If a baseball fan is 38 or younger, he or she has to think Wednesday night’s Game 2 of the World Series was the best game ever.
Sure there may be games that fans will point out, but it’s hard to match the drama that took place in this World Series game. It was a roller coaster ride from start to finish.
From Vin Scully throwing out the first pitch to Dodgers tying the game in the middle innings to the Astros tying the game in the ninth to Cody Bellinger almost ending it in the ninth to the Dodgers tying the game in the 10th and almost doing it again in the 11th inning. In the end, the Astros celebrated a 7-6 victory at Dodger Stadium, evening the series at one game apiece.
With this being the Astros’ first World Series win ever in six tries, they might have as well made it memorable for themselves, Astros fans and the city of Houston. This could have been the worst loss in franchise history or in Houston’s sports history had they blew this game and lost.
The night started with Scully making a presence on the mound, as he was scheduled to throw out the first pitch. Dodgers fans were whipped into a frenzy when they saw him. Only in his own words, he can make throwing a first pitch be an event. Rather than throwing out the first pitch, he decided to hand the ball to Fernando Valenzuela. After Valenzuela threw the first pitch, the one-time-popular Dodgers play-by-play man announced to the crowd, “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
It was so beautifully done by Scully and the Dodgers. It was a first pitch like no other. It will be remembered by Dodgers fans and baseball fans for the way it was choreographed. YouTube should get millions of hits when the clip of this first pitch comes out.
Then, the game started. It was glorious to say the least. Justin Verlander mowed the Dodgers down early on to the point he had a no-hitter until Joc Pederson homered in the fifth inning, tying the game at 1.
After giving up a walk to Chris Taylor, the former Tigers ace gave up a two-run home run to Corey Seager, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning. Remember Seager missed the entire National League Championship Series and he played like he did not miss a beat. One had to wonder if this was destiny for the Dodgers at this point since everything has gone their way in the playoffs.
With the Dodgers holding on to a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning, they turned the game over to the setup guy and their closer to finish the job. It was hard to doubt them considering their bullpen overall gave up three earned runs in the postseason. The Dodgers had been 98-0 this season when leading after the eighth.
Funny thing happened. Dodgers setup reliever Brandon Morrow and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen did not get it done.
Morrow’s night was over after he gave up a leadoff double to Alex Bregman, so Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went with Jansen for a six-out save, which he has done often this postseason.
In the eighth inning, the Dodgers closer gave up a RBI single to Carlos Correa, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 3-2. In the ninth inning, he gave up the tying home run to Marwin Gonzalez.
Maybe Jansen was due to blow one after being used often this postseason. The Astros are fortunate that the law of averages caught up to him.
This was just the beginning of what was a crazy game. It almost ended when Bellinger almost homered off Astros closer Ken Giles in the ninth inning, but instead it turned out to be a fly out. That was an omen for things to come for Giles.
After being stymied in Game 1 and most of Game 2, Jose Altuve and Correa made their presence felt by hitting back-to-back home runs in the same spot at center field, giving the Astros a 5-3 lead. It was then when the Astros finally felt good about themselves with their stars stepping up.
The Astros knew better to think the Dodgers were going to cave in. Certainly not Giles, who was fortunate not to be the losing pitcher in Game 2.
The Astros turned out to be prophetic when Yasiel Puig homered off Giles, cutting their lead to 5-4. From there, the Astros closer lost control of the strike zone, and he walked Logan Forsythe and gave up a hit to Enrique Hernandez, tying the game at 5. Giles’ night was over.
Again, it was almost over when Chris Devenski threw the ball at umpire Laz Diaz’s direction. Fortunately for him and the Astros, the ball did not go far and Hernandez stayed at second base.
No harm, no foul as Taylor fouled out to end the inning.
This was where Verlander played the role of a leader by exhorting his teammates to keep grinding it out and not give in, as he ran from the clubhouse runway to the dugout. It served as an inspiration to the Astros because George Springer hit the two-run home run to give them a 7-5 lead.
Those Dodgers would not give in, though. It would have to be a win the Astros have to earn. It was not meant to be easy. That was proven to be true when Charlie Culberson homered ti cut the Astros’ lead 7-6.
The Astros exhaled after Devenski got the last out. The Dodgers felt good about themselves knowing they gave the Astros something to think about as the series resumes to Houston on Friday night. The fans could only talk about this great game on social media for hours as it was trending on Twitter.
For the Astros, it was rewarding considering there were twists and turns throughout the game.
For the fans, they wanted more. Even if the game lasted 4 hours, 19 minutes, they couldn’t get enough.
It’s about time we had a great game in the World Series. Most of the World Series games tend to be stinkers, so in that regard, it was a refreshing sight to see what happened late in the game.
Baseball may not have added new fans, but for one night, it was truly the nation’s pastime from Scully to the plot that took place in the game.
As for whether Game 2 of the World Series as the best ever, that’s for baseball fans to decide. That’s the beauty of last night.