Game 3 of the ALDS did not go the way Minnesota Twins fans were hoping, but there’s no reason to believe all hope is lost.
It might feel that way, though, as the Houston Astros opened up a barrage on the Twins pitchers. Minnesota was shelled for nine runs, six of which came off home runs. Jose Abreu, who has a knack for killing the Twins dating back to his days with the White Sox, launched two home runs to bookended the day.
Minnesota thoroughly got its ass kicked on Tuesday, there’s no other way to put it.
While the loss stings, and stunts momentum that was building from a convincing win on Sunday, it doesn’t mean the series is over. The Twins have a shot to even the series once more and send things back to Houston for a deciding game on Friday night.
All hope might feel lost in the wake of an eight run baseball baptism like we saw in Game 3, but the Twins have a few things going for them that should give fans hope that the series is far from being over.
3 reasons to believe Twins can upset Astros in Game 4
Twins have dominated Houston’s bullpen
While the Astros starting pitching has managed to hold the Twins offense down — Framber Valdez aside — Minnesota has cooked the Houston bullpen.
So far this series the Twins have scored six runs on 10 hits off Astros relievers. A brilliant start by Justin Verlander was almost immedielty undone once the game was handed over to the bullpen, with Minnesota scoring four runs and creating tons of traffic.
Even in the Game 3 loss, as soon as Cristian Javier left the game the Twins got their first run across after Hunter Brown got into trouble.
This is all good news because the Astros are likely to throw a bullpen game in Game 4. Dusty Baker said he’s not likely to use Justin Verlander on short rest and will save him either for Game 5 on Friday or the first game of the ALCS.
Minnesota’s downfall in its two losses has been leaving runners stranded against the starters. That hasn’t happened once the bullpen takes over and it’s something that should give everyone confidence that the Twins can lean in and take advantage of a flaw in Houston’s system.