World Series: Astros' Fourth Comeback in Game 5 Wins It
Objectively, here are the three most exciting games in World Series history:
- Brooklyn's Don Larsen hurling a perfect game in 1956,
- Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski drilling a Game 7 walkoff dinger in 1960, and
- St Louis' David Freese ripping two final-strike extra base hits to complete two comebacks -- the second a walkoff bomb in the 11th -- to twice save Game 6 and ultimately the Series in 2011.
There's now a fourth that can be added to that list.
All the elements may have been there for a wild Game 5 in Houston ...
- the Astros' own funky short porch with a 19-foot wall in left,
- alleged slick balls,
- overtaxed bullpens, et al ...
But the billing was a re-match between the clubs' run-stingy aces, Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel. Dudes set the tone in Game 1 as well as pitching like they were double-parked. Logically, managers Dave Roberts and AJ Hinch prepared accordingly.
So much for that.
By the middle innings, their outlooks had changed.
The elements kicked in.
Notable in the clubs' competitiveness were two players redeeming themselves:
- George Springer countering his poorly-judged dive in CF by going deep afterward, and
- Chris Taylor misinterpreting a Go! command from his third-base coach for a No! and not scoring -- metrics or no -- on what woulda been a sacrifice fly; he'd later get the two-out, two-strike single that put the game into extras.
All told, the 'Stros totalled four comebacks in this 13-12, 10-inning instant classic.
It could be argued that the Dodgers needed that game more than Houston -- despite the fact it's their turn to be the home team -- because Justin Verlander is taking the hill in Game 6.
After Game 5, anyone can argue any point all they want. Doesn't matter.
In this World Series, stuff's just gonna happen whether it makes sense or not.