Chavez Ravine gets her closeup
In the grand history of the greatest stadium in baseball history she has never hosted a game seven World Series, but tomorrow she will and the place will be going crazy.
I fully expect Tuesday night to be a 3 – 1 game. All those offensive records have to come to a standstill.
Everyone did the job they had to do.
Rich Hill almost got fifteen outs, but in this game, fourteen outs will do when you only give up one run.
Brandon Morrow kept the game close and looked like the pitcher we saw every game this year except game five. I heard a lot of second-guessing when Morrow came in for Rich Hill but I don’t know why. He was tired on Sunday but he only threw seven pitches (all bad) and had yesterday to get his arm back in gear. Dave Roberts made the right move, no way can you let Rich Hill pitch to Alex Bregman. This was the meat of the Houston lineup with Bregman/Altuve/Correa coming up. Morrow didn’t just get Bregman out to end the fifth, he started the sixth and also got Altuve/Correa out before giving up a single to the most booed player in the history of Dodger Stadium.
With two out, one on, and the left-handed McCann coming up, Roberts brought in Tony Watson to get McCann. He didn’t. He hit him instead, but he made up for it by getting Marvin Gonzalez to end the top of the sixth. Eighteen outs and the Dodger staff had given up only one run.
Now they needed to score.
Austin Barnes started the sixth with a nice line shot to left field which brought up Chase Utley who had come in on a double switch. You hated seeing Chase replacing Logan Forsythe but that was the price Forsythe paid by making the last out in the fifth inning. You couldn’t have Watson bat second in the 6th? Or could you? Wouldn’t Chase simply have pinch hit for him instead of doing a double switch? Either way, it was Chase batting 9th. I thought he’d bunt, but he was swinging away and was quickly down two strikes when Verlander made the biggest mistake of the game and hit Chase putting runners on 1st/2nd with Chris Taylor coming up.
That pitch changed the whole complexion of the game.
Christ Taylor made Verlander pay for that mistake by hitting a two-strike pitch down the right-field line to score Barnes with the tying run and put runners on 2nd/3rd with no outs. Corey Seager almost put the game out of reach with a three-run home run but Josh Reddick caught his long high fly ball with his back pressed against the wall. Nonetheless, Chase Utley ran home with the go ahead run and the Dodgers had a 2 – 1 lead. Verlander finished off Turner/Bellinger but his line was done. Verlander had been great but that one mistake turned a 1 – 0 lead into a 2 – 1 deficit. Once again the Dodgers had gotten to Verlander in the 6th inning.
Could they hold the lead this time?
Watson started the 7th but quickly walked Josh Reddick. I’m sure that wasn’t the game plan for the left-handed Watson to walk the weak hitting Reddick. Roberts wasted no time and went to Kenta Maeda. Paul Bunyan pinch hit for Verlander and somehow lumbered his way to 1st base on what I thought was a sure double play given how slow he is.
Now it gets dicey. Top of the lineup to face Kenta. Luckily he holds Springer to a single but that brings up Bregman with two on and one out. Bregman just gets under it and Houston has two out and two on with Jose Altuve up. He’s hit seven postseason home runs. This series has had a boatload of three-run jacks. Kenta is pitching his 3rd game in five nights. This was nervous time. Deep breaths with each swing from Altuve who seems to come out of his shoes with every swing. Finally, on his last swing of game six he tops the ball to Turner and is out on a bang-bang play at 1st as Bellinger scoops up the low throw.
One run lead, bottom of the 7th. Houston has to go to their beleaguered bullpen and once again the bullpen does not do their job. Joc Pederson who had not hit an opposite-field home run during the regular season hits one into the left-field pavilion where a fan makes a futile attempt to catch the ball and it smacks a lady fan behind him. That fan will never live that down.
3 – 1 lead, Kenley Jansen for six outs. Kenley doesn’t dick around as he retires all six Houston hitters and the Dodgers get their game seven.