Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY Sports

Just when it looked like the Oakland Athletics were headed for another disappointing exit from the playoffs — in the form of a sweep at the hands of their division-rival Houston Astros — they rallied for a Game 3 win to keep their season alive. A huge assist goes to closer Liam Hendriks for the Herculiam three-inning effort. The Astros still have the advantage here with a 2-1 lead, but it feels like a series again. 

Let’s check out the pertinent details for Thursday’s Game 4.

How to watch

Date: Thursday, Oct. 8 | Time: 3:35 p.m. ET
Location: Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
TV: TBS | Stream: TBS app
Odds: TBD
Pitchers: RHP Frankie Montas vs. RHP Cristian Javier
Follow: CBS Sports App    

Preview

How about this for a turning of the tables? The A’s had previously lost six straight elimination games (five when their own backs were against the wall). This season, the A’s have now won three straight of that variety, taking Games 2 and 3 of the wild card round and now avoiding the early exit in the ALDS by getting Game 3. Can they keep the streak alive? 

We know the home run is going to matter. The A’s have hit 10 home runs while the Astros have hit eight. It seems easy for the old guard to lament the lack of small ball, but the home runs are winning games. 

Someone to watch here is A’s closer Liam Hendriks. He went three innings and 37 pitches in Game 3. He hadn’t thrown since last Thursday and he was an utter beast in Game 3 of the wild card round after a 49-pitch inning in Game 2. The point here isn’t to be worried about his lack of availability, but instead that if the A’s have to use him for a huge workload again, that puts him a large question mark heading into a Game 5. From the A’s perspective, if you have to use him to keep the season alive, you absolutely do it. From the Astros’ perspective, if they can’t win, forcing a long and difficult Hendriks outing plays to their advantage for a Game 5. 

Prediction

I’m thinking another slugfest and close game. It’s a toss up as to who wins, but I’ll go with the A’s, simply because I’d prefer to see a Game 5. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here