Houston Astros Beat Los Angeles Dodgers to Win Game 5 of the 2017 World Series
With the World Series tied 2-2, the Houston Astros managed to defeat the Los Angeles in a high-scoring game that puts them one step closer towards winning it all.
Heading into Game 5, the storyline from the series was the quality of both pitching staffs. The Astros were hitting only .226 through the first four games, and the Dodgers were at a paltry .176. But thanks to home runs on both sides, 33 runs were still scored in Games 1 through 4. But with both teams throwing their aces, surely that wouldn’t be the case in Game 5, right?
Astros’ starter Dallas Keuchel started off on the wrong foot. He loaded the bases with only one out in the first inning, which led to a two-run single for Logan Forsythe. Another run would score with two outs when the Astros attempted a pickoff with runners on first and third. An errant throw by first basemen Yuli Gurriel allowed Forsythe to advance to second and for Enrique Hernandez to score from third. The Dodgers were up 3-0.
The Dodgers would strike again in the top of the fourth inning. Forsythe hit a double with one-out, and would end up getting driven in by Austin Barnes to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Astros were finally able to do some damage in the bottom of the fourth inning. Carlos Correa started it off by hitting a one-run double, but was immediately overshadowed by Gurriel who launched a three-run homer to tie the game at four.
The lead would not last long though, as Cody Bellinger, who had struggled in the World Series until Game 4, came up and ripped another three-run homer to give the Dodgers the lead again, 7-4.
But once again, this lead did not last long either. Kenta Maeda replaced Kershaw with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and two runners on-base to face Jose Altuve. The AL MVP candidate came up big with the third three-run homer of the night to tie the game at 7.
Somehow no runs were scored in the sixth inning. But the offenses would get going again in the seventh inning. With Hernandez on first base with one out in the top of the seventh, Bellinger came up and hit a line drive to center field. Unfortunately George Springer misplayed the ball, and it went past him to the one, allowing Hernandez to score and putting Bellinger on third. The Astros were able to limit the damage, down only 8-7.
The bottom of the seventh would change anything. Brandon Morrow entered the game, having thrown in every game so far this series. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts has taken criticism for his handling of the bullpen in Games 1 through 4, and many believed his relievers would become exhausted.
That appeared to be the case for Morrow. The first batter he faced was Springer, who hit a solo home run to once again tie the game at eight. Then after a single by Alex Bregman, Altuve came up and hit a double into deep left-center field that scored Bregman, giving the Astros their first lead of the game at 9-8. The next batter would be Correa who launched the fifth home run of the game, and gave Houston a three-run lead.
But the Dodgers weren’t going down without a fight. In the top of the eighth, Corey Seager hit a double with one out to drive in a run and cut the deficit to two. That run would end up not matter much, as Astros’ catcher Brian McCann hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to put the lead back at three.
With only two outs left in the top of the ninth, Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to one run. Puig’s homer was the seventh of the game and 22nd of the series, which is a World Series record. Barnes ended up hitting a double and would be driven in on a single by Chris Taylor, which tied the game at 12.
Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Gurriel came up and smashed a ball to deep left-centerfield that looked like a possible walk-off home run, but bounced off the wall for a double. But Josh Reddick popped out to end the inning, taking the game to extra innings.
After a scoreless top of the 10th, the Astros finally put the ballgame away when Alex Bregman drove in pinch-runner Derek Fischer with two outs in the bottom of the inning. The game ended after more than five hours, making it the second-longest in World Series history. (Ironically, the longest game is Game 3 of the 2005 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and...the Houston Astros!)
Earlier on Sunday, media outlets reported that players from the Astros and Dodgers were both claiming that the balls used during the World Series were slicker than those used during the regular season. They say this has made it harder for pitchers, which may account for the absolutely ridiculous amount of home runs we’ve seen so far in this series.
The Astros will now have an opportunity to win their first ever World Series in Game 6 on Tuesday. And it’s possibly the best timing for them, as they’ll have Justin Verlander, who’s been absolutely lights out all postseason, starting in that game.
But let’s not count the Dodgers out yet. They’re still throwing the very solid Rich Hill against Verlander in Game 6. And the rest of the series will be played in Los Angeles, giving them a homefield advantage. Of course, that won’t help that Roberts has completely exhausted his relievers through the first five games, but maybe it will give further encouragement to the offense.
One year after the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, the Astros have a chance to win their first one ever. That would truly be incredible.