#1 Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesThe Houston Astros are one von liny195 02.04.2019 09:40

step closer to defending their World Series title after completing a three-game sweep over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.George Springer hit two home runs in a 3-for-6 day to help Houston earn an 11-3 road win on Monday in Game 3. Cleveland led 2-1 until 10 straight runs led to an easy victory for the visitors.The three wins in the best-of-five series also gives the Astros their first playoff sweep in franchise history.Terry Francona Costs Indians With Pitching Staff GambleTrevor Bauer was a Cy Young candidate as a starter over the course of the season Melky Cabrera Jersey , but manager Terry Francona has decided to use him exclusively in relief this series, appearing in all three games.After allowing a run in 2.2 innings to start the series, he gave up three runs (two earned) in a miserable Game 3. He also had a pair of throwing errors that helped extend the decisive seventh inning.paul hoynes hoynsieTrevor Bauer has made 5 errors in his career. In the seventh inning in Game 3 of the ALDS, hes made 2.The Astros built their momentum and piled on the scoring against Cody Allen and others, totaling 10 runs in the last three innings. Five relievers were used to cover four innings, and all but one allowed at least one run.MikeClevinger had been all the Indians could have hoped for in his first career postseason start, especially afterproven starters Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco were unspectacular in Games 1 and 2.A solo home run was the only run heallowed in five innings that also included nine strikeouts.This wasn't enough to factor into the decision, though, as the bullpen couldn't hold onto the lead.The Indians succeeded in the past because Francona wasn't afraid to be unconventional with his pitching staff. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen virtually carried the club to the World Series in 2016.Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn't nearly as effective in 2018 and the manager's gambles didn't pay off in the playoffs. Bruce Hooley of105.7 The Zone gave his thoughts on the situation:Bruce Hooley BHOOLZNo other manager in baseball -- NONE -- could survive achieving less in 3 consecutive seasons with this starting staff and this talent. NONE! And before you say, quot;We won the Central 3 times. Thats hard.quot; Given the competition it is no harder than winning at solitaireThe players do have to perform Justin Verlander Jersey , but Francona didn't put his best ones in a position to succeed during the series.Astros Incredible Depth Makes Them Team to Beat...AgainJust like last postseason, the Astros are getting a lot of production from a wide variety of hitters already in the playoffs.Jose Altuve is the biggest name in the lineup while Alex Bregman was the best hitter in 2018, but there are several other players who can and will hurt you if given the opportunity.George Springer hit two home runs, including one in the fifth to start Houston's scoring for the day:MLB MLBYou can鈥檛 keep these Astros down for long. jrp8xNfpX2MLB MLB#Postseason Springer is a BEAST. sZYZMC6MRBMarwin Gonzalez then came through with the big hit in the seventh inning, driving in two runs with a bases-loaded double:MLB MLB.marwinGF9 with another MASSIVE hit. #ALDS FQexZ5g8ICAfter an RBI single later in the game, Gonzalez finished 7-for-13 in the ALDS.He and Springer were also two of five Astros players with at least four hits in the series.Carlos Correa even got in on the action with an eighth-inning three-run home run, which was his first hit of the postseason.No. 4 hitter Yuli Gurriel did virtually nothing in the series but Houston kept on going with little resistance. We also haven't seen the best out of Altuve, the reigning AL MVP.If these players reach their ability andCorrea builds off his big hit, the Astros' lineup could be unstoppable.Houston had the worst scoring offense of all the AL playoff teams (despite being sixth in the majors), but the team excels because it's not too reliant on one or two players coming through night after night. In a long postseason, this could be the difference.After the supporting cast showed what it could do a year ago Houston Astros Jersey , the Astros look ready for another championship run in 2018.Indians Must Find Impact Hitter In Offseason After Quiet ALDSGame 3 was better for the Indians offense than the first two outings, where the team was held to a combined three runs on six hits. However, the final installment wasn't too much better with just three runs, with the problem being a lack of production from the team it was hoping to rely on most.Jose Ramirez looked like an MVP for much of the regular season but was no help in the ALDS while going 0-for-11 at the plate with three strikeouts.He was 0-for-4 in the must-win Game 3, ending his season by grounding into a double play. Considering he also hit 2-for-20 in the postseason last year, there are legitimate concerns about his playoff hitting.Meanwhile, the rest of the middle of the order didn't do much better.Ramirez,Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, the team's three through five hitters, combined to go 1-for-10 Monday and the trio only had two hits all series. This won't win too many games regardless of the opponent.Francisco Lindor did his job,getting a hit in each game of the series with home runs in each of the last two. Still http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-justin-verlander-jersey , you need a lot more than just a leadoff hitter in order to make a deep run in the playoffs.Looking forward, the Indians have some tough decisions with their lineup withDonaldson, Michael Brantley and Melky Cabrera among those hitting free agency this offseason. Whether or not these players are re-signed, the team still needs other hitters it can trust to carry the offense when the other stars aren't hitting.Even if Ramirez has better days, he and Lindor can't do it all by themselves.If the Indians want to extend this contention window, they need to add at least one more big-time hitter this winter. What's Next?With a ticket already punched in the ALCS, the Astros can now relax until the start of the next round on Oct. 13. The squad will take on the winner of the other ALDS between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, although Houston will only have home-field advantage against the Yankees. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gabe Kapler is keeping an eye on the NL playoff picture. He’s watching even closer to see how his Philadelphia Phillies handle their place in the standings.He was happy with their resolve Saturday night.Cesar Hernandez hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the fifth, seven relievers combined for seven shutout innings and Philadelphia beat Miami 5-4 for its second straight win following a five-game losing streak. That clinched the Phillies’ first series victory since a four-game sweep of the Marlins from Aug. 2-5.Philadelphia overcame a 4-0 deficit and closed within 6 ½ games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East with 15 games left. The Phillies remained five games back for the NL’s second wild card, improving to 11-7 against the Marlins — including 8-1 at home.“We looked at tonight as an opportunity to gain a game in the standings Hector Rondon Jersey ,” Kapler said. “But, much more importantly, it’s an opportunity to win a series and to demonstrate there’s zero quit in this team.”The Phillies saw their 1 1/2-game advantage in the NL East turn into a 7 1/2-game deficit due to an 11-23 stretch from Aug. 6-Sept. 12 in which they failed to win any of their 11 series.Kapler has seen contributions throughout the roster the last two nights.“We’re really playing team baseball the last couple of days,” he said.JT Riddle had a pair of doubles and three RBIs for the Marlins, who have lost five straight and at 57-91 are trying to avoid what would be only the third 100-loss season in team history.Luis Garcia (3-1) got the last two outs in the fifth, and Pat Neshek pitched a hitless ninth for his fifth save in six chances. Philadelphia relievers allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked none.Phillies starter Vince Velasquez gave up four runs and four hits in two innings. Velasquez is 1-3 in his last seven starts and has gotten an out past the fifth inning just once since July 22.“If I had to pinpoint it, I’d say frustration got the best of him tonight and therefore we had to go to our ‘pen,” Kapler said.Marlins manager Don Mattingly started reliever Jarlin Garcia, and the lefty pitched a perfect first inning. Miami used seven pitchers.Miami took a 4-0 lead with two outs in the second on Austin Dean’s RBI single and Riddle’s three-run double.Justin Bour, pinch hitting for Velasquez http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-justin-verlander-jersey , hit a two-run single in the bottom half off Brett Graves, runs that were unearned because Dean allowed Carlos Santana’s fly to drop behind him on the left-field warning track for an error.Hernandez homered off Drew Rucinski (4-2).“We really just had that one tough inning with Rucinski,” Mattingly said. “And we couldn’t put anything else up on the board.”SWITCHESThe teams combined to use 39 players, including 15 pitchers. Kapler hit for shortstop Scott Kingery in the second inning before Kingery ever batted.SLOPPYPhiladelphia’s two errors increased its total to 110. The Phillies trailed only St. Louis (112) for most in the majors starting the day.TRAINER’S ROOMPhillies: 3B Maikel Franco (sore right shoulder) was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game.UP NEXTPhiladelphia RHP Nick Pivetta (7-12, 4.64) and Miami RHP Jose Urena (6-12, 4.29) are slated to start Sunday’s series finale.

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