We have all heard it before, “offense wins games, defense wins championships” maybe it was from your dad or your baseball coach, or someone else. Regardless, you most likely took this to heart as a baseball fan. I am guilty of the exact same thing. While this may be true 99% of the time, the Astros and Dodgers proved that this saying is not always true.
The Astros shocked the Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series (and you can read Daryll’s brilliant recap of the game here) to send the series to Houston with the series tied at one game apiece, and if you thought that the series couldn’t get any better, you were in for a genuine shock. So here is a rundown of the insane three-game stand in Houston.
It all started with Game 3. Houston’s bats came alive in the 2nd inning of Game 3 when Yuli Gurriel hit a 379-foot solo shot to left to make the score 1-0. The scoring would continue in the second with a Marwin Gonzalez single that would score Josh Reddick and move Evan Gattis to second. Gattis was not able to get too comfortable at second because soon after Gonzalez’s single, Brian McCann hit an RBI single of his own scoring Gattis and moving Gonzalez to third. The scoring in the second would end after Alex Bregman hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Gonzalez to cap off a 4-run inning.
Yu Darvish was pulled before the 2nd inning ended giving him the shortest start of his career and an ugly stat line of 1 2/3 IP, 6 hits, and 4 earned runs. Not a good time for that kind of a start.
The momentum did start to shift back towards LA in the top of the third after Lance McCullers walked the bases loaded, but the Dodgers were only able to get one run across on that. The Astros did bring across one more run on a throwing error by Tony Watson, but it did not matter since the Dodgers brought across two more runs in the 6th and did not score from then on. The series was now 2-1 in the Astros’ favor and they continued their streak of 7-0 at home this Postseason.
The Astros’ undefeated at home streak, however, would end at 7-0 in Game 4. Cody Bellinger, who had gone 0 for 11 in the World Series, and the slumping Joc Pederson would be the x-factors for the Dodgers in game 4.
The Astros and the Dodgers engaged in an epic pitchers duel that spanned almost 7 innings in which Alex Wood threw 5 2/3 no-hit innings, but was pulled after a George Springer solo home run. On the other side of the diamond, Charlie Morton threw 6 1/3 innings and allowed just 1 earned run on a Logan Forsythe single to score Cody Bellinger who had just had his first career postseason hit, a double. The game was tied 1-1 going into the ninth and it was the Dodgers’ turn to hit.
With two runners on, Cody Bellinger opened up the scoring in the ninth with a double to score Corey Seager and move Justin Turner to third. Austin Barnes followed with a sac fly to right to score Justin Turner’s pinch-runner Charlie Culberson. With runners on first and third, Joc Pederson crushed a three-run home run to right to make the score 6-1. The Astros were unable to come back, only scoring one run to tie the series 2-2.
And now for Game 5.
“This game is over, they are leading 4-0 with Kershaw pitching and we are going back to LA. The Astros are done. Write this off as a Dodgers win and a World Series win bro.”…This is what a Dodgers fan at the restaurant I was eating at said on his way out the door.
Little did he or his friend who was also wearing Dodger gear, that the Astros were not done, the game was not over, and the Dodgers would not win this game.
Little did they know, the Astros were going to tie the game on a 3-run Yuli Gurriel home run.
Little did they know that Cody Bellinger and Jose Altuve would exchange 3-run blasts in the fifth inning.
Little did they know that after many leads lost and gained throughout the game, the Astros would go up 12-9 on a Brian McCann home run, but Yasiel Puig would hit a two-run home run, and Barnes would hit an RBI single to tie in the ninth.
Little did they know that Alex Bregman would hit an RBI single to Walk-Off one of the greatest games in Postseason history.
Little did they know that it would be a back and forth roller coaster ride that would take 5 hours and 17 minutes to complete.
Little did they know that these two teams would combine for 7 home runs.
Little did they know that a game started by Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel would end with both teams combining for 25 runs, sending the series to LA with the Astros leading the series 3-2 with Justin Verlander set to pitch game 6.
Now if this hasn’t been one of the craziest World Series that you have ever seen I don’t know what would be. As I stated earlier, the Astros have Justin Verlander pitching in game 6 facing Rich Hill. It may seem like this series is surely going to the Astros, but after all of this, you just can’t be sure about anything. Stay tuned to see whether the Astros will win their first World Series in franchise history, or if the Dodgers will force a winner take all game 7.