went to Greinke to face Arozarena as a starting point. Greinke responded by slapping him on a borderline check swing.
That was two outs with two. Ji-Man Choi then dribbled an infield single to load the bases. Greinke looked at Baker and thought the 71-year-old would emerge from the dugout. Greinke had not completed six innings since September 8. He hadn’t surpassed 90 pitch since then. Baker, however, pushed him to another batsman, utility man Mike Brosseau.
“I don’t usually change my mind,” Baker said of what had happened before Arozarena’s bat. Greinke never spoke, and after leaving him behind, Baker said he mumbled a prayer while retiring to the bench. “But I didn’t really make up my mind until I got out of there and saw the look in Zack’s eyes [catcher Martin Maldanado] I was adamant about, “He can get this guy.” ”
“It’s nice that someone has confidence in me,” Greinke added when asked what he told Baker after the inning. “Since I’ve been here, they don’t seem to trust my abilities. It was nice that it happened at such an important time. “
And when Greinke also knocked out Brosseau – with a change below the zone – catcher Martín Maldonado clenched his free hand, threw his glove through the air, pointed at Greinke and nodded as if his head were a greased seesaw. Greinke, usually the stone-faced guy who shrugs, allowed himself to grin. Baker and his club had juggled fire, put their fingers near the flames, and came out unscathed. You have to do that three more times.