So Game Seven it is. The Astros and the Dodgers playing for the championship after the Dodgers got to Justin Verlander in the sixth inning and took a 2-1 lead they would never surrender, ultimately winning 3-1. It is not that Verlander pitched bad — for the first five innings he was spectacular, and it's not like the Dodgers pounded him for home run after home run in the sixth inning. He left the game after giving up just three hits and two runs and striking out nine Dodgers. Verlander was 3-0 with a 0.46 ERA in three career games in which his team had a chance to clinch a postseason series, so that stat can now be forgotten. And this was the first game pitched by Verlander that the Astros have lost since he joined the team.
GEORGE SPRINGER: It was a spectacular night for Springer. His third inning two-out opposite field home run gave the Astros the 1-0 lead. He was intentionally walked in the fifth inning, then he singled in the seventh inning. For several innings it looked as if that Springer home run would be all that the Astros needed for the win. The home run was Springer’s fourth of the World Series, and it ties him all time for home runs hit by a leadoff batter in the World Series. Springer is now linked with Lou Gehrig as they are the only players in World Series to hit a game-tying or go-ahead home run in three straight games.
JOC PEDERSON: The game was not over, and even though the Dodgers were up just 2-1, manager Dave Roberts was already deeply into a bullpen that had looked gassed for the past several games. But Pederson put to rest all Astros hopes when he slammed a seventh inning opposite field home run off of Joe Musgrove to make the score 3-1.
CHRIS TAYLOR: Taylor only had one hit in the game. That hit was a sixth inning line drive double to right field that knocked in the run that tied the game at 1-1. The hit only tied the game, but it seemed to sap the life out of the Astros.
KENLEY JANSEN: this time Jansen did his job. Dave Roberts asked him to get six outs, and six outs he got. Jansen looked the best he has looked all of the World Series. He gave up zero hits and struck out three of the six Astros he faced, including Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran to end the game.
DFAs (Designated for Assignment)
JOSH REDDICK: it is no secret to anyone that Reddick has had a horrible World Series at the plate. He had a surprisingly good season, but he’s essentially been in a slump since the postseason started. So of course Reddick came to bat in the fifth inning with Brian McCann standing on third base, Marwin Gonzalez standing on second, and no outs. With Justin Verlander batting behind him, it was imperative that Reddick make contact so that McCann could hopefully score and the Astros could go up 2-0. Instead, Reddick struck out. Reddick also struck out in the top of the ninth inning. While this loss isn’t solely on Reddick, the downfall started at that point in the fifth inning when he failed to make any contact.
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A.J. HINCH: There will be those that say pinch hitting for Verlander in the top of the seventh and going to the bullpen was the right thing to do. There was a runner on base, after all, there were no outs, and the odds of Verlander getting a hit were almost non-existent. But then again, the Astros were only down 2-1, and even a struggling Justin Verlander is better than anybody coming out of the bullpen right now. The Astros ended up not scoring any runs. And Joe Musgrove, the guy who replaced Verlander on the mound, gave up a home run to put the Dodgers up 3-1.
CODY BELLINGER: Bellinger was so bad in Game Six that he could have played for the Astros — he would make a great lineup companion with Reddick. He was hitless in four at bats, and he struck out all four times, earning a Golden Sombrero for the second time in this World Series.
ASTROS OFFENSE: The game after knocking Clayton Kershaw, one of the best pitchers in baseball, out of the game, the offense was nowhere to be found. The Astros got just six hits (two of those from Springer). Nine runners were left stranded on base, and even worse, the Astros were 0-for-6 with runners-in-scoring-position.
Dodger Stadium is one of the great historic stadiums in baseball. But it has never hosted a World Series Game Seven. Until now. So there’s a bit of history for you trivia buffs. Another piece of history would be if the Astros could get the win. That would mean the first World Series Championship in franchise history. It will be a Game Three rematch with the Astros sending out Lance McCullers Jr. to match up against Yu Darvish.