October 29, 2017

WS5: Astros 13, Dodgers 12 (10)

Dodgers - 300 130 113 0 - 12 14  1
Astros  - 000 430 410 1 - 13 14  1
Now that the second longest World Series game in history is over, I am very tempted to simply type "If you watched the game, you know what happened; if you did not, then you wouldn't believe me anyway" and go to bed. But I won't.

The first thing is: We did not get the pitching duel we were promised. Neither Clayton Kershaw nor Dallas Keuchel went five innings and I suspect that by the eighth, everyone had forgotten that either pitcher had even been in the game.

Keuchel threw 32 pitches in the top of the first. Chris Taylor singled and, with one out, both Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez walked. After Cody Bellinger fanned, Logan Forsythe lined a two-run single to left. With Yasiel Puig at the plate, Forsythe took off for second as Keuchel threw to first. Yuli Gurriel's throw to Jose Altuve at second was well off-target, to the outfield side of the bag, and Forsythe was able to slide in ahead of Altuve's tag. Houston challenged the call, but it was upheld. Puig was retired catcher-to-first.

Kershaw looked sharp through three innings. The Astros' only baserunner was a leadoff single in the third by Evan Gattis, who was promptly erased in a double play.

After the Dodgers scored their third run, Keuchel retired the next eight batters. But Forsythe struck again, with a one-out double in the fourth. Austin Barnes knocked him in with a two-out single to left. (At that point, 16 of the Dodgers' 22 runs in the World Series had scored with two outs.) Charlie Culberson kept the inning going with a single and that ended Keuchel's start (3.2-5-4-2-4, 86). Luke Gregerson struck out Taylor to end the rally.

Perhaps the long wait on the bench bothered Kershaw, because he struggled in the fourth. He walked George Springer and Jose Altuve singled with one out. Carlos Correa doubled to left, scoring Springer. The Dodgers challenged the safe call at second, but it was upheld. Gurriel then crushed a first-pitch, three-run homer to deep left. The blast hit high on the back wall behind the bleachers – and the game was tied 4-4.

In the top of the fifth, Collin McHugh began his night by walking Corey Seager and Turner. (He had pitched only once in the entire postseason, throwing four innings in ALCS 3 on October 16.) Hernandez struck out, but Bellinger belted a three-run dong to right-center. The ball landed in the first row of seats, but it was enough to give LA a 7-4 lead. . . . For about 15 minutes. Kershaw (4.2-4-6-3-2, 94) got the first two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but walked Springer (eight pitches) and Alex Bregman (10 pitches). Kenta Maeda took over and Altuve went deep on a full-count pitch. It was the third three-run home run in the last three half-innings – and it re-tied the game at 7-7.

Both teams took a breather in the sixth. Turner opened the seventh with a double, but was forced at third on Hernandez's grounder to reliever Brad Peacock. Bellinger fell behind 0-2 and hit a sinking liner to center. Springer ran in and dove for it, but it skipped past him and rolled to the warning track. Hernandez scored easily on the triple. But the Dodgers could not do anything else, as Forsythe struck out and Puig flied to left.

Brandon Morrow came in for the home half of the seventh – and had one of the worst outings in World Series history. He threw only six pitches, but Houston did about as much damage with them as humanly possible:
Springer: First-pitch home run to left, tying the game at 8-8
Bregman: First-pitch single to center field
Altuve: Called strike 1; double to left-center, Astros lead 9-8
Correa: Ball 1 (wild pitch, Altuve to third); home run to left-center, Astros lead 11-8
Both teams scored in the eighth: Joc Pederson doubled and scored for Los Angeles (but they left runners at second and third) and Brian McCann hit a solo home run for Houston.

The Astros led 12-9 and Chris Devenski, who had recorded the final out in the eighth, was on the mound for the ninth. Three more outs and the Astros would have a 3-2 lead in the series. Devenski fell behind Bellinger 3-0 and walked him on five pitches. After a mound visit, Devenski got Forsythe on strikes. Then Puig homered to left for two runs and Austin Barnes doubled to left-center. Pederson grounded to shortstop for the second out, and Barnes went to third. Taylor fouled off a pitch and Devenski threw two balls. He evened the count at 2-2 with a called strike down the middle, but Taylor grounded the next pitch up the middle and into center field for a hit – and Barnes came home with the tying run. Seager flied to center to end the inning.

Kenley Jansen faced the heart of the Houston lineup in the bottom of the ninth. He got two outs on four pitches, but Gurriel doubled to left-center. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts visited the mound to talk things over. Jansen faced Josh Reddick, who flied to short left on a 1-1 pitch.

And it was on to extra innings! I would not have been surprised if, after such an offensive showing, both teams threw up zeroes for a while, but that did not happen.

Joe Musgrove allowed only a one-out single to Andre Ethier in the top of the tenth. Bellinger flied to center and Forsythe grounded into a fielder's choice.

As he did in the ninth, Jansen got the first two Astros in the tenth. McCann nearly won the game with a long, high drive down the right field line, but it was foul. On the next pitch, McCann was hit on the right arm near the wrist and trotted to first base. Jansen lost control of the strike zone and walked Springer on five pitches, though ball 4 might have been at the top of the strike zone. Derek Fisher pinch-ran for McCann at second base as Bregman – who had homered off Jansen in the ninth inning of Game 4 – stepped in. Jansen threw his 33rd pitch of the night – and Bregman lined it to left. Pederson threw home, but it was not in time as Fisher scored the winning run.

Seven home runs were hit in this game, making a total of 22 for the five games, and a new World Series record. (The 2002 World Series had 21 dongs.)

Way back when the Dodgers led 3-0 and 4-0, Fox gave a couple of factoids: In the last two seasons (including the postseason), when Kershaw has worked with a three-run lead, the Dodgers are 25-1. And since 2012 (including postseason games), when Kershaw has a four-run lead, his team is 49-1. . . . Well, you can make that now 25-2 and 49-2.

The game lasted 5:17, ending at 1:39 AM (EST). The longest World Series game in history was Game 3 in 2005 (5:41), when the White Sox beat the Astros 7-5 in 14 innings. That game tied Game 2 of the 1916 World Series for the longest game by innings (Red Sox 2, Dodgers 1, with Babe Ruth throwing a complete game in 2:32 (!!)).
Clayton Kershaw / Dallas Keuchel

The 2017 World Series is now a best-of-three, with a deciding third game, if necessary, at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw pitched seven innings in Game 1, limiting the Astros to one run and three hits, while striking out 11 and issuing no walks. Keuchel allowed three runs and six hits (including two home runs) in 6.2 innings. This rematch marks the first time since the 2010 World Series (so not that long ago, actually) that former Cy Young Award winners faced each other twice in the same World Series.

Kershaw has allowed eight runs in this postseason, and all of them have scored on home runs. He's given up seven dongs in four starts. "I feel the homers I give up are pretty legit. As long as you're making your pitches, you might hit one off the wall that you're not supposed to or something, but other than that, you can't really change."

Some meaningless stuff: Since 1985, when the LCS expanded to a best-of-seven, there have been 28 LCS or World Series tied at 2-2. The Game 5 winner has taken home the trophy in 18 of those 28 series (64.3%).
For Dodgers fans: When a team wins Game 5 on the road and takes a 3-2 lead (with Games 6 (and possibly) 7 at home), it has won the series 9 out of 10 times.

For Astros fans: When a team wins Game 5 at home and takes a 3-2 lead (with Games 6 (and possibly) 7 on the road), it has won the series 9 out of 18 times.
Noted: Over at MLB.com, it appears that all of the writers are referring to the World Series now as simply the "World Series". Previews, game stories, opinion pieces, everything ... just "World Series". No mention of a corporate sponsor. I cannot imagine enough people complained to MLB to get it to stop the practice, so perhaps the sponsor paid MLB to force its writers to type the corporation's name after "World Series" for only the first couple of games.


David Cho said...

No prediction for tonight's game?

Clem said...

It was interesting that on this world series, so saturated with ads that players have been decapitated by virtual credit card billboards, we actually got two innings without a commercial break at the end. Just the players warming up and Joe Buck trying out conversational icebreakers.

allan said...

No prediction for tonight's game?

I was going to say Houston 13-12 - but in only 9 innings!

But seriously, since I want LA to win every game, I was thinking it was making little sense.

David Cho said...

Dodger Strike Zone in Game 5