HomeSport Astros’ Dusty Baker Explains Decision to Leave Lance McCullers in vs. Phillies

Astros’ Dusty Baker Explains Decision to Leave Lance McCullers in vs. Phillies

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AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

After Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers surrendered five home runs in Tuesday’s 7-0 World Series Game 3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, many were left wondering why Astros manager Dusty Baker didn’t pull his starter from the game earlier. Baker explained the decision after the game.

“The thought process was the fact that he had had two good innings, two real good innings, and then they hit a blooper, a homer, and then I couldn’t get anybody loose,” Baker told reporters. “I mean, it was my decision.”

Of the six hits McCullers allowed, five left the ballpark, and he is now the only pitcher in MLB history ever to give up five home runs in a World Series game. The 29-year-old was apparently tipping his pitches throughout his 4.1 innings, as the Phillies had no problem picking up his off-speed tosses.

However, McCullers denied tipping pitches, telling reporters after that game that he simply “got whupped.”

Before the fifth inning, the Astros faced a manageable 4-0 deficit. But with McCullers facing the top of the Philadelphia lineup for the third time, things got out of hand. Kyle Schwarber launched a two-run homer, and Rhys Hoskins followed with a solo blast to put the game away and send McCullers to the dugout.

What’s more puzzling is that Houston’s bullpen is a strength of the team, and it got an extra day of rest following Tuesday’s rainout. Despite McCullers settling down before his implosion in the fifth inning, Baker still should have had a reliever ready to go if he hoped to keep the game in reach.

McCullers’ disappointing outing will undoubtedly be the main talking point coming out of Tuesday’s game, but the Astros struggled mightily at the plate and didn’t do any favors for their pitching staff. Houston left eight men on base and went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

The Astros will try to bounce back in Wednesday’s Game 4. Cristian Javier is set to start for Houston against Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola.

Source : Bleacher Report

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