ALDS Game 3: How the Astros' loss to White Sox played out

by 24USATVOct. 11, 2021, 5:01 a.m. 15
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CHICAGO — The Astros will not be sweeping the American League Division Series after losing 12-6 to the White Sox in Game 3. Follow along here each game for breaking news, live updates and analysis from our team of writers.

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11:53 p.m. — Astros manager Dusty Baker was all over the place during critical moments in Game 3, at times almost singlehandedly handing the once-struggling White Sox the victory. — Brian T. Smith.

11:51 p.m. — The Astros will start Jose Urquidy in Monday’s Game 4 of the ALDS. The White Sox will counter with Carlos Rodon. The game begins at 2:37 p.m. at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field. — Steve Schaeffer

Dusty Baker’s bullpen management defied logic. Players must execute, but a manager is tasked with putting them in ideal positions. Baker failed in indefensible fashion during an 12-6 loss in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. A four-run lead disappeared due to it. "All hell broke loose," Baker said. The Astros' stranglehold on the series went with it. — Chandler Rome

11:36 p.m — Dusty Baker emptied his bench as a last-ditch effort against White Sox closer Liam Hendriks in the ninth inning. Aledmys Díaz pinch hit for Jake Meyers and flied out on the first pitch. Jason Castro, pinch hitting for Martín Maldonado, struck out swinging. Jose Altuve was called out on a third strike outside the zone, a fitting ending to a night in which nothing went Houston’s way in a 12-6 loss. The Astros struck out 16 times, a season high.

Game 4 is scheduled for 2:37 p.m. Monday in Chicago. — Danielle Lerner

11:28 p.m. — Chicago added three additional insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning via a two-out rally against Brooks Raley. Ryne Stanek got two strikeouts and the Astros brought in Raley, the only bullpen lefty on the playoff roster, to face switch hitter Yoan Moncada, who was batting lefthanded. Raley gave up a single to Moncada and then an RBI hit to righthanded pinch-hitter Andrew Vaughn. Leury García drove in another run with a double down the left-field line.

It looked like the inning might be over when Carlos Correa avoided a broken bat while fielding Cesar Hernandez’s ground ball and threw to first base, but after a review umpires overturned the initial call and deemed Correa’s throw late. Leadoff hitter Tim Anderson added an RBI single before Luis Robert mercifully flied out to right field.

The Astros headed to the top of the ninth at a 12-6 deficit with Jake Meyers, Martín Maldonado and Jose Altuve, a combined 1-for-8 through eight innings, due up. — Danielle Lerner

11:26 p.m. — Chicago added another three runs in the bottom of the eighth, pushing its advantage to 12-6.

Brooks Raley gave up five hits and three runs after taking over for Ryne Stanek.

With two outs in the eighth, the Astros had used six pitchers. They were outscored 9-1 after holding a 5-1 lead entering the bottom of the third.— Brian T. Smith

10:52 p.m. — Cristian Javier kept the Astros in the game. He faced 11 batters over 2 2/3 innings and struck out six, a new career postseason high. Ryne Stanek replaced him and secured the final out of the seventh inning. Javier’s 29-pitch fifth inning did hike up his pitch count, though. His 56 pitches were the most he has thrown since he tossed 59 over three innings June 3 against Boston — his second relief appearance of the season after the Astros moved him to the bullpen. — Danielle Lerner

10:37 p.m. — Astros hitters had the second-fewest strikeouts in the majors this season, but they’ve fanned 13 times tonight through the top of the seventh. Their last five hitters have fanned, including Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez in a 1-2-3 seventh for Chicago’s Aaron Bummer. The White Sox still hold a 9-6 lead. — Steve Schaeffer

10:32 p.m. — After the drama of the fourth inning, things quieted down substantially. Cristian Javier tossed two scoreless innings with five strikeouts while Chicago reliever Ryan Tepera retired six consecutive batters. Aaron Bummer, who the Astros lit up for a three-run seventh inning in Game 2, struck out the side on 14 pitches. The White Sox lead 9-6 midway through the seventh inning. — Danielle Lerner

10:07 p.m. — Cristian Javier made his first appearance in this series against the top of the White Sox order in the fifth inning. He narrowly avoided inflicting more two-out damage. Javier struck out Tim Anderson and Luis Robert but then hit Jose Abreu with a pitch to give the White Sox some life. Yasmani Grandal, who had already wreaked havoc on the Astros, battled to draw an eight-pitch walk. Javier struck out Eloy Jimenez to strand two runners on base. Nothing is coming easily for Houston. — Danielle Lerner

9:46 p.m. — Zack Greinke’s second relief appearance of the year, and first since 2007 with the Royals, resulted in a bizarre three-run fourth inning. He took over for Yimi Garcia with two on and no outs. The White Sox batted through the order and scored on balls with exit velocities of 80.5 mph, 59.9 mph and 77.9 mph.

Greinke’s second pitch, a changeup below the zone to Yasmani Grandal, was the catalyst for a wild sequence of events. Grandal hit a ground ball down the line toward third base. Yuli Gurriel fielded it and attempted to throw home to get Luis Robert, but the ball hit Grandal as he was running to first base and Robert slid home. The Astros argued the run shouldn’t count because of interference by Grandal, but umpires disagreed and the play was scored a throwing error on Gurriel and the run counted. Greinke gave up another run on soft contact when Eloy Jimenez singled to third base to make it 9-6, Chicago. Greinke fanned the next batter before surrendering a single to load the bases. Leury Garcia grounded into a forceout that saw Grandal out at home but kept the bases loaded, and Greinke finally ended a hellacious inning for the Astros by inducing a groundout. — Danielle Lerner

9:32 p.m. — The appearance that Yasmani Grandal interfered with a relay throw from Yuli Gurriel left manager Dusty Baker and catcher Martín Maldonado livid during the fourth inning of Game 3. More details here. — Chandler Rome

9:23 p.m. — A bizarre play that was ruled a throwing error on Yuli Gurriel after his throw hit runner Yasmani Grandal led to another White Sox run. Then a slow-rolling infield single by Eloy Jimenez plates another run for a 9-6 lead in the fourth inning. — Greg Rajan

9:18 p.m. — The White Sox take a 7-6 lead by starting their fourth with three consecutive singles by Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Jose Abreu to chase Yimi Garcia. For the series, Anderson is 6-for-12 and Robert 6-for-9. — Steve Schaeffer

9:10 p.m. — Michael Brantley now has a hit in 14 consecutive postseason games, tying an Astros franchise record set by George Springer in 2017-18. — Steve Schaeffer

9:05 p.m. — After Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado struck out, the top of the Astros order went to work in the top of the fourth inning against White Sox reliever Michael Kopech. Jose Altuve drew a two-out walk and Michael Brantley singled to push him into scoring position. Alex Bregman hit a game-tying RBI single up the middle to knot the score 6-6. — Danielle Lerner

8:59 p.m. — After giving up Leury Garcia’s three-run homer to put the Astros in a 6-5 hole after three innings, Yimi Garcia has allowed all four runners he has inherited in this ALDS to score. Two were on when he replaced Luis Garcia tonight.

In Game 2 on Friday, Yimi Garcia entered with runners at first and third in a tie game. He surrendered an RBI single to Jose Abreu and, after a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly to Yasmani Grandal. — Steve Schaeffer

8:51 p.m. — Dusty Baker went against convention and made a catastrophic mistake. He yanked starter Luis Garcia after he fell behind 2-0 to Leury García — a switch-hitter batting lefthanded. Baker chose Yimi Garcia to pitch. Yimi Garcia held righthanded hitters to a .587 OPS in the regular season. Lefthanded hitter hammered him for an .843 clip. Leury García continued to bat lefthanded and destroyed a center-cut fastball for a go-ahead, three-run home run and 6-5 White Sox lead. — Chandler Rome

8:43 p.m. — Astros starter Luis Garcia's night is over after recording eight outs. Dusty Baker opts to pull him with a 2-0 count and two runners on with two outs in the third inning. Astros still lead 5-3. — Greg Rajan

8:35 p.m. — Yasmani Grandal belted a two-run home run out of Michael Brantley’s reach and into the White Sox bullpen -- Chicago’s first extra-base hit of the series. The Astros’ lead is whittled to 5-3 in the bottom of the third inning. — Danielle Lerner

8:22 p.m. — Kyle Tucker has his second home run of the series, this one a two-run bomb into the left-field stands to give the Astros a 5-1 lead in the top of the third inning. He has driven in four of Houston’s five runs tonight and has 7 RBIs in the series. — Danielle Lerner

8:07 p.m. — So much for the power of booing the bad guys in orange.

Chicago starter Dylan Cease was all over the place in the second inning, Guaranteed Rate Field was silenced and the Astros turned to the same approach that guided them to victory in Games 1 and 2.

They were disciplined. They extended counts and strung together hits. They attacked when they saw an opening. And now it's 3-1 road team, with the White Sox already on their second pitcher of the night and Tony La Russa's team in trouble again. — Brian T. Smith

How Astros took the lead

8:05 p.m. — Dylan Cease threw 31 pitches in the second innings and 17 were balls. He retired only one of the seven batters he faced in the frame and surrendered three runs before manager Tony La Russa was forced to pull his starting pitcher. Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa drew back-to-back walks to begin the frame and quiet a raucous crowd. Kyle Tucker smoked a line drive double 104.3 mph off the bat to give Houston the lead, then tagged up on Yuli Gurriel’s sac fly to move to third base. Jake Meyers tacked on an RBI single and then stole second base. Martin Maldonado struck out looking to bring up the top of the order, and still Cease remained on the mound. He walked Jose Altuve on four pitches and La Russa finally decided enough was enough. — Danielle Lerner

8:04 p.m. — Dylan Cease ranked third among qualified American League starters with a 14.8 percent swinging strike rate. He walked just 3.7 batters per nine innings in the regular season. The Astros offered another challenge entirely. Cease threw 44 pitches in 1⅔ innings. Houston whiffed thrice. Cease lost all command after an awesome first inning, leaving manager Tony La Russa in charge of navigating a bullpen game on the brink of elimination. The Astros saw 31 pitches from Cease in the second inning and coaxed three walks. They swung and missed once. — Chandler Rome

7:58 p.m. — The Astros continue to make the White Sox play for practically every walk they issue. With Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa aboard on free passes to start the top of the second, Kyle Tucker smacks a two-run double, then scores on Jake Meyers’ single to make it 3-1.

In Friday’s Game 2, two walks led to the Astros’ first two runs in the second inning, and three walks preceded Yuli Gurriel’s two-run single that tied the game in the fifth.

In Thursday’s Game 1, Alvarez and Jose Altuve led off the second and third innings, respectively, with walks. Both scored. — Steve Schaeffer

7:50 p.m. — Jake Meyers has two RBIs in as many starts in this series. His single scored Kyle Tucker from third for a 3-1 Astros lead in the second inning. — Greg Rajan

7:46 p.m. — The Astros didn't stay behind for long. After Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa drew walks to start the second inning, Tucker scored both with a double to right-center field for a 2-1 Astros lead. Tucker now has five RBIs in the series. — Greg Rajan

7:37 p.m. — Luis Garcia’s first postseason appearance in a packed stadium got off to a less-than-ideal start as he put three runners on and surrendered a run in the opening frame. Four of the rookie’s first nine pitches were balls as he gave up a leadoff single to Tim Anderson on a 3-2 fastball and put a ball in the dirt on an 0-2 count against Luis Robert. Dusty Baker acknowledged pregame that Garcia’s long windup might prompt the White Sox to be aggressive on the bases, but Garcia kept Anderson in check at first base with a pickoff attempt. It would not matter. Garcia retired Robert and Jose Abreu but then issued a two-out walk to Yasmani Grandal. Eloy Jimenez made the Astros pay with a two-out RBI single, scoring Anderson.

On the plus side for the Astros, center fielder Jake Meyers made all three outs in the inning on hard-hit outfield balls, including a running catch on Yoan Moncada’s missile. — Danielle Lerner

7:34 p.m. — Eloy Jimenez's two-out RBI single in the first inning scores Tim Anderson from second base to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the first inning. — Greg Rajan

7:18 p.m. — White Sox starter Dylan Cease is amped. He has nasty stuff, but ratcheted it up a notch in a 13-pitch first inning. He hit 100 mph twice with his four-seam fastball and averaged 99.8 mph with the pitch in the first frame. He averaged 96.7 mph on it during the regular season. — Chandler Rome

7:11 p.m. — Guaranteed Rate Field is frenzied. The team had an elaborate pregame light show to coincide with its "blackout" theme. Fans are waving black rally towels and riding on every pitch. Jim Thome threw the ceremonial first pitch. Former President Barack Obama, a noted White Sox fan, sent a pregame video message of support. — Chandler Rome

It's the playoffs and this is a road game, so of course the 2021 Astros were going to be booed by White Sox fans for things that happened in 2017 and '18.

The echoing negative noise began as soon as the Astros were displayed on the Jumbotron of Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday night.

Manager Dusty Baker — who wasn't with the Astros in 2017 and '18 — received the first round of harsh boos.

The noise increased for Jose Altuve. The level remained the same for Carlos Correa.

Then the booing died down by the time that Kyle Tucker and Jake Meyers were introduced to all the fans wearing mostly black.

The initial round of booing wasn't as bad as it could have been. But it was definitely noticeable. Especially when the White Sox were loudly and lovingly cheered by their fans just a few minutes later. — Brian T. Smith

6:43 p.m. — Luis Garcia's cutter should be a great neutralizer to Chicago's heavily righthanded lineup. He threw the pitch 565 times in the regular season, according to Baseball Savant. Opponents hit .171 and slugged .319 against it. Garcia gave up just 13 extra-base hits on his cutter while generating a 42 percent whiff rate with the darting fastball. — Chandler Rome

6:04 p.m. — Tony La Russa is playing the matchups with his Game 3 lineup — and leaving himself in a vulnerable defensive spot. Astros starter Luis Garcia holds righthanded hitters to a .548 OPS. Lefties have an .814 OPS against him. La Russa countered with the lefthanded hitting Gavin Sheets at designated hitter to go along with four switch-hitters — Yasmani Grandal, Yoán Moncada, Leury García, César Hernández — throughout his order. García is playing right field, where he struggled mightily during Game 2. He took an awful route to Carlos Correa's fly ball against Craig Kimbrel, allowing it to fall behind him for a two-run double. — Chandler Rome

6:02 p.m. — Tony La Russa’s Game 3 lineup for the White Sox includes the first ALDS start for Cesar Hernandez at second base.

3:04 p.m. — Quibbling about batting orders is sometimes silly — especially with Houston’s loaded lineup — but Dusty Baker did make a notable change in Game 3. American League batting champion Yuli Gurriel is hitting seventh, falling two spots behind Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker. Yes, the American League batting champion is hitting seventh. Perhaps nothing better illustrates the depth of this Astros lineup. — Chandler Rome

3:00 p.m. — The Astros will go with the following lineup for Sunday's Game 3 against the White Sox. — Chandler Rome
• The difference between the teams starts with defense.
• The Astros feel fun again. writes Brian T. Smith
• Luis Garcia's performance, not pitch count, is the Astros' focus.
• Despite a couple shaky outings, Dusty Baker remains confident in Kendall Graveman.
• Dylan Cease gets the start as the White Sox face elimination

Ten other Octobers as a manager taught Dusty Baker a bevy of lessons. The month demands conviction and urgency. In Friday’s Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Baker acted in accordance. He managed a marvelous game before the talent around him took over. His counterpart cannot claim the same.

Baker outfoxed longtime rival Tony La Russa in a 9-4 victory over the White Sox that left Houston one win away from a fifth straight trip to the AL Championship Series. Read more about the Astros' Game 2 win here. — Chandler Rome
• Game 2: Dusty Baker made all the right moves, Chandler Rome reports.
• Familiar look: The 2021 Astros aren’t that different than their 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 versions, Brian T. Smith writes.
• Bunch of grinders: How the Astros wore out White Sox pitchers.
• Late-inning duo: The Astros are leaning heavily on Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly.
• Jake Odorizzi: The veteran starter is "disappointed" after his ALDS roster omission.

Fundamental baseball is mandatory in October. The Astros’ 6-1 win epitomized it. Lance McCullers Jr. surrendered four singles across 6 ⅔ splendid shutout innings. The Astros struck 10 hits of their own. Eight of them were singles. Yordan Alvarez collected his club’s only two extra-base hits — a double during the third and mammoth solo home run to start the fifth.

The lineup still managed six runs. It hit against the shift, advanced baserunners and accepted any miniscule chance Chicago gave it. Alvarez advanced to third base on Tucker’s routine fly ball to Robert. Three pitches later, he scored Houston’s first run on Jake Meyers’ single, a manufactured run on Lynn’s miserable night. Read more about the Astros' Game 1 win here. — Chandler Rome
• Game 1: It was about the fundamentals, Chandler Rome reports.
• Carlos Correa: The people have spoken, Jim Crane. Pay Carlos Correa whatever it takes, Brian T. Smith writes.
• Michael Brantley: Perfect time for a return.
• Lance McCullers: He pitches and acts like an ace, Jerome Solomon writes.
• Jake Meyers: Rookie delivers like an old-hand.
• Carlos Correa knows the playoffs might be his last hurrah with the Astros.
• Yuli Gurriel, a first-time batting champ at 37, is primed for another World Series run.
• Catcher Martín Maldonado is the glue paving the Astros' playoff path
• The ALDS renews a long (friendly?) rivalry between Astros manager Dusty Baker and White Sox counterpart Tony La Russa, who also played one game as teammates long ago.
• Breaking down the position-by-position matchups in the series.
• The Astros' Kyle Tucker is quietly cementing his status as a star — and one of the best lefthanded batters in all of baseball.
• Geoff Blum hit a game-winning home run for the White Sox against Houston in the 2005 World Series. But he's all-in on the Astros.
• MLB Network's Robert Flores, a proud Houston native, says this Astros run of success is on par with the Rockets' Clutch City era in the 1990s.
• Take a look back at how the Astros fared against the White Sox during the regular season.
• Here's how and when to watch all the games.

For much more coverage on the series, go to our Astros page.

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