The Houston Astros were five outs away from facing an 0-2 deficit in the World Series. However, resiliency and heroics would not allow that to happen.
The Astros forced extra innings after getting two runs on Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Then in extras, there were a total of five home runs hit, with the biggest blast coming off the bat of George Springer.
After a leadoff single and stolen base from Cameron Maybin, Springer stepped to the plate and belted a two-run home run of Brandon McCarthy to give Houston a 7-5 lead. The homer would prove to be the game-winner, but not without a scare from the Dodgers.
With two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Charlie Culberson stepped to the plate and launched a solo home run to left field to bring the score to 7-6, which would be the last of the scoring. Winning pitcher Chris Devenski got Yasiel Puig to strike out swinging to send the Fall Classic back to Houston all tied at one-game apiece.
Houston took a 5-3 lead when Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa went back-to-back to start the innings. The Dodgers wouldn’t give up easily as Puig belted a solo home run of his own to start the bottom of the 10th. Later in the inning, Keke Hernandez singled home Logan Forsythe to knot the game 5-5.
Normally, with Jansen coming in, the Dodgers had the game in hand. However, Houston would not go away and Marwin Gonzalez tied the game in the top of the 9th to force extras. Los Angeles was 98-0 when leading after eight innings.
Springer, who finished the game 3-5 with the homer and two RBIs. He came into the game hitting just 3-28 in the postseason, but his biggest hit came when it counted most.
The win for the Astros was the first World Series win in franchise history.
Justin Verlander, who has been nothing short of brilliant since coming to Houston pitched six solid innings, giving up three runs on two hits while striking out five and issuing a pair of walks. His counterpart, Rich Hill, lasted just four innings, giving up a single run on three hits, striking out seven and walking three.
Game 1 saw Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw turn in one gem of a game, pitching seven strong innings, fanning 11, while limiting the potent Astros’ offense to one run on three hits. His lone mistake was a solo home run off the bat of Alex Bregman.
This was the first career World Series appearance and victory for Kershaw. He has been known as a big-time pitcher who couldn’t get it done in the postseason. However, he is changing that narrative before our very eyes during the month of October.
The hero of Game 1 was Justin Turner, who belted a two-run homer off Houston starter Dallas Keuchel in the bottom of the sixth inning, which proved to be the game-winner. Keuchel didn’t pitch bad, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one.
What makes the Turner home run even more interesting is the fact that he used a lighter bat than he had in his previous two at-bats against Keuchel.
The two best teams in baseball throughout the regular season are right where many had envisioned them to be. Now, the best-of-seven series turns to a best-of-five series, with the next three games in Houston. These teams are evenly matched and this series should go at least six, if not seven games. For baseball fans, this could be one of the best World Series to watch.
On Friday night in Houston, Los Angeles will send Yu Darvish to the mound to square off with Houston starter Lance McCullers.
Game three gets underway at 8 pm on Fox.