World Series: Dodgers Do a Lot with a Little to Force Game 7
Justin Verlander had yet another brilliant outing for the Houston Astros.
Unfortunately for him in Game 6, though, dude needed to be as lucky as he was good, and that didn't happen.
Instead, in this one, the third time wasn't a charm:
- Verlander gave up only three hits -- walking none and fanning nine -- over six innings and wound up surrendering two runs; and who knows,
- He tossed out two balls he didn't like, settling on a third ball the ump put into play, only to get sick dip that hit Chase Utley's foot.
Incidentally, that cameo appearance from Joc Pederson shows he doesn't just pull the pom-pons out when he's circling bases after World Series home runs.
Dude's the only MLBer who swings a 34-34. Seems like he found a way to get that lumber up to speed in time for the Fall Classic after a subpar regular season:
Toss in Chris Taylor's swing-plane efficiency, and that was the offense Los Angeles needed to get the 3-1 victory that will stretch this World Series to the limit.
Verlander's luck had run out. Taylor was beat on the pitch he hit -- no way that was an oppo swing -- but he made enough contact to single in the tying run.
And the tide had turned.
If there was an eyebrow-raiser in this game, it was 'Stros skip AJ Hinch pulling Verlander for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
Josh Reddick had walked, and Verlander's capable of bunting. Had that happened successfully and the following results remained the same:
- The bunt woulda put Reddick on second;
- George Springer's infield single woulda advanced him to third, as he had the speed to get there; and then
- Alex Bregman's fly out woulda tied the game.
After that, who knows how Verlander woulda pitched Pederson?
The dude who's not wondering what if is on a roll in Las Vegas.
All that the sports books there know is he went large on the Series' Game 1, let it ride, and is around $8million up right now.
If he runs the table by hitting on Game 7, that's gonna be the real slick-balls story this post-season.
Either way, it'll be the ultimate trick-or-treat.