Remember when Game 2 of the 2017 World Series was the craziest game you’d ever see? It didn’t get to hold that title for even a week before Game 5 ripped it away last night. 13-12 Astros.
More than 5 hours and 15 minutes. 10 innings. 28 hits. 25 runs. 7 home runs. How crazy was it? Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel, with 4 CY Young’s between them, started a game that had 25 runs in it. It was a baseball game with a football score and a guy named Derek Fisher scoring the winning run.
That didn’t feel like Dodgers v. Astros in the World Series, it felt more like the Homeboys v. the Awayboys in Rock N Jock Softball. Where was Dan Cortez, Corbin Bernsen, and Richie Sambora when you needed them? You can’t tell me that Roger McDowell and Spinderella weren’t warming up in the bullpen. And you can’t tell me that they wouldn’t have done better than the actual Dodger and Astros bullpens.
I don’t know if the baseballs are juiced,… actually, I do.. they are… more on that later. But I also know this… I know that if you take two great offenses and two bullpens full of arsonists, you’re going to get some exciting baseball. Almost too exciting. That was just a non-stop sugar rush of baseball. It started out like funneling Pixie Stix, but by the time the seventh inning hit, it was like snorting powdered sugar and injecting cane sugar straight into your veins. No lead mattered because nobody could hold a lead and nobody could get anybody out.
And it all started so well for the Dodgers with three runs in the first. You figure you stake the best pitcher of a generation to a 3-run lead in Game 5 of the World Series and you’re in good shape. And it only got better when they added a fourth in the fourth. Keuchel, was out of the game and at that point, it felt like it was ball game.. You’re not losing when you stake Clayton Kershaw to a 4 run lead it the most important game of his career.. Ball game.. Thanks for coming!. Except it wasn’t. Not even close.
Because the Astros battle. They are relentless and in the bottom of the fourth they went to work. Carlos Correa had an RBI double and then Yuli Gurriel came to the plate with two men on, first pitch swinging and we’ve got ourselves a tie game. And the Astros had ripped out the hearts of the Dodgers. Except they hadn’t. Because the Dodgers battle and grind just as much as the Astros and in the top of the fifth, Cody Bellinger came up with two men on.
From 4-4 to 7-4. So impressive the way LA battled back and at that point, you had to be thinking that this was their night and they were going to come back home up 3-2. Then again… if you were thinking that, you haven’t been paying attention to this series because we weren’t even halfway through all the runs that were going to be scored.
And sure enough, in the bottom of the fifth, with two outs, George Springer worked an 8-pitch walk. Alex Bregman worked a 10-pitch walk. And then Jose Altuve dug in.
7-7 after five. And somehow, we managed to get through the sixth without either team scoring. The Dodgers took an 8-7 lead in the top of the 7th on a Bellinger hit to center than Springer dove for and missed. Love the effort and the heart, but if you’re going to make that play, you better make that play.
And then Dave Roberts turned to Brandon Morrow for the bottom of the seventh. It was Morrow’s 12th appearance in 13 games and it was clearly one too many. Because he had absolutely nothing. First pitch to Springer.
That was followed by a first-pitch single by Bregman. And then on the second pitch of his at-bat, Altuve doubled to left center, sending Bregman home.
Correa was up next. He took a pitch for a ball and then he took a ball for a ride.
11-8 Astros. And a brutal night for Morrow. 4 hits, 2 home runs, 4 runs, on six pitches. Before the game, Roberts had said that Morrow was unavailable to pitch and now we know why. But Morrow pushed for it. He’s a gamer and he wanted in. Total respect, but there was nothing there. And as much as you may want to criticize him, nobody was a harsher critic of Brandon Morrow than Brandon Morrow. “I was confident in my ability” and then adding “It was probably selfish of me to make that call and try to push to get in.” He called himself selfish no less than three times in talking to the media. Damn. Ease up, B.
But I get it. At that point, when he walked off the mound, that stadium was rocking and it really felt like the game was over. It wasn’t.
Because as bad as the formerly invincible Dodgers bullpen has been in this series, the Astros have been just as bad. It’s like both pens are allergic to holding leads and sure enough, Brad Peacock gave up a double to Joc Pederson and then hit Chris Taylor. Corey Seager doubled, Pederson scored, and Taylor went to third. 11- 9 Astros.
Then Justin Turner hit one to right, but the third base coach didn’t send Taylor home to test Josh Reddick’s arm. Or did he?
That looked bad then and even worse in in the bottom of the eighth, when Brian McCann put it out of reach with a solo shot.
12-9 Astros. And surely that is the ball game. Except, of course, it wasn’t. Because in the top of the 9th, Yasiel Puig hooked a two-run shot over the fence in left with one hand. And now it’s 12-11 Astros. Austin Barnes doubled and then Taylor was at the plate again, singling home Barnes. Tie game.
And at that point, everyone watching had just about gassed out. It was too much. Complete and total insanity. Onto extras we went.
In the bottom of the tenth, Kenley Jansen got the first two outs, then hit McCann and walked Springer. Derek Fisher, not that Derek Fisher, came into the game to run for McCann and in stepped Alex Bregman.
Ballgame. Finally. ABQ FTW. Bregman is a killa. Absolute brass. 13-12 Astros, 3-2 Astros.
It’s coming to Dodger Stadium tomorrow night and I can’t wait. I just don’t want this series to end in six, or seven. I was sixteen or seventeen of these games. Just mainline it into me. I don’t know if this really is baseball, but I know I can’t take my eyes off it.