We’ve all seen those movies where Harrison Ford or Tom Cruise battle through an impossible labyrinth of obstacles to defuse the bomb with one second left. Or were they being taken up into heaven by an alien race? I’m getting my L Ron Hubbard books mixed up. But the point being is that the Astros’ job is much easier than those type heroics, but unfortunately non-fiction.
The plus side is that the Astros’ task after a disheartening 8-2 loss Tuesday is the same as it was Sunday. Win two at home and then win one of two in Boston.
That task is now more difficult (but not impossible) after a Gilesian meltdown by Roberto Osuna in a non-save situation during a 5 run Red Sox eighth inning. Luckily the failure did not include Osuna either punching himself in the face or calling his manager some kind of fire truck.
In their most critical game to date, they turn to a familiar playoff face, Charlie Morton. Yes, Good Time Charlie who won not one, but two game sevens during the 2018 World Series run. Wednesday, they will not expect Morton to last long enough to earn a win this time around considering he has only thrown four innings since mid-September, three of which came Sept. 30th almost three weeks ago. Will this be another Morton/McCullers tandem job?
The bottom line is that to have a reasonable shot to return to the World Series, the Astros need to win the next two at home and Game 4 may be a desperation all hands on deck kind of day.
It would not hurt anyone’s feelings if the Astros offense showed up against Rick Porcello and the Red Sox bullpen. It has been a rough go lately as the Red Sox mostly pitch around Alex Bregman and dare Yuli Gurriel to do something. Jose Altuve is gamely tromping on with one bum knee and Carlos Correa continues in power outage mode. The Astros’ catchers are bringing little to the table, Josh Reddick has slid back to his 2017 playoff self, Tyler White and Evan Gattis are not hitting and Marwin Gonzalez seems to be the most clutch hitter they have besides Bregman.
The Astros face two almost must-have games in Games 4 and 5 so that they don’t have to go home after Game 5 or go to Boston needing two wins. The plus side is they have Justin Verlander waiting in the wings for Game 5 and Gerrit Cole waiting to vindicate himself in Game 6. But that is way off in the future. Game 4 is the game they need and must have first.