Move over, Game 2. We have a new signature wild game in the 2017 World Series. Neither one has been won by the Dodgers.
In a rematch of the pitchers duel that was Game 1, Sunday at Minute Maid Park was anything but. The slugfest that took over five hours and over 400 pitches ended with a two-out rally of a hit by pitch, a walk and a single, the latter delivered by Alex Bregman in the 10th inning giving the Astros a 13-12 win to take a 3-2 series lead.
Houston clubbed five of the seven home runs in the game, pushing the series total to 22, breaking the record for home runs hit in any World Series, set by the Angels and Giants in 2002. In seven games.
This was the first World Series game ever with three three-run home runs, including two by the Astros, helping them erase deficits of four and three runs.
Clayton Kershaw was staked to leads of 4-0 and 7-4 but couldn’t complete the fifth inning. He allowed the first three-run shot of the night in the fourth inning, to Yuli Gurriel that tied the score at 4-4.
After Cody Bellinger answered with a three-run shot of his own, Kershaw walked two batters with two outs in the fifth and was pulled. Jose Altuve greeted Kenta Maeda with a three-run home run to tie the game again, scoring the first run allowed by Maeda all postseason plus two more against Kershaw’s ledger.
Kershaw faced the minimum through three innings, which made the result even more shocking.
After Game 1 lasted just two hours and 28 minutes, Kershaw’s night in Game 5 was done after two and a half hours, but a few innings earlier than he or the Dodgers hoped. It was an amazing turn of events given how well this game started for the Dodgers.
For the fourth time in Kershaw’s five postseason starts, the Dodgers scored in the first inning. Chris Taylor, who homered against Dallas Keuchel to open Game 1, started things on Sunday with a leadoff single, then out out later was joined on the bases by a pair of walks.
Logan Forsythe, who drove in the tying run in Game 4, delivered another single in the first to plate two runs, continuing his October renaissance. Things are going so well for Forsythe this postseason that even when he got picked off in the first inning, an errant throw by Marwin Gonzalez not only allowed Forsythe to reach second base but also cleared the way for Kiké Hernandez to scamper home with the inning’s third run.
The Dodgers have scored nine total runs in the first inning of Kershaw’s starts this postseason.
Forsythe was in the mix again in the fourth inning with a double to left field, and scored on a single by Austin Barnes, giving Kershaw a 4-0 lead.
It didn’t hold.
Kershaw’s short start, coupled with the five outs recorded by Yu Darvish two days earlier, made the middle games in Houston a minefield for the Dodgers bullpen. And boy did they keep stepping in the wrong spot.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the seventh on an RBI triple by Bellinger, which helped erase the distaste of Hernandez attempting a sacrifice bunt earlier in the inning with Justin Turner at second base with nobody out.
With nine outs left to record, Dave Roberts turned to Brandon Morrow for a third straight day and fifth appearance in six days.
It did not work.
In a span of six pitches, the game unraveled. Morrow allowed a home run, a single, a double, and another home run, with a wild pitch mixed in between. Just like that the Astros had their first lead of the night, 11-8.
The Dodgers got a run back in the eighth inning and might have had a second run had Taylor not thought third base coach Chris Woodward was yelling, “No, no, no” instead of what Woodward was actually yelling: “Go, go, go.” This was on a fly ball to right field with one out and Taylor on third. Taylor stayed put, so when Josh Reddick threw a ball up the third base line it didn’t cost Houston.
The Dodgers forced extras with a three-run ninth, including a two-run home run by Yasiel Puig and a two-out, two-run RBI single by Chris Taylor to tie things up.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning and recorded the first two outs of the 10th, but then things fell apart. Brian McCann, who homered in the eighth inning, nearly hit a walk-off shot in the 10th but his ball down the right field line hooked foul.
Jansen hit him on the arm on the next pitch, then walked George Springer, setting up Bregman, who delivered a single to left field. Pinch-runner Derek Fisher beat the throw home by Andre Ethier, sending the Dodgers home with a crushing loss.
Jansen has allowed a run in three straight appearances for the first time since July 29-Aug. 1, 2015. That was also the last time he allowed a run in as many as two straight appearances.
Ultimately, the Dodgers had a four-run lead with Kershaw on the mound, staring a 3-2 series lead in the face, yet they will return home needing to win two games in Los Angeles instead of one. This one will be hard to forget.
Game 5 particulars
Home runs: Cody Bellinger (3), Yasiel Puig (3); Yuli Gurriel (2), Jose Altuve (7), George Springer (5), Carlos Correa (5), Brian McCann (1)
WP - Joe Musgrove (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit
LP - Kenley Jansen (0-1): 1⅔ IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout