The Houston Astros are fortunate to having outfielder Tony Kemp who consistently comes up big for the team. What’s going on? Let’s take a look.
The Houston Astros are having to sweat a bit in the American League Championship Series with the Boston Red Sox taking a 2-1 lead in the series. For a Game 3 that was offer all kinds of promise now that the team is set to play the next three games at Minute Maid Park, a peculiar thing happened.
The Houston Astros lost.
It happens among the best — especially in the playoffs — when the stakes our high and the pressure is as tight as frog’s butt in water. But there’s no need to panic as this team has remained resilient before — having taken the New York Yankees to seven games in last season’s ALCS and going to the brink with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
I expect the same for these Houston Astros as they’ll bounce back from what was a clutch hitting exhibition from former Astro Steve Pearce and Jackie Bradley Jr. Dallas Keuchel, Joe Smith and Roberto Osuna — who gave up five runs, including the grand slam hit Bradley — deserve some blame.
But it was the Houston Astros as a team that struggled at the plate going 7-for-34 combined, also going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and with eight men left on base yesterday.
It wasn’t a notable performance in any regard but that’s why this is a seven-game series and these games must be played. I expect an all-round revival of their offense as Charlie Morton will face Rick Porcello on the bump this evening.
Looking for more analysis from Game 3? Take a listen to my guys Robert Land and R.G. Seal with special guest Shaun Bijani of SportsRadio 610:
Despite the Houston Astros woes, they’re fortunate to have Tony Kemp in the fold as an outfielder, who time-and-again finds ways to help this team remain in competition. It was the third inning and Keuchel was already melting after walking J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts. All Keuchel needed was just one out but that seemed difficult for him to get.
But Kemp came to save the day with an amazing leaping catch out in left field to seal the Red Sox’s fate at the top the 3rd. Alex Cora did challenge the call but it was upheld and the Houston Astros continued to trail, 2-1.
Had Pearce been successful, that’s two extra runs the Red Sox would’ve tacked on and his homer that he hit off Joe Smith‘s power slider at the top of the 6th would’ve been an afterthought.
His knack for playing notable defense on the field and his clutch hitting — although he went 0-for-3 yesterday — has been a hallmark of what he’s provided for this team as of late.
In fact, Kemp batted .353 with runners in scoring position and with two outs on the board in 2018. If that’s not clutch, I don’t know what is.
Workman at the top of the 9th in Game 1? It would’ve been a typical run to take his base but he emotionally extended his right-arm upward as if he was shooting a basketball to signify that he
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was balling. It was awesome!
That was characteristic as fan’s emotions — as well as the Houston Astros‘ dugout — were at an all-time high as it was the final nails in the coffin to an eventual 7-2 win over the Red Sox.
Kemp, a fifth-rounder out of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft from Vanderbilt U, rose through the ranks rather quickly because of those aforementioned traits and is now doing terrific things on this postseason roster, his first career opportunity to be called up to play in October.
Kemp will make $545,000 for this season and is arbitration-eligible until 2023, where he will be a free agent after that. He’ll be here for awhile and I hope that he continues to do wonderful things for this team with his immense versatility. We’ll have to see but things are looking good for the guy.
Kemp’s slash line for the postseason is .250/.400./.375 for a .775 OPS with one double.