By Jack Belanger ’21
What a series it has been. Every game in this World Series was a hard fought battle; neither team got blownout. The Dodgers and Astros won over 100 games this year and couldn’t have been more evenly matched. The teams have three Cy Young Award winners in Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel, and Justin Verlander. Neither team lacked any firepower as 14 different players hit at least one home run, and through five games the teams combined to hit 22 home runs which set a new World Series record.
In Game One, we saw Kershaw and Keuchel square off. Kershaw managed to put on one of the better pitching performances in recent years as he went seven innings only allowing one run on three hits, while striking out 11 Astros. Keuchel also seemed to be cruising, allowing one run through the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Dodger Justin Turner hit the go-ahead two run home run to give LA a 3-1 lead which they would hold onto.
Game Two foreshadowed the late game theatrics we would see later in the series. This game featured eight home runs, including five in extra innings. Down 3-2 in the ninth inning, Houston left fielder Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo shot to tie the game. Houston then took a 5-3 lead in the top of the tenth with home runs from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. In the bottom of the tenth it was the Dodgers’ turn to rally as they tied the game with a home run from Yasiel Puig and a RBI single from Kike Hernandez. Houston finally took the lead for good in the 11th on a two-run homer from center fielder George Springer, making the lead 7-5.
Game Three did not feature any late game drama as Houston grabbed four runs early in the second inning off starter Yu Darvish, with a home run from Yuli Gurriel and RBI singles from Gonzalez and catcher Brian McCann. The Dodger close the gap with runs in the sixth but couldn’t gain any more ground on Houston.
Game Four saw the Dodgers rally for five runs, after a 1-1 tie, in the ninth inning off closer Ken Giles, to tie the series at two games apiece. Dodger Joc Pederson hit the dagger, with a three-run shot to make the game 6-1, and eventually tying the series at two games apiece.
Nobody could have expected how Game Five turned out. With Kershaw and Keuchel squaring off again, no one could have imagined the firepower that would be on display. The wild game featured seven home runs, three ties, and four lead changes. The Dodgers managed to grab a 4-0 lead but the Astros rallied to tie it in the fourth inning on a three-run shot from Gurriel. In the fifth, each team traded three-run home runs to make the score 7-7. In the seventh inning, the Astros managed to make it 11-8, but the Dodgers were not out yet. Down 12-11 in the top of the ninth inning with a guy on third and two outs, Dodger Chris Taylor hit a game-tying single to keep LA’s hopes alive and send the game into extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 10th inning, Houston put the game to rest when Alex Bregman hit a walk-off single as Derek Fisher scored all the way from second base.
In game six, Verlander looked to seal Houston’s first ever World Series title, and through five innings that is what it looked like. Going into the sixth up 1-0, Verlander allowed the first two LA batters reach base. Then Taylor hit a double to tie the game. Seager hit a sacrifice fly to put the Dodgers up 2-1. Joc Pederson hit a homer in the 7th to make it 3-1 and the bullpen for LA was able to shut down the Astros to force a game seven.