Remember way back on October 26, 2017, when I said that we’d just witnessed one of the greatest World Series games ever? Tonight already topped it.
The Dodgers and Astros went into the game tied at 2 wins apiece. The game started with on-field appearances from the two former Presidents Bush, and ended what felt like a million years later. In an absolutely insane hit-fest that began with the Dodgers taking a 4-0, the relentless Astros finally topped the Dodgers in the 10th inning, winning their final home game of the season.
There’s so much to unpack from tonight’s game that this article could take as long as the game itself, 5 hours and 17 minutes, the second-longest World Series game in history. The longest game ever was also at Minute Maid Park back in 2005, and clocked in at 5:41, but this time, the Astros won.
The Astros are as resilient as their city, and came back from deficits of 4-0, 7-4, and 8-7 throughout the night. After holding these leads, the Dodgers were ultimately left to play catch up, and did come back from a 12-9 deficit before eventually losing 13-12.
Former Cy Young winners Dallas Keuchel and Clayton Kershaw were back on the mound for a Game 1 rematch. Keuchel gave up 3 runs in the first and a 4th in the 4th. Kershaw matched that, giving up 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th, including a game-tying 3-run blast by Yuli Gurriel, the villain of Game 3 and only blight so far on this otherwise incredible series. Kershaw had retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but both he and Keuchel were clearly not back at their Game 1 level. In Game 1, Kershaw pitched 7 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 run, no walks, and had 11 K’s. Tonight, he gave up 6 runs and 4 hits over 4 2/3 innings. Keuchel allowed 4 runs (3 earned) and five hits over 3 2/3 innings tonight, compared to 3 runs on 6 hits, with 1 walk and 3 K’s over 6 2/3 innings in the series opener.
Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger responded to Gurriel’s 3-run homer with a 3-run homer of his own, because these two teams are crazy good like Pop Tarts. And then, because these teams are this good and because maybe the balls are juiced, MVP-candidate and miniature David Ortiz-esque clutch hitter Jose Altuve ripped yet another 3-run homer to tie it up again, 7-7.
In the 7th, George Springer had a Buckner-esque moment when he missed a line drive by Bellinger, which ended up being an RBI triple to give LA an 8-7 lead. Of course, Springer immediately repented by hitting a homer off the first pitch thrown at him in the bottom of the inning. Jose Altuve then had an RBI-double to make the score 9-8, followed by his partner-in-crimes-against-baseballs, Carlos Correa, who hit a 2-run homer to make it 11-8.
After the Dodgers cut the lead down to 11-9 in the 8th, Brian McCann became the 5th Houston player to homer, going deep in the 8th to widen the gap.
By the 9th inning, it was the Dodgers who were behind, but Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor took care of that, tying the game 12-12 with a 2-run homer and RBI single off of Chris Devenski.
For the second time in this Fall Classic, a game went into extra innings, with the two teams outdoing each other through the 10th. Finally, well into the fifth hour, Alex Bregman hit a walk-off single off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to drive in Derek Fisher.
There was no hyperbole intended in the title of this piece; these games have been magnificent spectacles on par with the greatest games this league has ever seen. This is one of those series that will turn little Houston kids into lifelong Astros fans. Already, just in five games, this series has set a new record for most homers in a World Series ever: 22, one more than the previous 21 homers in the 2002 World Series. Houston is now one game away from winning its franchise’s first World Series, and it’s been an absolutely wild, incredible ride.
This game should effectively end the ‘baseball is boring’ argument. You don’t even have to be half as psycho about baseball as I am to see that this sport is pure magic.
Series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Tuesday and a potential Game 7 if necessary. Astros ace Justin Verlander will face Dodgers Rich Hill and try to bring Houston their first World Series victory ever.