If this wasn’t the best game of the 2017 World Series, we’re all in for a real treat.
In a contest that featured a little bit of everything, the Astros were able to hold off the Dodgers in a 7-6 victory on Wednesday in extra-innings to tie the series at a game apiece.
In all honesty, this one didn’t look like it was going to be all that memorable, although that’s not to say that it wasn’t a well-played game. But when Corey Seager hit a two-run homer off of Justin Verlander to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, there was certainly more than a few folks who thought the dominant Los Angeles bullpen would be able to take care of business.
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But in the top of the eighth inning -- and really from that point on -- things got real fun, especially if you didn’t have a rooting interest in the game.
Carlos Correa knocked in Alex Bregman with a single up the middle off of closer Kenley Jansen to cut the lead to one. An inning later, on an 0-2 pitch, Marwin Gonzalez hit an opposite-field blast to tie the game at 3-3. It was the first time Gonzalez had hit a homer to left-center as a left-handed hitter in his career. And it came on a two-strike pitch off of one of the best relievers in baseball.
An inning later, the Astros superstar combo of Jose Altuve-Carlos Correa went back-to-back with homers that put Houston up 5-3 in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the tenth, Yasiel Puig homered to pull the Dodgers within one, and then Enrique Hernandez had a terrific at-bat that ended with a game-tying single.
And the offense wasn’t done. After Cameron Maybin nailed a single to center, George Springer rocked a two-run blast that gave the Astros a 7-5 lead. The Dodgers weren’t done either, as Charlie Culberson -- yes, Charlie Culberson -- hit a two-out homer to bring Los Angeles within a run. Ultimately, Chris Devenski was able to get Yasiel Puig swinging on a 3-2 change with two outs to give the Astros the crucial victory.
Simply put, this was one of the most exciting games of the 2017 season. There were eight homers hit on the night, which is the most in a World Series game. There was clutch hitting with a sprinkle of quality pitching as well, and it showed that these two teams are more evenly matched than you might have anticipated after Game 1. Houston now has home-field advantage, but the Dodgers have been one of the few teams that have played well on the road in these playoffs.
Game 3 of the series takes place on Friday in Houston.
Astros set Game 3 and 4 starters
The Astros have decided on their starters for their first two home games of the World Series, and while it’s not a huge surprise who is starting, the order might be.
The only reason it could be considered an upset that McCullers is starting on Friday rather than Saturday is that Morton has been the Game 3 starter for the Astros in every other series. However, after pitching well in Game 4, and dominating the Yankees with his curveball in Game 7 of the ALCS, it does make sense that McCullers would get the ball earlier, and giving him a chance to pitch two or more times in the series.
Morton has pitched well, too, but there’s very little doubt that McCullers offers more upside, and Houston would probably feel much more comfortable with him on the mound than Morton, even after the latter pitched well in the winner-take-all game against New York. With the Astros able to win Game 2 on Wednesday, there’s a very good chance we’ll see at least one -- possibly both -- of these hurlers multiple times in this series.
McCullers will go up against Yu Darvish in Game 3, while Morton is scheduled to take on Alex Wood in Game 4. Dallas Keuchel will very likely get a rematch with Clayton Kershaw in Game 5, assuming neither pitches before.
Quick hits: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia underwent surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee Wednesday, and will likely be out until the end of May in the 2018 season. …Rangers RHP Matt Bush underwent an arthroscopic acromioclavicular joint resection in his right shoulder. He’s expected to be ready by Spring Training ... The Phillies are zeroing in on Dusty Wathan to manage Philadelphia in 2018. He spent 2017 as the manager of Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and has been coaching in the Philadelphia system since 2008. The Mets outrighted five players from the 40-man roster, including RHP Erik Goeddel, 2B Phillip Evans, RHP Tyler Pill, OF Wulimer Becerra, and OF Travis Taijeron.