The Houston Astros trailed 4-0 with Clayton Kershaw, one of baseball's best pitchers, on the mound for the Dodgers. Dallas Keuchel had been chased and the Astros had to go to the bullpen way, way early. The Astros tied the game 4-4 in the fourth inning, then fell behind 7-4 in the fifth, then tied the game 7-7 in the bottom of the fifth, then fell behind 8-7 in the top of the seventh, took the lead 11-8 in the bottom half, added an insurance run in the eighth before blowing a 12-9 lead in the ninth. Got all that? Because then Alex Bregman lined a single to left field for the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, five hours and 11 minutes after the game's first pitch. The Astros won 13-12 and hold the 3-2 lead in the World Series.
ALEX BREGMAN: Here’s the situation…bottom of the 10th inning. Pinch runner Derek Fisher standing on second base. George Springer on first. Two outs, the score tied 12-12. Bregman is at the plate facing Kenley Jansen, one of baseball’s best closers. The tension is unbelievably thick. Here’s the pitch…and Bregman lines a single to left field to score Fisher and the Astros win.
YULI GURRIEL: The Astros were trailing the Dodgers 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Two runners were on base, but there were two outs. Clayton Kershaw was struggling a bit with the strike zone, but if he could get one out, the danger would be over and the Astros' hopes would be squashed. Gurriel took the first pitch he saw from Kershaw and slammed it beyond the left field wall to tie the game at 4-4.
JOSE ALTUVE: The Dodgers struck back for three runs in the top of the fifth. But Kershaw walked George Springer and Alex Bregman with two outs. The Dodgers went to the bullpen and brought in Kenta Maeda to pitch to Jose Altuve. Altuve greeted Maeda by sending one of his pitches deep out of the ballpark for the Astros' second three-run homer in two innings, tying the game once again. Altuve also had a single and a double in the game, scoring three runs and knocking in four, and has seven home runs in the playoffs.
GEORGE SPRINGER: Springer made a huge defensive mistake in the top of the seventh inning, misplaying a Cody Bellinger liner that resulted in a triple. Bellinger then scored to put the Dodgers on top 8-7. Springer made up for that in the bottom of the seventh with a home run to tie the game. Springer then drew the two out walk in the bottom of the 10th that brought Bregman to the plate. Springer finished the night with two hits, three runs and one RBI.
CARLOS CORREA: Correa’s fourth inning double plated the first run of the night for the Astros. He then scored on Gurriel’s homer. Then he slammed a two-run home run into the Crawford Boxes in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the Astros up 11-8 on the Dodgers. He finished the night with three hits, two runs and three RBIs.
THE DFAs (Designated for Assignment)
DALLAS KEUCHEL: The Astros bullpen can best be described as shaky. The closer has melted down in two games. So at times like that, it becomes dependent on the starter to go deep into the game and to carry the team on his back. Justin Verlander has done that throughout the playoffs. It was Keuchel’s time in Game Five. But in his biggest game of the year, Keuchel disappointed. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and four runs (three earned) while walking two. That then sent the game back to the bullpen, which was definitely not what manager AJ Hinch wanted.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: The Dodger ace cruised through the first three innings. Going into the fourth he had had a 4-0 lead, the Astros were on fumes, and Dodger manager Dave Roberts was looking forward to giving his bullpen most of the night off. Then came the bottom of the fourth. George Springer walked. Alex Bregman flied out. Jose Altuve singled. Carlos Correa doubled to score Springer. Then Gurriel launched his monster homer to tie the game at 4-4. The Dodgers then regained the 7-4 lead. But Kershaw couldn’t make it out of the fifth as he walked Springer and Bregman, then watched them score when reliever Kenta Maeda gave up the three-run homer to Altuve.
CHRIS DEVENSKI: The Astros had the 12-9 lead going into the ninth inning. Just three outs were needed to nail down a win of what had at first appeared to be a sure loss. The Astros bullpen had been awful all night. Devenski had struggled in the eighth inning, but Hinch left him in to get the save. But such was not to be as Devenski proved to be even worse in nailing down the save than Ken Giles.
BILL MILLER: The saying is that if both sides think you did an awful job, then you were likely doing something right. That saying does not apply to Game Five home plate umpire Bill Miller, who was so bad that Angel Hernandez, noted as perhaps the worst umpire in baseball, would be a huge improvement behind the plate. For a while Miller’s strike zone was incredibly wide and hitters were visibly shouting at Miller. But then as the game progressed, he seemed to narrow the zone so that pitches that had been strikes earlier were suddenly balls. But then it seemed to switch back to a wide zone, then looked narrow, and…seriously, how did this guy get added to a World Series umpiring crew?
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Sunday morning Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports published a story detailing complaints from the pitchers and coaches of both teams stating that MLB was tampering with the baseballs. Claiming the balls are slicker than what was used in the regular season, pitchers say that the balls have become tougher to grip, with a tougher grip making it more difficult to control the ball. There were seven home runs hit in Game Five. There have been 22 homers hit in this World Series, the most ever. And the 101 home runs hit in the playoffs are also a record.
The Astros are just 27 outs from winning the World Series. Game Six is Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Astros will start Justin Verlander, who has never lost in an Astros uniform. The Dodgers will start Rich Hill. Game Seven, if needed, will be Wednesday night.