LOS ANGELES, Calif – Facing elimination in game six of the World Series, the Dodgers found a way to put quality at-bats together and were able to hang on for a 3-1 victory. Forcing a game seven at Dodger Stadium in front of over 54,000 fans in attendance.
Early on it was Justin Verlander dominating and taming the Los Angeles offense. He would pitch six innings, allowing just three hits and two runs with nine strikeouts on a total of 93 total pitches.
Houston struck first in the third inning with a solo home run from George Springer, his fifth in the Fall Classic. He would go 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run. He was the only Astro with a multi-hit game.
In the sixth inning, the Dodgers found a way to battle back to tie the game and then take the lead. With Austin Barnes and Chase Utley reaching with a single and hit by pitch respectively, it was the hot bat of Chris Taylor coming through again. His double scored Barnes, and Utley scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Corey Seager who just missed hitting it out. Taylor talked about his approach and coming through when his team needed him to. “I was just focused on staying short and finding a way to put the ball into play. He’s (Justin Verlander) got electric stuff. That fastball up and a really good slider. So I wanted to be as short as possible, not try to do too much or overswing. Find a way to get the bat on the ball and hope for the best.”
In the seventh inning, the stage was set for Joc Pederson to come through an add-on for the Dodgers. He smashed a solo home run to give an insurance run for Los Angeles and increase the lead to 3-1. He talked about the home run and what he was thinking circling the bases. ” I didn’t think I got it. So I think that’s what happened running the bases, it was just a lot of emotions hit me quickly. “
Anytime you can add on a run and get that insurance, is big. Having Pederson come through again, manager Dave Roberts talked about just that.”He continues to come out with big hits, and that one right there, to add a little extra cushion where a bloop and a blast can change a game. That was a huge hit by Joc. And he continues to amaze us and put together good at-bats.”
Los Angeles used a total of four pitchers out of its bullpen, and all combined not allowing a run and only two hits. Brandon Morrow (one inning) was the first, followed by Tony Watson (a third of an inning), then Kenta Maeda (one inning), before turning it over to their closer.
Kenley Jansen pitched the eighth and ninth for his 13th career save in the postseason.
Not to be lost in the Dodgers win to even the series, was the performance of Houston’s Verlander. Again pitching well enough for the win, but not coming away with it and being tagged with his first loss since joining the Astros. His manager A.J. Hinch talked about his starter. “I thought he was good, especially early. He brings so much energy and so much aggressiveness to the game. I thought he entered the game with that. I thought he was obviously cruising. He had that one hiccup in the middle of the game, but that was about it. Again, I thought he stepped up and put as much into that game as he could.”
Next up is Game seven, the final game of the season. The Astors will send Lance McCullers Jr. with the Dodgers sending Yu Darvish. First pitch is scheduled for 5:20 PST.