In one of the craziest games in World Series history, the Dodgers lost a tough one to even the World Series at one game apiece. Game three of the series comes Friday after a much needed day off on Thursday.
You would not have guessed it by the 7-6 final score but this game started out as a pitcher’s duel, and Justin Verlander even had a no-hitter through five innings. The no-hitter was broken up by a Joc Pederson home run in the fifth inning. Rich Hill allowed one run in four innings and was pulled before facing the top of the Astros order a third time in the fifth inning. Corey Seager hit what appeared to be the difference-making home run in the sixth inning off of Verlander, but it would not end up leading the Dodgers to victory.
Kenley Jansen was called upon for a two-inning save but blew the first post-season save of his career as Marwin Gonzalez got to him in the ninth inning. This seems to be the theme of this year’s post-season as there have been 75 runs scored in the ninth inning of this year’s playoffs. After that, the game went full bonkers mode.
In the tenth inning, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa hit back to back home runs off of Josh Fields. The Dodgers would answer back in the bottom of the tenth with a solo shot by Puig and a clutch two-out single by Kike Hernandez.
In the top of the eleventh inning, Brandon McCarthy made his post-season debut and gave up a two-run home run to George Springer. The Dodgers once again tried to battle back in the bottom of the eleventh inning as Charlie Culberson hit a solo home run, but ultimately the Dodgers final rally attempt would be thwarted.
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Keys of the Game
Failed insurance run. – One of the key moments that will get over looked by the extra-inning slugfest is that in the bottom of the seventh inning the Dodgers had a chance to knock in an insurance run with one out. But Joc Pederson struck out and then Austin Barnes failed to get a hit to end the threat. If the Dodgers get the extra run in it wouldn’t have mattered that Jansen gave up a home run in the ninth.
Not All Down Hill. – Despite only going four innings, Rich Hill did everything the Dodgers could have hoped for, which is to give them a chance to win the game against Verlander who has been terrific this post-season. If not for a booted ground ball on a ground ball Chase Utley stops 99% of the time, it’s very likely that Hill would not have allowed a single run.
No Signs of Rust – Corey Seager showed no signs of rust as he blasted a two-run shot off of Verlander in the sixth inning that at one point looked like it would lead the Dodgers to a game two win. It appears all those blazing fastballs Brock Stewart threw in workouts to Seager paid off. If Seager could keep his power hits coming the Dodgers will bounce back nicely.
After a chance to rest during Thursday’s off day the series will shift to Houston starting on Friday. While Verlander got a chance to show why the Astros acquired him on Wednesday, Yu Darvish will get a chance to show the nation why the Dodgers acquired him on Friday. While this was certainly a tough game to swallow for the Dodgers, there are still five potential games left in the series. The Dodgers still have plenty of time to be road warriors and re-grasp control of the series in Houston.