Astros take World Series lead after game-five thriller
The Houston Astros claimed a thrilling 13-12 walk-off win against the Los Angeles Dodgers to grab a 3-2 World Series lead on Sunday.
The Astros, who trailed on three separate occasions, won on a walk-off single from Alex Bregman in the bottom of the 10th inning in front of their raucous home crowd. Houston's vaunted lineup, which led MLB in runs scored during the regular season, bounced Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw early while hitting five more home runs.
There have been 101 home runs hit in the 2017 MLB postseason and 22 home runs hit in the World Series — both are MLB records.
The Astros now have a 3-2 series lead heading back to Los Angeles for game six with a championship in their sights.
ASTROS WON'T GIVE UP
Of all the wild and wacky games to have taken place so far this series, game five jumped to the top of the list. Three times the Astros trailed, twice by three-plus runs, but every time the Dodgers grabbed a lead, the Astros fired back with home runs. Yuli Gurriel blasted a three-run shot in the fourth inning, Jose Altuve smacked a three-run home run in the fifth inning, and then George Springer and Carlos Correa hit home runs off an exhausted Brandon Morrow in the seventh inning.
An argument could be made that Dave Roberts should never have sent Morrow out there in the first place, but the Astros fought all night. Altuve and Correa combined for six hits, five runs scored and seven RBIs.
Many teams would have sulked after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning, but Houston proved their resiliency with another clutch hit in extra innings.
KERSHAW STILL SERVING UP HOME RUNS
Kershaw paints an imposing figure during the regular season, controlling hitters with his dominant fastball and curveball. But he is not the same pitcher in the postseason. Kershaw was pulled after 4.2 innings Sunday, allowing six earned runs off of four hits, three walks and a home run – his eighth of the postseason.
Kershaw now holds the MLB record for most home runs allowed in a single postseason, which would not be a record he had circled in his goals. Kershaw's career regular season ERA is 2.36, but his career postseason ERA is over 4.00.
ASTROS' PITCHING ABANDONED THEM
After allowing five runs in the top of the ninth inning Saturday to lose game four, all eyes were on Houston's pitching staff in their attempt to bounce back. Dallas Keuchel immediately allowed three runs (two earned) in the first inning, which set the tone for Los Angeles' hit barrage Sunday.
Los Angeles scored 12 runs off of 14 hits, six walks and two home runs. Astros reliever Collin McHugh allowed three earned runs, while game three hero Brad Peacock was lit up for two earned runs in 1.1 innings. Will Harris was shaky after entering the game in the top of the eighth, proving the Astros are running out of options out of their bullpen. A.J. Hinch stated before the game that Ken Giles would not be used in save situations, but they do not have a great replacement setup moving forward.
BREGMAN THE HERO
Bregman delivered a walk-off hit for the Astros.
ASTROS AT DODGERS
Justin Verlander, still undefeated in an Astros uniform, will take the mound with a chance to clinch his first World Series crown. The Astros acquired Verlander for this instance, and they need him to perform up to expectations with the bullpen reeling. The Dodgers, trying to force a decisive game seven, will counter with Rich Hill on Tuesday.