Astros-Dodgers World Series Game 5: The moments that made us lose our damn mind
Kershaw whipped his head around to watch Gurriel's drive sail, his face immediately showing shock, utter disbelief and frustration, all wrapped up in one expression before he bent over, hands on his knees. Roberts summoned Kenta Maeda , the starter-turned-playoff-long-man who had been excellent this October. We saw it first in the fifth inning. But in a perfect world in which the MLB players union valued Darvish's ability to play without persecution as much as the due process involved with defending Gurriel, it's tough to imagine Gurriel striding to the plate against Kershaw with two on in the fourth. Hernandez bunted the ball too hard back to Peacock, allowing the pitcher to fire to third to cut down Turner, the lead runner. LeBron wins NBArank again, but a youth movement is coming 4d.
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Kershaw whipped his head around to watch Gurriel's drive sail, his face immediately showing shock, utter disbelief and frustration, all wrapped up in one expression before he bent over, hands on his knees. Yanked in the fifth, Kershaw trudged off with a dubious distinction -- he has allowed a postseason-record eight home runs this year. Hardly a repeat performance from the opener, when Kershaw dominated while outpitching Keuchel for a win. Gurriel's second homer of the Series also kept open this possibility: Keuchel never got into a rhythm during the shortest home start of his All-Star career.
His breaking pitches spun without much movement, and he was pulled in the fourth. Logan Forsythe did the early damage against his former University of Arkansas teammate. A Series surprise, Forsythe lined a two-out, two-run single in the first, and doubled and scored in the fourth for a lead.
The Dodgers hadn't lost a game this year when they led by four runs. But Kershaw's bedeviling postseason past came back to haunt him at the worst time. Kershaw was pulled after a pair of two-out walks in the bottom of the fifth. And with crowd sensing something big, the 5-foot-6 Altuve connected off Kenta Maeda for a home run that made it 7-all.
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman reacts after driving in the game-winning run against the Dodgers in the 10th inning of Game 5 of the World Series on Oct. The Astros won to take a lead in the series. Sports stars shake their leg. Significant others of sports stars. Orange fever The Astros fans watch and cheer as their team plays against the Dodgers on Nov. Disappointed fans The Dodgers fans react as they watch the game on Nov. Over and out Josh Reddick of the Astros is forced out at second base as the Dodgers' Chase Utley soars on a throw to first base during the seventh inning in Game 6.
Rough day at the office Astros pitcher Justin Verlander walks back to the dugout after the Dodgers' two-run sixth inning during Game 6. One that got away Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig cannot catch a solo home run hit by the Astros' George Springer in the third inning of Game 6. Opening tally The Astros' George Springer swings for a home run against the Dodgers during the third inning of Game 6. Taking the lead Astros third baseman Alex Bregman reacts after driving in the game-winning run against the Dodgers in the 10th inning of Game 5 of the World Series on Oct.
All fired up George Springer exults after the Astros put a run up in the seventh inning of Game 5 against the Dodgers. This one is for you Joc Pederson of Dodgers celebrates after hitting a three-run home run during the ninth inning against the Astros in Game 4 of the World Series on Oct. Los Angeles won , tying the series at two games apiece. Put one on the board Astros center fielder George Springer hits a sixth-inning homer for the first run of Game 4 against the Dodgers on Oct.
Reddick scored on a ball hit by Evan Gattis. Solid start Lance McCullers Jr. Hero's welcome Texans' J. Game changer George Springer of Astros celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the eleventh inning against Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series on Oct.
Heart to heart Marwin Gonzalez 9 of Astros celebrates with Carlos Correa 1 after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning against Dodgers in game 2 of the World Series on Oct. Slugfest Corey Seager of Dodgers celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning against Astros in game 2 of the World Series on Oct.
Until Game 5, Brandon Morrow had never pitched three days in a row in his entire career. Also, Brandon Morrow allowed zero home runs during the entire regular season. Look, it's not like Dave Roberts had many options here.
Clayton Kershaw didn't do what he was supposed to do, thus sadly bringing The Narrative back into play. Kershaw's early departure taxed the rest of an already overtaxed bullpen.
It's tough to trust, say, Ross Stripling in a pivotal spot in a pivotal game of the damn World Series. And Brandon Morrow had sparkled throughout this postseason. Plus, this was Roberts after the game, talking about Morrow:. He was throwing today, he felt good. And he called in the middle of the game, and he said, 'Hey, if we take the lead, I want the ball, my body feels good.
He felt good, he wanted to be in the game, and it's a credit to him to be used like he has been and want the baseball. This wasn't just three games in a row for Morrow. It was the 12th time the Dodgers had used him in their 13 playoff games this fall.
As badly as Morrow wanted to pitch, as shaky as some other options might've looked at the time, it's not hard to see why he failed so spectacularly in the seventh inning Sunday night. Morrow faced four batters. The four batters went homer, single, double, homer, with Carlos Correa's pop fly to left likely to have ended up as an out in all but two places: Fenway Park and Minute Maid Park. The ball is juiced. The ball has lower seams. And now, the ball is slick too.
The result has been an onslaught of runs in this series, and an absolute orgy of scoring in Game 5. The 25 runs scored Sunday night tied for the second-most runs ever scored in a World Series game Game 3 in also had 25 , trailing only Game 4 in , which had We found actual footage of both teams' offense here:.
Somehow, within all that offensive madness, Enrique Hernandez still tried to lay down a bunt with the game potentially in the balance. Given the circumstances, this was one of the single most out-of-place baseball plays any of us has ever seen. But there was more to this play than just the bunt itself. Roberts set up this scenario in the way he constructed his lineup. The Dodgers manager, seeing Hernandez's terrific numbers against left-handed pitchers this year.
At first glance, the move would seem to make sense. The Astros starter was left-hander Dallas Keuchel , whose southpawness would both enable Hernandez's strong split tendencies to come out while also putting Keuchel's significantly weaker performance against right-handed hitters into play. The problem is, sticking Hernandez in such a pivotal spot in the order invited trouble as soon as A.
Hinch elected to pull Keuchel. We saw it first in the fifth inning. After Luke Gregerson's surprise third of an inning in the fourth triggered the funniest and meanest teammate response of all time , the Astros went to right-hander Collin McHugh to pitch the fifth.
Sure enough, after Corey Seager and Justin Turner drew back-to-back walks to start the inning, Hernandez found himself in a huge spot, in a tie. McHugh twirled a two-strike curveball at Hernandez, ringing him up for strike three. Yes, this was one of several pitches off the plate that notoriously pitcher-generous home-plate umpire Bill Miller called as strikes, with most of those going against the Dodgers.
But the bottom line was that Hernandez had no business coming to the plate in that pivotal a spot against a right-handed pitcher, not when he hit an apocalyptically awful. Yes, Cody Bellinger launched a three-run homer immediately after Hernandez's angry shuffle back to the dugout. But who knows how the inning might've gone if a hitter who offered a bigger threat against right-handers than an inanimate carbon rod had taken Hernandez's place.
That brings us to that hideous, inexplicable bunt. With the score tied entering the seventh, Turner led off with a ringing double. Once again, a huge situation had found Hernandez right when the Dodgers least wanted it. Once again, a right-hander was in the game for the Astros Brad Peacock.
And once again, Roberts didn't think to pinch-hit with a left-handed hitter. Instead he ordered a bunt, because when you have a hitter at the plate who hits like a pitcher in a particular set of circumstances, you have to treat him like a pitcher.
Hernandez bunted the ball too hard back to Peacock, allowing the pitcher to fire to third to cut down Turner, the lead runner. Once again, Bellinger came to the rescue, lashing a triple to center after George Springer 's do-or-die dive failed. But also once again, the Dodgers were left to wonder if they might've been able to push at least one more run across if someone else were manning the cleanup spot. By game's end, no Dodger hitter had done more to hurt his team's chances than Hernandez had.
In a game that would feature so many huge swings, and end with a dramatic one-run victory, The Bunt, and the decision to bat Hernandez cleanup in this game, then fail to replace him in gigantic spots, might end up being the biggest blunder of the series. Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision to defer Yuli Gurriel 's suspension for Gurriel's Game 3 racist gesture toward Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was nothing short of chicken-shit. One of Manfred's stated reasons for not wanting to suspend Gurriel during the World Series was that the commissioner didn't think it would be fair to Gurriel's teammates if the Astros first baseman had to sit when the stakes were highest.
But this is precisely the point of such suspensions: If you do something that warrants suspension when baseball's lights shine brightest, you don't get to sit and reflect about it in f'ing April. If a World Series suspension had lasted one game, Gurriel could've served it in Game 4, or maybe even found a way to drag the situation out for a while via appeal.
But in a perfect world in which the MLB players union valued Darvish's ability to play without persecution as much as the due process involved with defending Gurriel, it's tough to imagine Gurriel striding to the plate against Kershaw with two on in the fourth.
Sadly for Kershaw, it's tough to imagine a worse fate than what befell him in Game 5 too. Staked to a lead after three innings and coming off an strikeout masterpiece in Game 1, most figured the Dodgers ace would put the game to bed, tidily. Instead, George Springer walked and Jose Altuve followed with a single two batters later. A Correa double to left cashed Houston's first run of the game, setting the stage for Gurriel's heroics.
Even accounting for those three scoreless innings to start the game, Kershaw didn't have anywhere near the bite and command on his pitches in Game 5 that he did in Game 1. He produced a measly four swinging strikes out of 94 pitches Sunday night, with just one whiff out of 39 sliders thrown. The pitch Gurriel crushed for a game-tying, universe-altering three-run jack was nothing more than a meatball, an mph spinner that was begging to be destroyed. You can spend a lifetime contemplating what-ifs in baseball.
What if Red Sox manager John McNamara had made the obvious defensive substitution in Game 6 of the World Series, rather than trust creaky-kneed first baseman Bill Buckner when a capable glove was needed? When if the Giants hadn't grown so adept at stealing signs during their magical run in '51? We might look back at the World Series and wonder something else: What if Clayton Kershaw had managed just one more strike? That was all that Kershaw needed to breeze through a fifth inning in Game 5.
Instead, Springer worked a walk and Bregman followed with another free pass, sending Kershaw to the showers. Roberts summoned Kenta Maeda , the starter-turned-playoff-long-man who had been excellent this October.