Justin Verlander gave up just two hits in Game Two of the World Series. Both of those hits were home runs, and when he was pulled from the game after the sixth inning, the Astros were trailing 3-1. The offense was non-existent yet again, and it was looking as if the Astros would be heading back to Minute Maid Park trailing 2-0 in the World Series. Then the Astros came alive, scoring one run in the eighth inning, one run in the ninth inning, two runs in the 10th inning and two more runs in the 11th inning as the Astros scored just enough runs to overcome multiple bullpen meltdowns for the 7-6 win to tie the World Series at one game each.
ALEX BREGMAN: the Astros offense had been pretty much nonexistent in Los Angeles for the first 16 innings of the World Series. Except for Bregman. Bregman’s Game One home run accounted for Houston’s only run of the game. His one out single in the third inning knocked in Houston’s first run of Game Two, then he led off the eighth inning with a double before scoring on Carlos Correa’s single to make the score 3-2.
MARWIN GONZALEZ: With the Astros looking left for dead in the ninth inning, Gonzalez broke out of a playoff-long slump and slammed a Kenley Jansen pitch into the left field bleachers to tie the score at 3-3.
JOSE ALTUVE: The first nine innings were awful for Altuve. Four times to the plate. Four outs, two strikeouts. Four runners stranded. Then came the 10th inning, which saw Altuve lead off with a home run off of former Astro Josh Fields that gave the Astros the 4-3 lead. The home run was Altuve’s sixth homer of the playoffs.
CARLOS CORREA: Correa had quite the night. He had three hits. His eighth inning single scored Bregman to tie the game at 3-3. Then he knocked the life out of the Dodger crowd with a 10th inning home run that put the Astros up 5-3.
GEORGE SPRINGER: There were many people complaining about Springer still leading off as the World Series started. But it’s doubtful those people are complaining now. Springer had three hits in six plate appearances. And in the top of the 11th inning, after Ken Giles had blown the save, Springer took a Brandon McCarthy pitch and sent it into the seats for a two-run homer to put the Astros up 7-5.
THE DFAs (Designated for Assignment)
KENLEY JANSEN: Jansen is one of the best closers in baseball, much like Verlander is one of the best starters in the game. Jansen had also not given up a home run since September 22 in a game against the San Francisco Giants. Until the ninth inning when Gonzalez took a Jansen pitch and sent it into the seats to tie the game.
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JOSH FIELDS: The former Astros reliever entered the game for the Dodgers in the 10th inning. He faced three batters, gave up two home runs and a double, and did not record a single out.
DAVE ROBERTS: Talk about managing yourself out of a win. Starter Rich Hill gave up just three hits and one run in four innings and threw just 60 pitches. Roberts is a big analytics guy, and his analytics told him to go to the bullpen with five straight Astros right-handed batters coming to the plate. The ploy worked as the first three relievers the Dodgers used shut the Astros down. The Astros then got a hit off a Brandon Morrow, and that runner scored when Kenley Jansen gave up a single to Correa. Then Jansen gave up the homer in the ninth inning. Then Josh Fields was torched in the 10th. Fields would likely not have been used if Roberts hadn’t gone to his bullpen so early and so often. Then the only pitcher left for the Dodgers was Brandon McCarthy, who wasn’t on the Dodgers playoff roster for the first two rounds and is normally a starting pitcher, so of course it was McCarthy who gave up the final two runs of the game.
PETER ANGELOS: The Astros supposedly had in place a trade deadline deal for Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton. Britton is legitimately one of the elite closers in all of baseball. The other players in the trade had been agreed upon. Medical information had been exchanged. Then the trade fell apart, supposedly because Baltimore owner Peter Angelos balked at the last minute. Thus, instead of Britton pitching in the 10th inning and preserving a two-run lead, the Astros got to watch another Ken Giles postseason meltdown.
The eight home runs hit in the game were the most home runs ever hit in a World Series game. So now the Series comes to Houston for the next three games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Lance McCullers Jr. gets the start for the Astros on Friday night and he goes up against Yu Darvish.