Bill Gilbert: Astros Win Game Two with 4 HR

Bill Gilbert’s Special Report on Game Two of the 2017 World Series.

 

Astros Win Game Two with Four Home Runs

By Bill Gilbert

 

In a game that will likely be remembered as a classic, the Houston Astros evened the 2017 World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at one game apiece with a 7-6 win at Dodger Stadium in eleven innings. There were eight home runs in the game, four for each team, including five in extra innings which had not been done before. It was the first win of a World Series game for the Astros in their 56-year history.

The game was almost identical to the first game through the first six innings with the Dodgers taking a 3-1 lead on a walk followed by a two-run homer, this time by Corey Seager. It was the first time Justin Verlander had given up three runs in a game in the 10 games he has pitched since arriving in Houston on August 31. It was the first game in which he did not pick up a win and he was in line for the loss even though he only gave up two hits, but both were home runs.

Rich Hill pitched four strong innings as the Dodger starter before being removed against his will, a move that Manager Dave Roberts may regret since he ended up using all eight of the pitchers in his bullpen including his top two relievers who were out of the game before the extra innings.

Astro bats were largely silent for the first game and the first seven innings of game two before breaking out in a barrage of four home runs in the next four innings by Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. The Dodgers seemed to be in control entering the 9th inning with a one-run lead and their ace closer, Kenley Jansen, on the mound. However, in an unlikely turn of events, Gonzalez hit an 0-2 pitch from Jansen into the stands to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

The Astros wasted no time taking the lead in the 10th inning when Altuve and Correa led off the inning with back-to-back home runs off former Astro, Josh Fields. However, Ken Giles was unable to hold the two-run lead, allowing a home run to Yasiel Puig and a game-tying single to another former Astro, Kike Hernandez.

The home run barrage wasn’t over. In the eleventh inning, George Springer hit a two run homer off of the Dodgers eighth relief pitcher, Brandon McCarthy. It was then up to Chris Devenski to protect the lead in the bottom of the inning. The Dodgers led off with their two best hitters, Seager and Justin Turner. Devenski retired Seager on a long drive to center field and Turner on a line drive to third base. That left it up to utility infielder, Charlie Culberson, who had only two major league hits in the regular season and five in the post-season. He unexpectedly hit a home run and ran around the bases waving his arms as if he had just won or at least tied the game. However, the Astros still had a one-run lead with Puig at the plate. Puig worked a nine-pitch at-bat before striking out on a changeup from Devenski to end the game with an Astro win.

If Game 2 is an indicator, this should be a very interesting World Series as the Astros return to Houston for three games this weekend with J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday night.

 

Bill Gilbert

10/27/17

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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